As I’m sure you are all well aware, World Book Day is coming up. Up and down the country I’m sure there are parents panicking about costumes as we speak.
This is Neil’s first year at school, and so my first experience of book day. I have read plenty about it, and was expecting Neil to come home with a costume request. On Monday night, as I was putting my kids to bed, my hubby said “Oh by the way, this was in his bag”, and handed me a large muddy potato. Accompanying the potato was the instructions to decorate the potato to resemble a character of a book, being as creative as you like, using any materials, and this could be done alone or as a family.
How on earth do you turn a potato in to anything other than, well, a potato?! My first thought was Mr Potato Head, I know Toy Story’s not technically a book, but there were books of the film released. That would have been easy, he’s already a potato after all, but I felt we would have been cheating a bit.
I thought about the gruffalo too, but feared there would be lots of other gruffalo’s, it is one of the most popular childrens books, and Neil wasn’t keen on making a gruffalo anyway.
My hubby then suggested that, to tie in with Dr Seuss’s 100th birthday this week, we could do Cat in the Hat, which is one of Neil & Caitlin’s favourite books.
The potato Neil had been given was quite large and heavy, so we had to find something to set it on. We found a little green stamper thing from one of the kids play-doh sets, and pushed the potato on to it, to act as a neck. We made some ears out of black and white play-doh and stuck them in to the side of the potato using cocktail sticks, then painted the whole potato black.
We tried to pain over the green neck with black paint too, but the paint wouldn’t stick to the plastic, so we covered it with black play-doh.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any red doh, so we used the closest colour we could find, which was an orangey colour, and crafted a bow from it for the cat’s neck.
To make the hat, we took an old toilet roll tube, bent it a little, then added a rim to the bottom, and lid to the top from a cereal box. Neil rolled out the orange and white doh, which we cut in to strips to make the stripes on the hat. We painted the top of the hat red, and were surprised that the red paint was almost a perfect colour match of the orange doh!
We pushed about six cocktail sticks in to the head of the potato, then guided the hat down over the sticks, to secure it to the head.
We didn’t have any white paint, so we rolled a really thin layer of white play-doh to make the face, and then used black doh for the finer details, such as the eyes, smile and whiskers. By this time, the whole thing was becoming top heavy, and the potato kept falling backwards. We needed something sturdy to glue the whole thing down to, so scarified one of our place mats from the dining table and used it as a board. We were needing new ones anyway.
I didn’t even get a picture of it on the board, but that’s it basically finished. We were all over the moon with it, considering the little time we had to complete it I think we did a good job.
All of the potatoes were to be taken to school today, to be put on display in the hall, before a winner will be picked from each year. We don’t expect to win, but we all had great fun making it.
As well as the potato figures, the school had invited parents to come in to school this morning for a reading session with their children. I didn’t think I was going, as Neil told me he didn’t want me to come, but he changed his mind last night and said he would allow me.
The school had set out lots of areas for families to read. We found a quite spot in the corridor with a large bean bag, and sat down and read three books. The children were given juice and biscuits, which is a real treat as they usually only have water and fruit. My greedy little mite was furious that he was only allowed one biscuit, and ended up eating mine too.
We’ve really enjoyed celebrating World Book Day, and making our World Book Day potato! What have you been doing with your kids for the event?