TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall crafts

Now that the weather has finally cooled off, and it feels like fall, you'll probably be moving towards fall themes at your Read-Alouds.  Fall is great for craft options -- leaves changing colors, spooky Halloween decorations, etc. Have other ideas?  Please share them in the comments section.

Celebrate the colors of fall. Cover the tables with newspaper because this can get messy. Cut leaf-like shapes out of coffee filters and let the kids color them with magic markers. Then spray the coffee filters with water to create an amazing watercolor effect. After the leaves dry, gather them to create a colorful display.

These paper pumpkins work well as hanging ornaments or room decorations. For this simple craft, you need only construction paper, staples and string.  It results in a gorgeous end product. Different size strips of orange paper stapled at the ends make the pumpkin shape.  Add a stem and leaves for the complete look.

Everyone can make his or her own fall tree with this tissue paper craft. Let the kids draw their own tree trunks or, for a fun twist, trace their hands and arms on construction paper to serve as the trunk and branches. Then provide a variety of colors of tissue paper and encourage the kids create leaves for their tree. They can glue them flat, as in this picture, or crumple them to make a 3-D effect.

An empty toilet paper roll can become a cute bat! You'll need a black bat body, which is the toilet paper roll either colored with black crayon/marker or covered with a 4" x 6" piece of black construction paper. A template for the wings can be found here. You can collect toilet paper rolls for the craft or pick them up at the TRC office. This craft could be paired with the nocturnal animals Read-Aloud or with books like Stellaluna or Bats at the Ballgame.

These paper bag owls are a hoot! Transform brown lunch bags into adorable owls. Gauge the scissor skills of the kids in your group; if they're up to it, they can cut out their own wings, ears, eyes and beaks, or they can glue on pre-cut parts. Which other animal puppets would the kids at your Read-Aloud like to make?

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