Leo Lionni's Frederick has always been one of my favorite books. It tells the story of a group of mice preparing for the winter, busily collecting food for the cold days ahead. But one mouse, Frederick, collects other things, like sun rays, colors, and words. The other mice tease him at first, until the darkest winter days when they realize that the things that Frederick has collected and can share with them make their world a better place.
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I've always loved Frederick because it is such as sweet and inspiring fable. Frederick is a dreamer and a poet, and though the other mice don't appreciate him at first, they come to realize that art and poetry can feed their spirits as much as food feeds their bodies. Frederick teaches us that everyone has value and worth, and that art is an important and necessary part of our world (both of which are lessons we sorely need right now). I love reading Frederick with my boys, and I hope that it helps inspire them to be anything that they want to be and to know that they are valued.
Frederick also inspired us to make our world a little more beautiful. On a very cold and snowy day (really! in April!) we decided to take a lesson from Frederick and decorate some stones for our garden - just like Frederick's colors and words decorated his world, we hope these will make our little part of the world brighter.
These kid made garden stones are so easy - here's what you need to make some for yourself.
- Copy of Frederick by Leo Lionni
- Smooth stones
- Paint Dot Markers
- Assorted markers
- Mod Podge (optional)
Start by choosing some smooth stones. Clean off any dirt and allow them to dry. Then set out an assortment of art supplies - we used dot markers and assorted Sharpie markers. After reading Frederick, invite your children to "collect the colors" like Frederick does in the book and decorate their stones. I helped mine to get started by making little flowers with the dot markers.
They loved decorating their own stones. We talked about the different colors and how they each made us feel. It was so fun!
Once they are finished, allow them to dry completely. Coat each with Mod Podge if you are planning to put them outside. We're putting ours in our garden!
All this week, our friends at Emma Owl are celebrating great children's books with fun crafts to go with them! Check out over 50 book inspired crafts for kids- there are sure to be some really fun ideas from some of our favorite bloggers! Find them all here.
Want even more book inspired fun? Check out our book activities here!
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