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Story Time: Miss Rumphius


Story Time: Miss Rumphius has crafts, printables and other activities to enhance the picture book

Listen. If you’ve never read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, rush out right now and get a copy and read it with your littles. Seriously, I tear up every time I read it. Make the world more beautiful. That’s what Miss Rumphius does, and that is the lesson here. Leave the world a more beautiful place than it was when you came into it.

Yeah yeah. That.

But this book also celebrates having a life plan, learning through travel, and planting seeds. Not just seeds in the ground, but seeds of ideas. Since this is the season for planting, I thought it would be a good time to have some fun with Miss Rumphius and your littles.

Story Time: Miss Rumphius - Crafts and activities to go with the picute book

Miss Rumphius Activities


In this story, children’s elders tell them tales of the past.  I think it provides a wonderful opportunity for your little to interview a grandparent or other older family member and hear about the things they have done and the history they have lived through.  Have your child come up with a list of questions, conduct the interview, then write a short essay incorporating the answers.  You never know, you might discover a budding journalist.

A simpler activity would be to have your little create a list of ways he or she could make the world a better place.  Planting flowers and trees is a good start. But maybe your little has some really cool way of making the world beautiful that we never considered.

Here’s a free How I Would Make the World More Beautiful download with a space to make a list and a couple of pages on which to write an essay about the list.


Grow lupines for a science project to go with Story Time: Miss Rumphius

The very best science project you can do with your littles for this book is, of course, to grow some lupine seeds.  If, for some reason, you can’t get your hands on lupines, find another flower seed.  The point is in the growing.  Get a small pot to put in the classroom or kitchen window, and plant some of your seeds in it.  That way your little can see every day how her lupine is growing.  Go to my  Free Printables and pick up a copy of the plant diary download or the garden planning pages so she can keep track of her lupines.  If you really want to make this fun, combine your science with your craft and make your seed pot pretty before you ever plant anything in it.



Lupines on a Terra Cotta Pot


What you need:

What you do:


  • With the tip of a Q-tip, paint stems onto your pot.  We chose to do a bouquet of 3 lupines; you can do as many as you want.  Make sure the stems are long because they form the base for your flowers


  • Using a different Q-tip for each color, dip the tip into the paint and dab it onto the pot, making circular ‘flower petals’ along each stem.
  • Allow to dry.


  • While flowers are drying, add leaves to the bottoms of the stems.


  • Once dry, add new ‘petals’ to the flowers, putting them in slightly different places than the original petals.


  • Allow to dry.
  • Clear coat if you want–it will make it last longer, especially if you intend to use your pot outside.


This book practically screams for a tea party.  Or maybe it’s just that I’m on a bit of a tea party kick this week.

Throw a tea party for Story Time: Miss Rumphius

A flowery tea is perfect to celebrate Miss Rumphius, and Chamomile would work quite well (plus, it’s Littlest’s favorite).

Bake some sugar cookies to go with your tea and decorate them much the way you did your terra cotta pot.  Only use icing, not paint.  Because Ewwww.

Also, make Seed Cakes

Because seeds.  And Bilbo.  Which has nothing to do with this book, but is one of the best books of all time and that makes anything in it cool.  Way cool.  Cool to the Nth degree.

Make this yummy Seed Cake for a tea party from Story Time: Miss Rumphius

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Grease and flour a bread pan
  • Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl (don’t skip the sifting–that’s the fun part)
  • In a mixer, cream butter and sugar
  • Mix caraway seeds into sugar mixture
  • Add egg to sugar mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Add flour and milk, mixing well
  • Pour into bread pan
  • Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What an absolutely fun tea party to go with a fabulous book!  What are you waiting for? Go enjoy it.  On a blanket outside.  Because it’s nice out today.

Love wins,



KT Brison
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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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  1. Your link for the freebie printable is not working. I’ve looked everywhere on your website for a way around that broken link but it must have been part of some pages that you may have taken down. Is there anyway that I can get that printable?

  2. I’m so embarrassed to say I’ve never read this book! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday this week! I love the free download on how to make the world a more beautiful place. You particularly turned on the funny in your eating section! 🙂
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #145My Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Tina, you’ve got me grinning ear-to-ear this morning. Check out the book–it’s really beautiful!

  3. So many wonderful ideas to expand on an awesome book! Thank you so much for stopping by the Learn & Play Link up! This post is featured on Christian Montessori Network this week.

  4. Love the plant pot. Sounds like a lovely book.
    Thanks for sharing with #LetKidsBeKids
    Let kids be kids recently posted…Gymnastics dilemmaMy Profile

  5. What a fun unit study! This is such a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels recently posted…Christian Heroes – C.S. Lewis (YWAM Publishing Review)My Profile

  6. This would be a great Mother’s day gift. Looks like a great book as well.
    Charlene Asay recently posted…Egg Plant ParmesanMy Profile

  7. You’ve put together a lot of fun projects! I love this book. My kids like it too, as far as I know, but so far I like it better. 🙂 It’s especially fun for us because we get wild lupines growing on our back slope every summer. Thanks for your work on this post!
    Linnae recently posted…20 Scrumptious Books about Cake!My Profile

  8. I have never read this book but can’t wait to take my littlest guy to the library! What great ideas you have. Thank You so much for sharing at Family Joy Blog Link Up!!
    Laura recently posted…Family Joy Blog Link Up #14!My Profile

  9. Lupines are one of my favorite forest flower. I remember planting many when we lived deep in the woods! We will be picking up some terra cotta pots; a great idea for decorating them. All my children will enjoy painting and planting their own pots!
    Heather recently posted…What to Read Now? Sweet and Gentle Easy ReadersMy Profile

  10. Thanks for the book suggestion! I just placed it on hold at our library. I can’t wait to read it!

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