You’ve gotta admit it, turtles are pretty awesome. They’re pretty famous too…there’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Crush and Squirt from Finding Nemo, and get this… the Kansas state reptile is the ornate box turtle. They’re also a boat load of fantastic children’s picture books about turtles.
Since turtles are too cool for school, for this week’s Sunday Storytime we read books starring, you guessed it, TURTLES. And, we created our very own pet turtles for the craft.
Turtle Storytime Line-up:
Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell
Cathryn Falwell, a storytime readers dream author. She has also has written a couple of other books, Turtle Splash and Pond Babies, that fit the turtle theme.
Franklin in the Dark by Paulette Bourgeois, illustrated by Brenda Clark
Dear Mom, if you are reading this you will remember that this was a favorite bedtime story in our house. You read it a gazillion times. Today, I introduced it to the storytime kids and it won them over in no time.
Hi, Harry! by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth
It’s always nice to find friends that move at the same speed. This is a funny and heartwarming story of just that.
Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo
L and I read this one quite a bit back in January. It’s a story of a boy who quickly learns a wild turtle might not be the type of pet he’d hoped for.
Turtle Day by Douglas Florian
Very simple story about the day in the life of a turtle. I introduced Turtle Day by saying, “Since the storytime theme today is turtles, it’s unofficially Turtle Day in the library!” For some reason, the kids thought that was hilarious. I don’t know why. Kids are kinda weird.
Pet Turtle Craft:
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the adults in the library were cracking up watching all the storytimers pull their pet turtles around behind them all over the library. It was like a turtle parade. This was such a fun craft to make!
Materials needed: Plastic green plate, colored cardstock or construction, scissors, glue stick, markers, and thick string or yarn.
First, I cut out a turtle head, feet, and a tail proportional to the plastic plate. They don’t have to be super crafty. I cut out a bunch of these beforehand.
For the shell, I photocopied this template onto various colors of cardstock. No photocopier? A great and simple alternative would be to buy large foam stickers (like these) to decorate the shell instead. Paper is the cheaper route. These were also precut for the kids.
I cut out the shell shapes (technically called scutes) on the bold lines of the template. Once again… they don’t have to be perfect.
The kids decorated their turtle faces (and feet and tails).
Turning the plate upside-down, they glued on the scutes (sections of a turtle’s upper shell) on the back of their turtle. For my example, I chose to keep the shape of the shell template. When the kids decorated their shells, they didn’t match up the shapes. Actually, I persuaded them to either make their own designs or for the older kids, to try and match the scutes on their turtle’s shell as I did.
I punctured the plate above the turtle head with the tip of a pair of scissors (a hole punch would be preferable). Then I cut a piece of yarn about a yard in length and double-knoted the end. This is another part I did beforehand and I suggest parents assist with this if you do not have a hole-punch on hand.
Flip the turtle over and thread the yarn through the hole from the inside of the shell to the outside.
And there you have it. A turtle to follow you wherever, whenever.
image source: skating turtle