Activities

At Grasshopper Books, our aim is to be active in real life (IRL) and not just interactive on screens (URL). Of course, with e-books being our platform at this stage, we fully recognize the way of the future, yet we still want to give our readers experiences they can remember and cherish forever. Something as simple as following a baking recipe in the kitchen with a loved one or doing a craft activity on a rainy, Sunday afternoon, or even simply just talking about the story after reading. We love books with activities linked with the story and this is a goal we would like to have with most of our books. Before you begin any activity, it’s always best to ask for help from an adult, first! Now let’s leap into an activity!

FUN THINGS TO DO

Activities inspired by Philippe and The Marshmallow & Candy Floss Clouds

TALK ABOUT FUN FACTS

What is a cloud? How is one formed? 

A cloud is a bunch of very tiny water droplets or crystals of ice gathered together. The droplets are so small and light that they can float in the air. There are many different types of clouds within three main groups: Stratus (low clouds), Alto (middle clouds), and Cirrus (high clouds). Some of the most common types of clouds we see in the sky are called Cumulus clouds and are usually puffy and white and can be seen in fairly good weather. In the story, Philippe’s teacher is named Mrs. Scud, and Scud is a name for a type of cloud. Scud clouds are spotty clouds that are surrounded by gathering storm winds. Though they are usually seen when a storm is about to start, they do not create the storms. 

Clouds Grey Sky Heavenly Heaven
ArtisticOperations / Pixabay

What is a rainbow? How is one formed? 

A rainbow is a large band of colorful stripes in the form of an arch or curve that shine brightly by reflecting the sun’s light. After it rains, when the sun comes out, the bright rays of the sun shine through the water droplets, causing us to see red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple colors in the sky. Rainbows are actually fully circular in shape, however this is rare to see and usually only half of the circle is seen. This natural weather occurrence happens sometimes after rainfall and is a very beautiful sight to see. 

Did you know?

Fun Fact: There are clouds that actually look like marshmallows or even bubbles. These types of clouds are called Mammatus clouds. They are sometimes seen when a big thunderstorm is on its way. Fascinating stuff!

Make Your Own Marshmallow Snow People

Okay, okay. So we know spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner, but we love marshmallows and we also love making snow people, so… why not combine two of our favorite things!

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Marshmallow-Snowman. Made with paper and bottle top hats, carrot noses, twig branch arms and most importantly… love. “How do you do?” they say to you.
Photo by Grasshopper Books

Play Shopping List Activity

See how many fruits and vegetables you can identify. Print this page for a fun coloring in activity.

Image coming soon.

DIY Rainy/Any Day Project

Make Your Own In/Outdoor “Hot Air” Balloon

In the story, Philippe could not go out and play because of the thunderstorm. If you have to stay indoors like Philippe did, you can try this neat rainy or any day project at home.

Okay, so we actually did two versions of our homemade “hot air balloon”. In both versions, we started by making our balloon passengers out of felt material. If you don’t have felt, you can always make paper doll passengers, too. This part was easy, as we just drew an outline of the people, their clothes and hats and then cut them out and glued them on. In this version, we cut some corrugated cardboard into a basket shape and attached ribbon and fishing line to the corners using tape.
Photo by Grasshopper Books

You will need:

1. 1-2 Adults (the more, the merrier) 

2. 1 Helium filled Balloon (Adult supervision required; see Note)

3. Felt material or colored construction paper (for doll passengers)

3. Corrugated cardboard or construction paper (for balloon basket)

4. Four (4) light weight ribbons or strings (thread or fishing line) of equal length (Adult supervision required)

5. Scissors (Adult supervision required)

6. Tape (regular, lightweight tape; Adult supervision required for sharp edge of tape dispenser)

7. PVA Glue

8. Hole Puncher (Adult supervision required)

9. Felt Marker (optional)

Note: Helium is a gas that is lighter than air, which makes a balloon float when it is filled with it. Helium filled balloons will last a bit longer in the air, however if you don’t have a helium filled balloon, you can use a regular balloon. Please see tips under Alternative Method below. 

After making our felt passengers, we then made an Origami paper box to serve as the “hot air balloon” basket. 

Once you have your paper box set up, you can now affix the strings or ribbons to it. Using your hole puncher, place a hole in all four corners of the box. Insert the ribbon or string into the hole and tie it. Do this for all four corners of the box/basket. 

Now you can tape the ribbons to both sides of the balloon. It should look like a “hot air balloon” and still be light enough to float on its own for at least a couple of days, depending on the quality and condition of your helium balloon. You can decorate the paper basket or write a sign on the balloon using a felt marker. 

This is when our first helium filled balloon started to take off!
Photo by Grasshopper Books

And by take off, we mean it really took off. Unfortunately, it floated up and got away from us! If you look closely, you can see it up in the clouds. You could say our project worked a little too well!
Photo by Grasshopper Books

But, at Grasshopper Books, we’re pretty persistent. So, we made a new balloon, with new felt people… only this time, we attached a fishing line to it so it wouldn’t float away!
Photo by Grasshopper Books

Alternative Method

To make your “hot air balloon” appear to fly, you can use a regular or helium quality balloon and suspend or hang it from the ceiling. 

So we came up with a different method to be able to display it indoors. This was our balloon with the coin/button inside and the fishing line tied around it.
Photo by Grasshopper Books

You will need:

Items we used.
Photo by Grasshopper Books.


1. 1-2 Adults (the more, the merrier)

2. Fishing line or strong, clear sewing thread (Adult supervision required)

3. Balloons (Helium quality or regular)

4. Round, smooth buttons or coins (small parts; Adult supervision required)

5. Scissors (item not pictured; Adult supervision required)

6. Four (4) lightweight ribbons or strings (thread or fishing line of equal length (Adult supervision required)

Steps:

Step 1. Place button/coin inside balloon, working it upwards to the top end of the balloon.

Step 2. Tie the fishing line or thread loosely around the button/coin, making sure it still holds the object in place. Leave enough string so that you will be able to hang it onto the ceiling to display.  

Step 3. Slowly blow into balloon to blow it up, being careful to enlarge it without it popping. 

Step 4. Attach your ribbons to the cardboard balloon basket.

Step 5. Tie your ribbons to the base of the balloon.

Step 6. Take the remainder of the string attached to the balloon and tape, hang, tie or tack up to the ceiling (see image below). This is where you can get creative and find a good spot in a room to display your hot air balloon. 

We then taped the ribbons to each corner of the paper basket.
Photo by Grasshopper Books
Finally, we taped our felt paper dolls to the back of the paper basket.
Photo by Grasshopper Books
This is our balloon attached to the ceiling with some blue tack.
Photo by Grasshopper Books


So, your finished project should look something like this. We tied our ribbons to the base of the balloon and hung it up to the ceiling with some blue tack. Bon voyage, guys!
Photo by Grasshopper Books

For Teachers: For adults who happen to be teachers, this method would be a fun idea if you intend to do this project with your students in your classroom. You can display all the balloons in the room with each student’s name on them. 

Fun Ideas: For either method, you can use lightweight finger puppets to place in the “hot air balloon” basket and watch them float up into the air. Alternatively, you can make your own “hot air balloon” passenger paper cut-outs using construction paper. Draw faces on and place them into the basket and watch them travel through the air! Bon voyage!

Philippe and The Marshmallow & Candy Floss Clouds inspired Recipes coming soon!

Copyright 2020