If back-to-school is a little less "most wonderful time of the year" and more "blood, sweat, and tears", read on to find five crafting ideas from our DLY archive for your little to not-so-little ones.
Practice reading with Story Stones
With some dollar-store acrylic paints, brushes, and a bag of smooth stones (or find these for free, up to you!), paint a few characters, actions, places, and themes from your child's favourite story or youth play. They can use the story stones to help follow along with the plot, and continue playacting long after the book is closed. If you have a really little one, let them go nuts with the paint, and then draw or write the key word with a sharpie on top of their artwork.
Tell books apart with colour-it-yourself bookplates
Teach your kids about parts of speech and possessions with these printable bookplates they can colour themselves (and practice their printing, too). You could print them on self-adhesive paper to avoid gluesticks entirely (you're welcome).
Pack a literary lunch with book-inspired snacks
We looked to some of our fave middle-grade and YA kids' series and came up with accompanying snacks inspired by the themes and characters that would be a welcome alternative to PB&J – whether these "spooky" veggie sticks and hummus inspired by The Dead Kid Detective Agency series, or vegan-kid-friendly pasta or sandwiches.
Keep track of the school-year's reading with ALU Reading Buddies
We designed the All Lit Up reading buddy (a printable bookmark with space to jot down your feels about any book you're reading) to keep track of our own literary exploits: sometimes plots and characters can bleed from one book to the next, and through reviewing collected reading buddies, we keep everything where it belongs. Reading buddies would be great for Junior or High school students looking to keep track of their English homework – one could even do a new bookmark every chapter to keep the key themes and characters straight.
Show the year's reading progress with bullet journal book layouts
For the uninitiated, bullet journaling is an analog way to keep track of anything you need to in your life (and an excuse to buy a million stationary items). We keep it simple with these two layouts for keeping track of what you've read in the year: an artsy bookshelf-style one, and a rigorous, analytical "spreadsheet" for those number-crunchers out there. These would be great for a crafty high school or University student.
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Happy back to school, everyone! Let us know what you're crafting to beat the classroom blues in the comments below, and check out more literature-inspired DIYs here.