Thursday, July 7, 2011

Magic Tree House

We discovered a new book series at the library a few months ago, The Magic Tree House. Joshua loves these books about a brother and sister who found a magic tree house that allows them to travel through time and space to visit other places.

I love these books because they have stirred a new love a reading in my kids, and have inspired so much creativity and learning. And after reading a dozen of these books aloud to the kids, I have not yet needed to edit anything on the fly (unlike some other books where kids say mean things, or have bad attitudes, or disobey their parents).

We have been reading the British version of these books (with words like "trousers" instead of pants and "rucksack" instead of back pack), but they were originally written and set in Pennsylvania.

For the last several weeks, Joshua and Abigail have turned our living room into their own version of the magic tree house. They have been traveling to the many places that were visited in the various books.

We just finished book number 11 in the series, which takes place on the African Savannah. Joshua decided they wanted to recreate the African Savannah. He pulled out all the animals we have, including giraffes, lions and zebras. Then he started on the problem of making a tree house. Below are some of the ideas he came up with. Very fun!

He took the top of our Little People Noah's Ark and started putting it on various "trees," including this lego tower, the top of his castle, table tops and more.  Joshua carefully chose his Little People avatar because he is carrying a back pack, just like Jack in the book takes on all his adventures.

The rope ladder is so prominently featured in the book, so we had to come up with a way for his little people to climb up and down. A little yarn tied just so, and some drinking straws cut just right made an amazing little ladder.

Next we had to address the problem of the books... In the book series, the tree house is full of books. They travel by choosing a place in one of the books to visit. Of coarse, we don't have any books small enough to fit in our new tree house, so we decided to make them ourselves.

A little paper, a little cutting and stapling, and some great drawing and we had our own little books. Joshua created books for each of the Magic Tree House books we have read to date. Abigail was more free in her book creations.

A rainy afternoon well spent on some crafty solutions has provided hours of fun so far, and I imagine I will awaken tomorrow morning to the sounds of "Jack and Annie" going on more adventures.

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