Where the Wild Things Are

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I love the book Where the Wild Things Are, I have since I was little.  I remember when my Kindergarten teacher read the book to the class, I also remember that I was convinced that it was a book written by her husband since both their last names were Sendak. 

To honor and remember the awesomeness that was Maurice Sendak's literary legacy, I decided yesterday's Current Issue class would be a great way to introduce some of Mr. Sendak's Wild Things to some of my Wild Things.

My "Current Issues" class- which is a current events class that usually gets passed up for coloring or random fun time on Friday, was used for a great purpose this week.

My class, along with the other kindergarten classes, spent the afternoon in Orion class for a story and a craft. 

First I read them Where the Wild Things Are, although the kids were more interested in the pictures- but they're 4 and 5 and who doesn't love awesome pictures at that age.  And really if you're going to go crazy over children's lit pictures, these are some great ones to demand to see up close (again and again).

 After the story, I had the supplies ready to make "Wild Thing" masks.  I had also made myself a Max crown in case a few of the kids wanted to make those instead.  It turns out that EVERYONE wanted to make crowns, so that's what we did. (If you want to make your own 'Wild Thing' Masks, or 'King of the Wild Thing' Crowns for your kiddos or a class full of kiddos- I've put some how-to's and a list of supplies at the bottom of this post.

I didn't expect them to be so popular so I didn't have enough yellow paper for each kid to get two sheets.  When dealing with a room of kids ages 4-6 telling them that some kids have to have white crowns instead of yellow because there isn't enough yellow paper is not an acceptable answer- so instead everyone made half yellow, half white crowns! YAY!

Even when things are equal, in Kindergarten you still get those looks, as kindly demonstrated by Allie.  I was very thankful that we had so many helping hands with the little ones. I think all the crowns turned out really great. 


Some crowns embellished. (My co-worker Anne is right, our friend Johnny always gives the best faces in pictures.)

Where some went the more traditional route (Philip is also famous for giving crazy faces).

Holly got really creative and made two crowns, the one she made out of scraps, and the much more 'abstract' crown which was the remnants taped together.

Holly and the finished product- much more Little Mermaid, then Where the Wild Things Are, but still really awesome and super creative.


Those are some hard working "Wild Things".

So THANK YOU Mr. Sendak, for having a profound impact on my childhood and the childhoods of so many.  I'm glad my own 'Wild Things' could meet you and be impacted by you, if even in a small way.  You will always be fondly remembered.  Thank you for so many wild rumpuses!


For the King of the Wild Things (Maurice Sendak 1928-2012) with Love,

How To:

"King of the Wild Things" Crowns:
What you will need:
-2 sheets of paper per child (or inner child- 3 if your inner Wild Thing has a really big head)
-glue, tape, or a stapler
-crayons or markers (optional)
-your imagination
-any embellishments you want to add to the tops of your peaks or the brim- feathers, cotton balls, faux fur would all make great additions

Now these crowns are super easy, and there is no wrong way to be a Wild Thing.  So you can go the traditional route and cut a zig zag pattern into your paper- I made my peaks intentionally uneven to look more childlike and wild. Or you can cut out triangles and glue them together to form a crown like Holly did.

Then check the fit and secure the crown with a staple, glue, or tape, and go run wild!

"Wild Thing" Masks
What you will need:
-a half a paper plate per child
-crayons or markers
-string or elastic
-scrap paper for horns, beaks, ears, hair/fur, or other Wild parts
-glue to stick on the scrap paper
-any embellishments like faux fur, yarn, cotton to make your masks even more wild.

Mark the back of the paper plate half for each child's eyes and cut out the eye holes (you may need to help with this- I've also found that triangles make for good eye shapes that are easy to cut out).  Let your kiddo go to town on decorating the front of the mask using Where the Wild Things Are for inspiration, if needed.  Once finished decorating the front and the glue is dried measure how much string or elastic is needed by having the child hold the mask up to their face and wrap the string around the back of their head.  You can either then staple the string to the inside of the mask, or punch a small hole on each side of the mask then thread the string through the whole and knot it to hold in place.  Put them on and let your wild rumpus start!

Reading the book and doing one of the crafts took my 11 4-6 year olds about 45 minutes (with the help of 5-6 adults).  ENJOY!


P.S.  While looking at my schools library for their copy of Where the Wild Things Are, I found one of THE best children's books at my school the other day The Big Orange Splot, one of my most favorite books when I was a kid!  Way to go individual creativity!!   My school is officially a lot cooler now that I know they have this book.

From Roam with Love




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