Paper or Clothes, Which Will You Wear? A Book and a Craft

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Craft Inspired by Laundry (and blogging)

B’s birthday is approaching, and several family members have asked what he might like. My soon-to-be-4-year-old wants clothes – but not just any clothes – “uniforms.” B loves to dress the part for playtime, which often means he is a soccer player, or a basketball player, or a baseball player, but sometimes he’s a gardener, or a “worker” (his term for wearing a collared shirt and sitting at the computer or working at the table). I’m getting a little tired of the laundry this involves, so I’m telling the family to buy him clothes – if he’s going to go through them like lightning, at least I won’t have to wash every day! But this week I was inspired by Christianne’s Little Page Turners: Rainy Day post. She did an adorable craft with her daughter that involved a paper doll printable. While the little girl with the umbrella wasn’t exactly appropriate for B, it did start the gears turning.

Dressing Up on a Smaller Scale

Let me tell you if you don’t already know… there are a lot of options out there for printable paper dolls. I’ll share just a few that I came across in a very quick search – I make no claim they are the best, just that they work and are easy to find.

  • I was looking for a boy doll, and found a simple version at Marilee's Paper Doll Page.

  • At Billy Bear, you (or your child) can “color” the doll and clothes on screen, then print your product.

  • Activity village also has a variety of dolls and more outfits to choose from, but not the “uniforms” I though B would enjoy.

  • I found my favorites at Making Friends. You can print out dolls in a variety of skin tones, and outfits are organized by theme.

You can print out outfits in color or outlines that your child can color in. The outfits don’t have tabs, (the site says they are made to be glued, or suggests using magnets) but since the purpose was for B to change clothes, and I didn’t have magnet sheets at home, I just added a couple tabs as I cut them out. Then I found a cute photo of each of the boys and cropped it down to fit on the doll, printed, cut, and glued. Voila! B can dress himself in any uniform he chooses! While I’m not deluded enough to think that this will totally eliminate B’s frequent wardrobe changes, I am hoping it distracts him long enough to get some laundry done.

A Book with Different Wardrobe Advice

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?We brought Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? home from the library a while back, but this project reminded me of it, so we checked it out again. This is part of Nancy White Carlstrom’s Jesse Bear series, which are formatted as a series of verses that tell a story. In this one, Jesse Bear is asked what he’ll wear at different times of day, but rather than various “uniforms,” Jesse “wears” his activities: “I’ll wear the sun, on my legs that run, sun on the run in the morning.” The illustrations are detailed and endearing – and I love the way the rhymes and pictures illustrate the course of Jesse’s day.

More Than Just Fashion Advice

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? made a great paper doll connection, but there are other great opportunities as well. When we checked it out before, we focused on the cognitive concepts of times of day and the various activities that take place in the morning, noon, and night. As a poetry fan, I also love the verses, because Nancy White Carlstrom’s rhymes go beyond the typical couplets of a rhyming book. Each page can be read as an independent poem, or as part of the narrative string. This style may make it easier for little ones to identify rhyming words because they don’t stretch from page to page. The other fun thing unique to this Jesse Bear selection is that we can discuss fantasy/reality as we read. Can Jesse really wear the sun? Or his rice? That’s debatable, but it’s what makes a good discussion! We like Jesse Bear, and we’ve read several of the series. Maybe if I’m inspired to create another activity, you’ll see another Jesse Bear post.

Appropriate for toddlers, preschool, primary grades.

I’m linking up with Janna at The Adventure of Motherhood for Feed Me Books Friday, and “Meme’s the Word” on Saturdays at Lemon Drop Pie.


Shonda May 21, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

Thanks for linking up to Kid Friendly Friday! Become a follower too if you are not. I haven't had time to check. Have a great weekend!

Ginny Marie May 21, 2010 at 4:37 PM  

I'm looking forward to checking out those links! And I thought dressing a boy would be easier than dressing my girls...they are always demanding to wear dresses or skirts. Little did I know that boys could be just as demanding!

Thanks for the shout out for Meme's the Word! I'm so glad you're coming by to link up! (I'll have the linky up by early tomorrow morning.)

Unknown May 23, 2010 at 5:29 AM  

Just popping over from Meme's the Word!
Thank you for the links to find paper dolls for boys! I think my son would really enjoy that too! I keep telling his sister she can't keep dressing him up in the princess dresses! And we love Jesse Bear!

Janna May 27, 2010 at 6:42 AM  

Very fun! I love how one person sparks another person's creativity! We love dress up here:)

Chels September 10, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

Those are great links! I love the fireman and soccer player!

Anonymous,  March 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

Maybe you'll want to place a twitter icon to your website. I just bookmarked the article, however I must make it by hand. Simply my $.02 :)

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