When I trained tot be a nursery nurse (before teaching) we were frequently set assignments throughout the year to create anthologies of activities based upon favourite storybook characters. Each 'box of tricks' was supposed to contain a variety of activities that children could dive into and complete themselves with minimal reliance upon the adult, and encourage maximum creativity by developing a love of the story across a range of different learning experiences.
Elmer The Elephant was my absolute favourite box to assemble because of the language and craft opportunities throughout.
Anderson Press are celebrating 25 years of the loveable patchwork elephant this Summer, and have sent me a range of their celebratory products to enjoy. However, they've also sent me a pack of activity sheets to share with you as well.
For those not in the know, Elmer is a multicoloured patchwork elephant, the only one in the herd, and he's the comedian of the crowd. As the only non-grey elephant around, I've always thought it was a good way to teach children about multiculturalism and how no-one should need to feel that their skin colour means they can't fit in, perfectly highlighted when Elmer actually paints himself grey to be like the others. The storybooks are also highly visual with wonderful illustrations that lend themselves to a plethora of craft activities.
There are a number of amazing activities which Anderson Press have put together into a downloadable PDF activity pack here, plenty to keep little ones busy over the Summer holidays. For more information about Elmer and his books, including the iOS downloads, visit here. I really like the 'Elmer game' in the pack which involves number and colour recognition using a dice and colouring pens.
- Elmer - The original story about the colourful patchwork elephant. Elmer becomes tired of being different and disguises himself as a normal grey elephant. But his usual exuberance cannot be contained for long. (Paperback £6.99)
- Elmer and the Monster - There is pandemonium in the jungle! A strange roaring sound sends the animals stampeding, convinced it's a monster. But all is not as it seems. Only brave Elmer is courageous enough to investigate, and what he discovers comes as quite a surprise. (Hardback £11.99)
- Elmer tabard - A fun image of Elmer walking through the woods, full of colours. It's a wipe-clean tabard perfect for painting or cooking. (£5.99)
- Elmer colouring felt pens - a set of six double-ended washable felt pens in an attractive presentation box. (£4.50)
- Elmer floor puzzle - A 24-piece floor puzzle with large pieces. One side features an all-colour scene of Elmer walking through the jungle with another elephant, and the reverse is a black outlined Elmer for children to colour in as they wish. (£9.99)
- Elmer snowglobe - A sparkly snow globe with snow and stars which fall around a model patchwork elephant inside the dome, set against a backdrop of a night's sky. Can be personalised by inserting a different photograph into the centre. (£7.95)
I was sent the above products for the purpose of this feature.