I think our book club members are all pretty much in agreement that a book featuring a smart, brave, independent princess is the kind of book we want all of our kids (boys and girls) to read. In Robert Munsch’s book, The Paper Bag Princess, the princess saves the prince from a fire breathing dragon using her wit and wearing a paper bag. When the prince ungratefully complains about her appearance rather than thank her for saving him, she dumps him, turning the fairy-tale, happily-ever-after ending on its head.
We dressed up like paper bag princes and princesses at our book club meeting. To make the paper bag “wearable,” we flipped it upside down, cut a large opening at the top for the head and then just estimated where the arm holes should be cut for each child. (This wasn’t an exact science!) We put out a variety of art supplies for the kids (stickers, construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors, pom poms, glue) and let them decorate a paper bag however they pleased. After completion, the kids did a little (un-)fashion show of sorts as we tried to get a picture (you’d think we would have learned by now that group photos are almost always a futile effort from the get go)!
Since the dragon is a part of this story, we adapted this adorable dragon snack from Almost Unschoolers. The only change we made to the directions on THIS site, were that we used string cheese (cut into small round pieces) instead of the marshmallows for the eyes. We also added a long piece of string cheese as a tongue (my 4-year old’s suggestion) to each dragon. After comparing the different types of pears we all brought for this activity, we felt that the “bosc” pear shape, most resembled the shape of a dragon’s head (based on our vast experience with dragons, of course!).
The Paper Bag Princess is a great “feminist fairy-tale” and the activity and snack were pulled together from supplies we, essentially, had on hand, so would work well to entertain kiddos on the spur of the moment.
This is one of our last book club meetings in our current format. We’ll have one or two more meetings like this and then will be adapting to better meet the needs of our growing children (many of whom are no longer “babies and toddlers”). Check back to our blog soon for more details. We’ll also be initiating a new crop of “babies” into the book club world and will follow them as they grow with a whole new set of books and activities. More information to follow!