My granddaughter, Zare, fell in love with this little guy. He is adorable. I made him while on a mini vacation with my family in Angel's Camp because he reminded me of Mark Twain's short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaverous County. I blogged about it here in my post.
A five year old doesn't see the Mark Twain connection. To Zare, this little guy is Prince Naveen from the Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog and she is Tiana. She spends a whole lot of time kissing him, telling him stories, and making him paper crowns. Together we also made bean bags in the form of giant lips and improvised a learning game called Kiss the Frog. (The information on the frog pattern is found in my first post here and in this post I will show you how to make the giant lips beans bags and explain how we use the to play Kiss the Frog.)
For this project you will need
Felt squares in various shades of red/pink
Pattern (download here)
Scissors, pins and coordinating thread
Step one Pin the pattern to the felt square and cut it out. You will need a top and a bottom piece for each sets of lips. It is important that the top and bottom pieces are mirror images of each other. (We had three colors – red, pink, and hot pink. We cut out three sets of each color.)
Step two Sew the two sides of the lips together using a ¼ inch seam allowance. You will leave a small gap large enough for the tip of your funnel.
Step three Insert the funnel into the gap and fill with lentils (or rice.) Leave a little room in the bean bag for the width of your pressure foot when you sew the gap closed. ( I put a pin in to hold the lentils back out of the way of my needle.)
Step four Stitch the gap closed. Go slowly so you don't strike a stray lentil with your needle. Your bean bags are finished.
It is fun to just throw the lips at the frog and keep track of your kisses (hits). But my granddaughter is five and she will be starting kindergarten in the August. I like to make opportunities for her to learn. This little bean bag toss is perfect for that. One of the ways we use the game is to work on Phonics or sight words. Here is what we do..
Set the frog up at a short distance from you. The distance depends on the age of the child. You want it far enough away to be a challenge but close enough to allow them to have some success.
We use the sight words flash cards. I show her the card and she gives me the sound of the first letter of the word (or sometimes we do the sight word.) When she answers correctly she gets a “kiss,” one of the lips bean bags. When she has all nine bean bags she can try to kiss the frog by throwing the bean bag at the frog. For each kiss or hit on the frog she gets a point (right now we are using crown stickers to keep track of the points. A set number of stickers buys a treat.)
We have also written the sight words on paper plates. We put the plates in front of and around the little frog. She has to throw the bean bag and land on the plate with the correct word. There are so many variations of this—opposites, simple math problems, numbers—whatever your child needs to work on.
We have taken it to the park for play dates. We have used it on family night for an activity.
Zare still plays just with the frog, Prince Naveen—kissing him and telling him the story of the Princess and the Frog—but she also likes to play the Kiss the Frog Bean Bag Toss.
All Zare's little play pals want one even the boys it seems. It would make a great gift idea.!
What imaginative play would your child come up with?