I was recently sent the book Ayn? (Where? in Arabic) by Aya Khairy and Rania El Turk, from Maktabatee.
This little board book follows the story of a boy that discovers a ladybug on a head of lettuce his mom has brought home from the grocery story. He delicately lifts it to carry but it flies away. But where is it? Kids can lift the flaps of the next few pages to look for the ladybug, who seems to be closer than you think.
I took this book to a recent storytelling session and it was a huge hit. The kids loved taking turns lifting the flap and looking for the ladybug. I loved that the book was wordless so I could improvise Arabic words into the story, such as خس (khus) for lettuce, هرة (hirrah) for cat or دعسوقة (daesuqat) or sometimes أم علي (umm ali) for ladybug.
For my next storytelling session, I thought it might be fun to hide a few ladybugs around the library and have the kids look for them.
These only took a few minutes to make but you’ll need two days for the clay to dry. You can use regular clay and fire them in a kiln, or use air dry clay like we did.
We started by carefully opening the clay so we can cut off a slice.
As soon as we were done, we put away the clay in an air tight container, to make sure it stays moist.
To get the clay ready, we spent a few minutes conditioning it. This means we rubbed it between our fingers and hands to get it soft.
After about five minutes, we divided it up into three balls and spent some time making them round.
We picked the smoothest side to each ball and flatten the other side of it so the best side showed. Then my daughter placed it in her hand and used the bone folder to make an incision about a third of the way across. This will become the head.
Once the head is done, she placed the bone folder in the mid point and made another incision across. This creates the wings.
Once the body is done, it was time to start working on the face. My daughter took apart a ballpoint pen to use the main part for the eyes.
She then used the ink well to make the mouth.
You can choose to add antennas, or leave out the next step. If you do decide to make them, you’ll need wire cutters and needle nose pliers to cut and shape them.
Once made, place them over the eyes in the ladybug.
We waited 24 hours for our clay to dry, then my daughter painted the body.
Once the wings had dried, she painted the face black.
She added pupils for the eyes and gave one of the three ladybugs lipstick.
The final step is to use the back of the ballpoint pen for the black spots.
You can leave your ladybug as is, or you can add a magnet with E6000. Earlier, we also added a hole in two of the ladybugs so we can add a wire to the bottom of them. We placed a tiny bit of E6000 to hold the wire.
Now our ladybugs are ready to hide. One in the corner of our magnet board in the front of the library kid’s area and the other two in the planters. Waiting to be found.
Be sure to check out the book Where from Maktabatee or ask for it a your local bookstore, library or Amazon.
Stop by these other book reviews that also include a fun craft tutorial.
Please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to learn more about the Arab world.