We are making owl masks and owl babies today for this month’s book box!
Last month, my friend Beth from Days with Grey introduced me to a book box. I just love them! So, I joined in on the fun and made crafts to go along with the ones we have been doing.
A book box is simply a box with a book your introducing to your child along with some items/crafts/toys that will help your child retell the story to you (kind of like props that your child can pick up to help them remember the story). Keep the box in your child’s reach so he can practice whenever he’d like!
The last one we did was Mouse Count. The counting mouse rocks and snake tube really helped my son retell Mouse Count. He sits there and flips the pages of the book one at a time and slides the numbered mouse rocks through the snake tube when he sees the snake pick up a mouse in the book.
This month, we are doing Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson (Pictured below. Amazon afflilate link provided. It doesn’t raise the price for you. It just helps my family). It’s a great book to let children know that mommy comes back from whatever she’s doing. When my kiddos were babies, they’d cry whenever I drop them off at the babysitter. I could only imagine what they were thinking, “Mommy is leaving me forever!” So, this book really is a cute way of helping with separation anxiety.
Why a Book Box?
The idea here isn’t to master story retelling. It’s to help your child practice these skills and be familiar with them for kindergarten. In kindergarten, with prompting and support, they will be asked to:
- retell a familiar story,
- answer questions about it
- and identify characters, setting and events.
So, a book box containing a familiar book and fun crafts/items/toys will make learning this skill fun! Play while learning is so important. Play is what children do best and where they feel most comfortable to try new things. So, a book box makes learning to retell a story playful!
What You Need for the Owl Babies Book Box and Craft
- Owl Babies Book
- One sheet of Light Brown/Cream Felt (get at Hobby Lobby for $0.79)
- One sheet of Dark Brown Felt (get at Hobby Lobby for $0.79)
- White Craft Fur (2×30 inches – get at Hobby Lobby for $2.99)
- Black card stock (get at Hobby Lobby for $0.25)
- Hot Glue and Glue Gun
- Clothes Pins
- Hole Punch
- Branch/Twig (that you find outside)
- Owl Baby and Owl Mask Template (free download in my shop)
- box (I use a big Ziploc food storage container for our book box)
(Amazon affiliate links, unless otherwise noted. It doesn’t raise the price for you; it just helps my family)
How to Make the Owl Mask
- Print the Owl Baby and Owl Mask Template.
- Cut out the shapes.
- Trace the owl mask on the light brown/cream colored felt using a pencil. You can make two masks if you have more than one kiddo or if you want to wear one too! If making two, trace two.
- Cut the mask out using scissors.
- Next, trace the eye template onto the brown felt (2 per mask). Cut those out.
- Trace the beak template on the dark brown felt and cut that out (one per mask).
- Now, you have all of the shapes cut out for the mask.
- Using your hot glue gun, glue the dark brown circles and beak onto the owl mask.
- Next, fold the eye area in half and cut a line with your scissors. Before cutting the line, you can hold the mask up to your kiddos face and gauge where your child’s eye is with your finger. Keep you finger on that spot, put the scissors on that spot and then cut the the line. Don’t mind my yogurt stained, crumb-filled table (you know, #momlife).
- Then, cut a smaller circle out of the brown circle on the mask (cut it big enough for your kiddo to see out of).
- Repeat step 10 for the other brown circle.
- Next, unravel the craft fur.
- Hold one end of the craft fur and one end of the mask together.
- Hold the mask up to your child’s face and wrap the craft fur behind your child’s head to the other side of the mask. You’re trying to get a measurement of your kiddo’s head to be able to wear the mask. Like my son below:
- Cut the craft fur a little shorter than the measurement. So, it’s snug.
- Next, cut the measured craft fur in half lengthwise (if you’re making 2 masks). Then, you will have two 1-inch bands.
- Glue the ends of the measured craft fur to the ends of the back side of the mask. Your mask is now complete!
**as you can see the craft fur sheds. You can substitute it with white ribbon and use the craft fur for only the owl babies.
How to Make Owl Babies
- Using the owl baby template, cut out 3 owl babies out of the remaining craft fur.
- Next, cut out 3 little triangles from the corners of the dark brown felt for their beaks.
- Hot glue on one triangle to one owl baby. Repeat until all 3 have beaks.
- Next, hole punch 6 holes into the black cardstock. Take the circles out of the paper chip holder.
- Glue two black circles onto the owl babies as eyes. Here is a close up of the owl babies, so you can see how I laid it all out:
- Next, put hot glue onto a clothes pin.
- Put the back of one owl baby onto the clothes pin. This is so you can put them on a branch when reading the Owl Babies book:
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other two owl babies. Your owl babies are complete!
Read Owl Babies with Completed Crafts
Wear the masks while reading owl babies. Pretend you are Mommy Owl. Whatever the owl babies do in the book have the craft owl babies do too! There comes a point in the story where the baby owls sit on a branch. Simply use the clothes pin to have them “sit” on a branch you found outside. Repeat the story a couple times. And then have your child try to retell it.
My friend Beth at Days with Grey, has a little home for the owls you can make out of an recycled egg carton and a cute paper bag owl puppet too! Go check it out! I love how she keeps it simple and your preschooler can glue the feathers on the puppet! See her book box below:
Please note, I am not a credentialed teacher. This is simply what we do at home. Please use what works for you and to help supplement your child’s learning.