Reading a Roald Dahl book is always a good idea!
Luckily (especially for right now) there are a lot of Roald Dahl books to choose from, not to mention the movie adaptations! So if you are using lockdown to rediscover, or introduce the kids to this truly splendid and beloved author, why not create some crafts and explore some activities to further explore his stories.
Roald Dahl first started to become well known in the 1940s, over the next fifty years he went on to write some of the most recognisable literature of our time, including; Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach and The BFG. Less widely known is Roald Dahl's writing for adults and young adults, but it is equally enthralling- however if you think some of his themes for kids are a little dark, perhaps approach with caution as his imagination really knew no bounds!
Something really brilliant about the characters Roald Dahl brought to life, is his wonderful way of creating somewhat unlikely heroes. Ever an advocate for the underdog, Roald Dahl wrote stories from the perspective of orphans, kids from poor backgrounds, those in really quite terrible situations- and he made sure they come out on top, with a wonderful adventurous tale to tell! Bravery, self-reliance, adventure and family are all strong themes in Roald Dahl's work, not to mention valuing intelligence and inventiveness, which is why these books have stood the test of time and continue to be read again and again, by children and adults alike! Take a look below for 7 phiz-whizzing Roald Dahl themed crafts and activities to do together.
1.James and the Giant Peach (1961)
This is such a simple recipe, but what better way to really immerse yourself in James' amazing experience than by having a lovely glass of peach juice! You will need about a peach and a half per person, all you need to do is peel the peaches and pop them in the blender- or you can chop them up and squeeze through a sieve. Loosen the mixture up with a little bit of water (or lemonade!), chill or add ice and enjoy!
2.Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
Chocolate playdough is a great way to get the kids involved with some of that Willy Wonka creativity. This recipe smells incredible and you can make multiple flavours just by adding a few extra ingredients. Peppermint oil for some minty pretend treads along with mint green paint power or food colouring, and vanilla essence makes a great cake-y smell too! For the chocolate playdough, you simply add a few scoops of cocoa powder and a little extra water to your usual playdough recipe. You could set up a few different 'flavours' of play dough, along with various add-in's such as glitter, buttons, pipe cleaners and lolly sticks- let your little confectioners go wild and recreate some of the weird and wonderful sweets from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
3.Fantastic Mr Fox (1968)
Make this cute little paper fox as your homage to the Fantastic Fox himself, once the kids have had a bit of practise they could make the whole family! Draw on their little outfits in felt-tip to add some Wes Anderson flair to your origami fox (and check out the movie!).
4.George's Marvellous Medicine (1981)
Time to get messy! If you are lucky enough to have outdoor space, this is a great activity to set up in the garden with lots of natural materials, if not you can easily recreate indoors. Using a washing up tub, large Tupperware or similar, set up a space where the kids can mix up their own marvellous medicine. For outdoors, think mud kitchen style, use lots of soil mixed with water, fill up some squeezy bottles with water and a little food dye- then add some texture like grass, flowers and twigs. If you are feeling brave you could get scientific with some baking powder and vinegar for some fun fizzing too! For an indoor concoction, you could let your child stand at the sink, or protect your surfaces and place a tub on the side. Using different containers and a bottle full of coloured water, the kids could add bubble bath, glitter (eco-friendly, especially if its getting tipped down the sink at the end!), any leaves and flowers you may have collected on a walk, and really anything non-toxic you have available that they can mix up. Adding cornflour to anything like this creates a weird a fun texture too!
5.The BFG (1982)
“Dreams,” he said, “Is very mysterious things. They is floating around in the air like little wispy-misty bubbles."
Making dream jars together is a great way to talk to your kids about their own dreams, what they might mean and how they see their dreams- what colours would they be, are they magical and mysterious or bright and bold? These are fun and creative to make, and the end result is a beautiful sensory item. Also known as 'nebula jars' there are lots of tutorials out there, we liked this super simple and easy-to-follow video. You will need; a few different water and gel food colouring mixes, glitter and cotton wool balls- and a jar! If making these with little kids its a good idea to secure the lid with glue at the end, don't forget to label them just like the BFG does too!
6.The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (1985)
"To the Pelican I gave a big bag of Pishlets. Pishlets, as you probably know, are bought by children who are unable to whistle a tune as they walk along the street but long to do so. They had a splendid effect upon the Pelican, for after he had put one of them into his beak and chewed it for a while, he suddenly started singing like a nightingale. This made him wildly excited because Pelicans are not song-birds"
This delicious and super easy recipe is straight out of 'Roald Dahl's Even More Revolting Recipes'.
To make Pishlets, you will need:
A shallow roasting tin
150g demerara sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g dried cherries
1. Grease the shallow roasting tin.
2. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4
3. Melt the butter, demerara sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan over low heat.
4. While they are melting, peel the apple and pear and chop them into bite-size chunks.
5. Add the oats, raisins, dried cherries, apple, and pear to the saucepan and mix well.
6. Spoon into the roasting tin and spread evenly.
7. Place in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes until golden on top.
8. Let it cool down and then cut into squares.
What better way to celebrate Roald Dahl's whip-smart bookworm than with some lovely bookmarks. Hopefully, this might encourage some extra reading, or at least save some pages from getting folded down! All you need is some thin cardboard, and whatever craft materials you can find at home. You could create collages with tissue paper or cut-outs from magazines, cover in white paper and paint with watercolours, or if you happen to have a collection of washi tapes, this is a great way to create stripes and patterns! If you have some ribbon or embroidery thread, you could use a hole punch in the top of the bookmark and thread this through to make a tassel, add beads to make it stand out even more!
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Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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