KidsSoup is thrilled to have Laura Coyne share her favorite Pete the Cat back to school activities and craft.
When you are getting ready to start your new school year, Pete the Cat will help you on your way! There are so many ways to incorporate Pete and all of the stories that go along with him. Begin with Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes. These books have a way of getting kids excited about coming to school.
Make sure to get at least two copies of the books. I started by checking out three copies of each to have in my class book nook. My students like these books so much--multiple copies cuts down on arguments. I was lucky enough to get my own copies of the books in sets of four last year, so now I know we will have plenty. Set out two copies of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes in the listening center. The books have a tune to them and this is the draw for kids. Children love hearing Eric Litwin read the story. Once you hear it, you too will have to read the story his way or your class will tell you that you are doing “it” wrong! My students request reading these two books all the time, so I begin by first reading it to them myself, and then by letting them hear the book read by Eric Litwin on YouTube.
Each time you read the book again, leave out parts. The class will fill in the songs and missing words very quickly. Your class will enjoy “reading” time where they can look at books with a friend. This part of the day must include multiple copies of the book or it gets ugly!
There are many activities to do with these books.
Shoe Hunt Color Game
After the first week of school, begin with a colored shoe hunt.
You will need:
Printables of high top shoes (members only) printed on card stock. Write a color word on each shoe. Let children color the shoes with the matching shoe color. (Variation print out our Shoe Colors printables.)
2 clipboards with a marker attached on a string so that it stays with the clipboard.
“Shoes Colors Hunt” printable attached to the clipboard.
Give each child a clipboard with a Shoe Colors Hunt
printable. (Hunting for shoes with a partner is usually more fun, but the activity can be for one child too.) Have students go and search the large colored shoes that you have placed around the room in sneaky hidden places. It is fun to watch the kids searching for the colors and trying to color in all of their shoes on the Shoe Colors Hunt chart. You can also have a cup of the colored markers of the shoe colors hidden around the room. It makes it more challenging to watch as they are looking for a specific color too!
Pete the Cat Doll
Many different stores now have the Pete the Cat Doll
and it is awesome to add to the class as you read the Pete books. Use him like the popular “Elf on the Shelf.” After a week of reading the book in class, bring the doll in and hide him up high somewhere in the classroom. Then wait. It doesn’t take long for a child to notice him. Often, we leave a secret note with Pete’s cat paw signature that lets our students know that he is watching to see if everyone in the room is following school rules. Make sure to move him each night! It adds to the fun! Pete left us “Pete” necklaces (after each student masters color recognition at their own level, they receive a necklace to wear and take home). Use craft foam or fun foam and lanyard lacing to make the necklaces (the necklace will last longer and your students may want to wear it day after day).
Pete the Cat Craft and Color Graph
After you get your first week underway, you can make your own “Pete the Cat Snack” and then a “Pete the Cat” craft out of construction paper. Begin with the snack so that you can then make a graph with your class.
To make the shoes:
1. Cut out red, blue, brown, and white circles.
2. Cut short one-inch lines (for the shoe laces).
3. Place glue sticks out for your students.
As you serve the strawberries, blueberries, mud (pudding), and water, encourage and foster conversation about Pete and what he stepped in. Then, hand them their favorite color paper (that represents the snack) and a glue stick to add the strings. Children can come up and hang their shoe next to their favorite snack or favorite color!
Pete the Cat Craft
Fold a sheet of blue paper in half and have child cut on the two blue lines.
You will end up with two blue heads and tails. Let children assemble the cat as shown in picture. Add the extra heads and tails to a bowl on the table for kids who cannot cut as well. Allow children to select shoes and parts to make their own “Pete the Cat.”
Submitted by Laura Coyne. Visit her blog: coynescrazyfunclassroom.blogspot.com. Laura is an early childhood educator with 18 years of teaching experience. She is an artist and an educational consultant.