— J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
When we read a book aloud to the kids, the story becomes part of our daily lives. We love to incorporate what we are reading about into our activities, meals, art and playtime. I’d like to keep track of the books here, but I will have to back track and cover some of the favorites from the past year. Hopefully you’ll find a few ideas and some inspiration to enjoy literature!
Peter Pan has been by far my favorite book that we’ve read aloud to the kids. The story captured their thoughts and activities for months. They played pirates, they pretended they could fly, they drew mermaids and indians, and somehow seemed to realize how beautiful it is to be a child. The enchanting tale has all the ingredients for a delicious narrative- a witty hero, an endearing caretaker, a despicable villain, and a plot full of adventure and delight. The book is so beautifully written I struggled to choose one quote!
Jeremiah drew this picture. That’s Peter Pan on the left, the tree trunk house in the middle (with the bear skin rug for Peter’s door) and the lost boys on the right.
We pretended to eat a big feast, just like the Lost Boys do.
We made Peter Pan hats and daggers out of felt. You can see the hat here, but not too well. (Just felt, scissors and a hot glue gun!)
We bought Peter Pan peanut butter.
We found England on the map.
We learned where the name “Wendy” came from.
We played this game–
We researched J.M. Barrie and learned the background of the story.
We learned the meaning of the words “lagoon,” “mortal,” “cod fish,” “sinister” and many more
We had six chapters left when the kids came down with a stomach bug and we had to spend a Saturday indoors. My husband challenged them to a reading marathon and told them they could watch the movie when we finished the book. Grant it, they were not feeling well, but those kids sat through the last six chapters of the book in one day! We celebrated with a gameshow-style quiz complete with trick questions, suspense, “lifelines” and lots of cheering.
We discussed many things from the book with the kids, especially the desire to never grow up. What started with the question of why Peter didn’t want to grow up developed into a discussion about responsibility, maturity, and enjoying the seasons of life. And I think the kids learned, like Wendy, that “never is an awfully long time!”
I came across this post about the importance of reading the classics to children and love the second quote in italics by Michael Clay Thompson, where he uses Peter Pan vocabulary as an example.
I have a feeling we will pull this one off the shelf again when August is old enough to sit and listen!