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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Fun Crafts Projects To Match Favorite Early Elementary Books

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Looking for some creative educational activities to occupy young children on stormy days? To have some genuine parent/child fun together, simply look to books. The following are favorites of kindergarten and 1st grade students everywhere!

Start with The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle or The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. These books are readily available at your local library.

Together read The Very Busy Spider. Then have fun with this activity.

You will need:

  • Glue
  • An 8”x 11” piece of black construction paper
  • A piece of chalk, or white crayon
  • Dry spaghetti or straws
  • Yarn or string
  • Small pieces of red and green construction paper (2”x 2”) plus extra small scraps of black construction paper



  1. Draw a spider’s web outline, in chalk or white crayon, on the black paper for your child.
  2. Have him glue spaghetti or straws to fit on the white lines radiating from the center of the web.
  3. Then have him glue circles of yarn or string over the radial lines to complete the web.
  4. Make the spider by gluing a small green circle to an oval red shape and add eight legs from the construction paper scraps, four on each side. It should look like the spider on the cover of the book. Glue the spider to a spot on the web.

Together read The Rainbow Fish. For a Rainbow Fish craft activity, you will need:

  • 8” x 11” blue construction paper and a small scrap of yellow construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Foil
  • Different colored tissue paper
  • Black marker



  1. Draw one large fish shape on the blue construction paper for your child.  Have her cut out the fish.
  2. Cut some foil and tissue paper circles for her, a little bit larger than a quarter.
  3. Have her layer and glue the foil and colored tissue onto the blue fish shape, overlapping like scales.
  4. With the marker, have her draw an eye. Cut the yellow construction paper to shape the fish’s mouth, just like the picture on the cover of the book.

Hang these finished drawings in your child’s room, to be proudly displayed. Reading the books gives the craft a purpose, and creating the craft provides a tactile aid in helping a child remember details from the story. 


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