Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Free activity sheets from Jane Ray, Caryl Hart and Alex Milway

Posted on | July 24, 2011 | 7 Comments

Back at the start of the month I wrote a post all about activity books for kids, why I like them and why we’ll be using some during the summer holidays (which have now officially begun in our neck of the woods).

Photo: *L*u*z*A*

Then I started thinking about the free resources that are available; many illustrators have activity sheets on their websites and if you have a printer (or can use the printer at the library) you can make these up in to your own activity books.

Over the course of the next six weeks I’ll be pointing you to a wide variety of free activity sheets created by children’s book illustrators (in between “regular” posts). I hope some of them appeal to you and your kids and that they give you all a few minutes happy drawing / scribbling / creating together!

Jane Ray has illustrated over 30 books including The Lost Happy Endings (which we reviewed here) and Can you catch a Mermaid (which guestposter Cathy from Nurturestore included in her selection of books here), as well as many fairy tales.

On Jane Ray’s website you can find…

  • colouring in sheets for mermaids, washing lines and mythical beasts
  • Book plates for you to cut out, decorate and stick inside your favourite books

  • Caryl Hart‘s first picture book, Don’t Dip Your Chips in Your Drink Kate! won Highly Commended Picture Book and Community Libraries Favourite Book at the Sheffield Children’s Book Award in 2010, and the Children’s Bookseller Magazine has described her as “a rising picture book star”.

    On Caryl’s website there are lots of activity sheets including…

  • Designing a seed packet to grow your own dinosaur
  • A tutorial for making your own rhyme machine

  • Alex Milway has written and illustrated the Mousehunter trilogy and the Mythical 9th Division series of books. In his “spare” time he runs the Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival!

    If yetis are your thing you’re in for a treat with…

  • A yeti maze and a yeti wordsearch
  • How to draw a yeti

  • Many of these activity sheets are fun whether or not you have read the books that inspired them so why not take a look, and along the way you might find a new author/illustrator to enjoy!

    Thanks to Damyanti Patel for alerting me to Caryl Hart’s activity sheets.

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    7 Responses to “Free activity sheets from Jane Ray, Caryl Hart and Alex Milway”

    1. Melissa Taylor
      July 24th, 2011 @ 12:30 am

      great links, thanks!

    2. Stacey
      July 24th, 2011 @ 1:34 am

      Fun idea! Thanks for sharing…

    3. Zoe
      July 24th, 2011 @ 7:50 am

      Hi Melissa, Stacey,
      The plan is to link to more activity sheets twice a week throughout the summer, so hopefully everyone will find something that suits them!

    4. Susan Stephenson, the Book Chook
      July 24th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      Making connections with literature is so important, and I reckon this is a great, simple yet meaningful way, Zoe. Brava!

    5. AngelBeanBabyShoes
      July 26th, 2011 @ 9:35 am

      Thanks for these. Our little Dylan is a keen artist so this is perfect!

    6. Tasha Goddard
      August 2nd, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

      Lovely idea and very useful. Thank you. I’ve printed out quite a lot of colouring-in sheets, but not too many other activity sheets. Usborne Books have some great ones to go alongside their Very First Reader (think that’s what it’s called – on a quick visit in the middle of busy work night, so no time to check) series, but it’s wonderful to have some from illustrators.

    7. Lesley @ Australian Picture Books
      May 31st, 2014 @ 12:17 am

      Thanks so much. This is the first time I have come across these activity sheets done by the actual book authors… cool.
      Lesley @ Australian Picture Books recently posted..The Boy on the Page

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