Little Hands Learning is a children’s activity box subscription service that supports your child’s learning and development through the magic of books. November’s dream-themed box contained the 32-page book, ‘What Will You Dream of Tonight?’ written by Frances Stickley and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz. The book is visually beautiful, the illustrations are incredibly dreamy, comforting, and atmospheric. The swirls of colour take us on a calming and heart-warming journey through magical lands and our story ends with a heartfelt reassurance that the child is safe and loved before they drift off. It has become my little girl’s, Penny (aged 5), favourite bedtime read.
The multi-sensory activities that accompany this month’s book (which are carefully selected by experienced teachers) are designed to encourage conversations about dreams and aspirations. November’s box included the following materials: detailed activity cards with easy-to-follow instructions, tips, keywords and interesting talking points; a dream notebook and pencil; bamboo hoop, wool, clay, star cutter and magical colour-changing ‘dream dust’. There are also extra activity ideas inspired by the book and using the resources provided on the Little Hands Learning website by scanning the QR code on the lid of the box.
Activity 1 – Make Your Own Clay Stars
Penny’s favorite activities are always, the messy, tactile ones so she was so excited to get started. We headed outside to collect natural resources to create different textures and patterns in the clay. We used a twig to create the holes in our stars and stones, leaves and pinecones to make shapes and interesting patterns. We spoke about stars and what Penny thinks they are as well as how I would sing, ‘Twinkle Little Star’ to her as a baby. We didn’t have a rolling pin so Pen used her problem-solving skills to look around the kitchen and find an alternative. We’re going to re-use the cutter for her play-dough and future baking activities.
Activity 2 – Craft a Dream Catcher
Using the clay stars, we set to work creating a dream catcher that can be traced back to the Native American Ojibwe people. Over time they have been adopted by other tribes and nations. We spoke about how they are believed to keep away bad dreams and keep children safe at night. We spoke about Penny’s bad dreams and how they make her feel. We attached the stars to the bamboo hoop with the wool provided. It was tricky and Penny required a lot of support but she loves her creation.
Activity 3 – Record Your Dreams
Also provided in November’s box were a dream notebook and pencil. We spoke about the magical lands, waterfalls, desserts, and dragons contained within the pages of our book. This month’s box inspired so many interesting and important conversations. Penny can write her own name was extremely excited to christen the first page. Children can record their dreams however they wish including drawing pictures, writing or mark-making. Penny drew unicorns, toys, and Santa.
Activity 4 – Experiment with Dream Dust
Finally, we used scattered our ‘dream dust’ into a bowl and poured water over it to witness a magical reaction. The swirling glitter was mesmerising and the cloudy lilac mixture bubbled away as Penny looked on in disbelief. The perfect end to a relaxing, magical afternoon together.