Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl? Just because my girls can’t read, doesn’t mean they can’t celebrate Roald Dahl Day.
As part of my education degree, I remember sitting in a seminar discussing children’s literature and being told that regardless of Roald Dahl popularity, his characters were pretty two dimensional. They lacked depth and could be characterised at either bad or good. At the time, I didn’t question this. Thinking about it now though, I have to disagree. One of the incredible talents Dahl had was to make his book accessible for even the youngest readers or listeners but also include enough substance to engage and challenge older readers.
So as we approach the annual Roald Dahl Day on the 13th of September, I decided to choose a few activities to do with my almost three year old girls to mark the day. Even though they are far too young to have read or even listened to his stories, I knew I’d be able excite them with my own oral retelling of some of my favourites. I also dived onto YouTube to find some short clips they would enjoy watching and I’ve linked these below.
1) BFG: Dream Jars
After looking at the front cover, I told them about The BFG and explained that he was a dream catching giant. We then watched this dream catching clip which they loved. Afterwards I gave them a jar each to fill with a selection of shiny bits found in my craft stash. This included glitter, sequins, sparkly pom-poms and small metallic buttons. Finally we filled the jars with water, screwed on the lids and had fun shaking our dreams.
2) Fantastic Mr Fox: Paper Plates
Firstly, to introduce Mr Fox, I read the second chapter to them. It’s very short and has lots of illustrations. Looking for inspiration, I searched on Pinterest and found this great tutorial from artsycraftsymom. My girls enjoyed painting their plates orange and helping to construct Mr Fox. When they were dry, I did have to cut out all the bits but I did this with them and they then glued them in place.
3) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Chocolate Making
I saved this activity until last. Again we looked at the front cover and I told them all about Charlie and Willy Wonka. We read the start of chapter 5, when the golden tickets are announced and then watched this pure imagination clip. I asked the girls if they’d like to make some of their own chocolate like Willy Wonka. Unsuprisingly, they couldn’t wait. I used Candymelts which I had left over but this would work just as well with regular chocolate. As I didn’t want to make too much, I just added a handful of the buttons in different colours into small sandwich bags. Tipping them into a corner, I placed them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes to melt. We added a few sprinkles into the moulds. I then snipped a tiny corner and the girls squeezed the melted chocolate on top.
We managed to do all three of these activities in one afternoon but I was prepped and had everything I needed ready to go. Although they’d probably say the chocolate making was their favourite, I think they actually really enjoyed the dream jars. It was amazing how much they remembered about the three stories seeing as we only spent about 20 minutes talking about each.
I’d love to hear if you are doing anything to celebrate Roald Dahl Day with your littlies. Which of these activities is your favourite?