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12 Months of Literary Activities: The Wind in the Willows

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The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

This book, y’all.  It was one of my childhood favorites and remains so to this day.  I always wanted to live in Toad Hall.  I know, Toad is supposed to be the bully in the story, but he’s the reason I love toads.  I wanted his house.

The boys were just as enchanted as I was by the story of Rat, Mole, Badger, and all the animals of the riverside.  We were able to create a unit based on this book that brought in all kinds of interesting stuff that led to nature walks and rabbit trails aplenty.  There’s a reason The Wind in the Willows is still read by people of all ages.  It has All The Things.

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

The Wind in the Willows Activities

 

Science

So. Many. Things. To do.

Take a nature walk to a pond and watch for toads and frogs.  Supplement your walk with a very cool Learn About Frogs and Toads unit study.

Learn more about moles, badgers, and even (shudder) rats.

Do a river study. There’s a Learn About Rivers unit in my free printables, too!

Study the changing seasons.

Learn about trees.  I mean, I have a 39-page Tree Nature Study that will get you started.

History

The automobile has a rich (and longer than most think) history.  Since Toad gets arrested for stealing a car, the perfect opportunity is provided to learn more.

Art

 

Speaking of seasons, this art project is a great way for your kiddos to think about the differences in a riverside in summer and winter.  And if they’re feeling really squirrely, they could even do spring and fall.  But the tutorials are for summer and winter.

Remember, with watercolors, the more water you use the lighter the color will be.

What you need:The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

Summer Riverside

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Print out Riverside sketches
  • Set aside 1 sketch for Winter use
  • Using very little water and a small brush, paint river water ripples in dark blue
  • Using more water and light blue, paint entire river

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Using very little water and a small brush, paint oar and seats of boat with dark brown

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Outline top edges of boat with dark brown using same brush
  • Using more water to dilute dark brown and medium brush, paint in entire outside of boat

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • With medium brush, paint interior of boat light brown

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Paint roots of tree and tree details dark brown with small brush

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

 

  • Paint shadows of tree roots black

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Finish detailing trees with small brush and dark brown paint
  • Add in moss around tree roots with small brush and light green paint
  • With small brush and light brown paint, paint mud above boat and around tree roots

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • With medium brush and light green paint diluted with water, paint grass

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • With small brush and dark green paint, paint grass details
  • Use both yellow and green paint on rushes on riverbank

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • With medium brush, paint tree trunks light brown
  • Don’t worry about painting small branches, they will be covered with leaves

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

 

  • Paint pine tree dark green with medium brush
  • Paint background trees dark green with small brush

  • With angled brush, dab leaves onto paper over tops trees

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Fill in tree leaves with angled brush
  • Use medium brush and diluted light blue to paint sky

Winter Riverside

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Using very little water and a small brush, paint river water ripples in dark blue–make the shadows darker than in the summer painting
  • Dilute light blue on medium brush and paint entire river

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Outline top edges of boat with dark brown using same brush
  • Using more water to dilute dark brown and medium brush, paint in entire outside of boat
  • With medium brush, paint interior of boat light brown

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Paint tree roots and details dark brown with small brush

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Paint trunks light brown with medium brush

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Instead of light brown, paint mud above boat black
  • Add shadows in place of grass details near trees with black

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Use small brush to paint moss at tree roots and rushes yellow
  • Use a very diluted mixture of light brown and light green to paint grass with medium brush
  • Use a less dilute mixture of light brown and light green to paint background trees with small brush
  • Paint pine tree dark green with medium brush

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

With small brush, brush snow onto branches with undiluted white paint

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

  • Use medium brush to paint white over grass and add lines of snow to pine tree

The Wind in the Willows activities include science and history reading extensions and a tutorial for a summer/winter riverside art project for kids

These are pretty simple instructions, but it’s painting.  Your kids are probably going to take over and use their own creativity at some point.  Just make sure they follow the rules of the seasons.  And don’t make it a stern it-must-be-done-this-way thing, or it won’t be any fun.

If you didn’t catch last week’s activities, go check them out:

Love wins,

KT

 

 

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
Follow me!

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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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