The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base is one of our favorite picture books - the adventure story is wonderful (with a good moral), but the illustrations have so much gorgeous detail that the girls (3.5 years old) and I spend a lot of time looking over them carefully. The other day we read the book and decided to make a little sailing ship (or "snailing ship") craft to go along with it. Here's what we did...
The girls worked on drawing spirals to make the snail. This is a great pre-writing activity to practice pencil control.
The girls used their own scissors to cut out the corners of a piece of paper to make triangle sails. Then I remembered that the snail was golden and we probably should have used yellow paper. Nevertheless, I asked the kids if they wanted to color their snails and sails yellow (L did, and E chose purple so we talked about how long ago snails were used to dye royal fabric a purple color for the kings, and the process was very smelly!).
The kids assembled their snailing ships along with a craft stick on the back (I provided verbal instructions only and they figured most of it out on their own). While the "snailing ships" were drying, I cut out some waves from blue construction paper and invited the kids to glue just the edges onto a piece of sturdy paper and to draw the waves.
When all the glue was dried, the kids got to place their ships in the water and use the craft stick handle to sail them around the sea. I think I've mentioned this before on my blog, but we LOVE crafts that can be played with afterward.
Another craft we made to go along with the book were captain's hats. I cut out some half circles and let the girls paint them..
I wish we had larger pieces of paper, but I used what we had on hand. Later after the pieces dried, I connected the two sides together by taping them to a fitted band made of paper. The fit wasn't too great, but the kids still had a lot of fun wearing their hats and going on sailing adventures.