This month’s kids’ book club book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
This book is about a 7th grade reading level. I’d say it is appropriate for some 4 and 5 year old’s, but generally speaking probably 6 and up. My four year old understood most things, but, of course, the jokes and puns were beyond her. The only questionable part for us, was the “off with their head” aspect. Fortunately, the queen never actually does it, and we were able to talk about how very silly it is that she’d always say that.
We did have to show her a deck of cards as we were reading, since we realized she had no idea what the book was talking about. Do you remember a time when you didn’t know what a card was?!!
The book is so old, you can find many free text and audio versions online.
Nursery Alice is a simpler version Lewis Carroll wrote for younger children.
And Great Illustrated Classics are always good abridged versions for the lower to mid-elementary range.
My kids dressed up…my mom made this cute outfit. (Directions found here.)
Poor little guy! That is not face paint, that’s a bad scrape on his lip and bump on his head. 🙁 Although, face paint would’ve been pretty cute. 🙂
At a certain point during the party, I had all the kids do a caucus race. I chose the oldest kid to be the Dodo and give us a general idea where it would be. Then I reminded them that a caucus race was running around and that there was no beginning or ending. Then I said nothing waiting for them to catch on and start running around. It was quite funny. Then at some point, I handed my daughter (Alice) a bag of candy to hand to each of the participants.
Here is how I set things up, including the directions and supply lists. You’ll notice each station has stamps. The stamps are explained on the Kid’s Classics Book Club page. I had a sign to the bathroom that said “Throne this way!” And on the bathroom door it said Kings and Queens only. 🙂
Something to be the rabbit hole and hallway — we used a pop up little tent and tunnel.
We used one part for the rabbit hole and just connected it by tablecloth to a table to walk under.
My shadow cracks me up!! I made a March Hare hat with some dollar store rabbit ears and this hat (They were on sale for a $1.99, which I thought was a good deal for 1, but there are 6, which I did not know!! Nor did I need! Fortunately a couple kids wore them at the Tea Party. 🙂 ).
I actually saw this hat with ears in it at the dollar store, but I already had the hat. It was pretty easy to cut holes for some ears. 🙂 Tip: try to hit up the stores before/after Easter to get good deals on this stuff!
I was wanting to put some pictures of things she saw going down, but we ran out of time. (Here’s what she saw or mentioned: orange marmalade, 1000 miles, people walking on heads, New Zealand, cats eating bats, bats eating cats, Alice holding Dinah’s hand.)
Besides the typical supplies, for this get together, each bag had a small deck of cards.
Supply list: table, tablecloth, bags with names on them and passports inside, blank passports on the table, box of colored pencils, name tags for kids and parents, teapot with some flowers in it, “drink me” activity and sign that says: “Welcome! Grab the bag with your name on it. Your passport should be inside. If you haven’t made a passport yet, grab one! Put your name inside and draw a picture of yourself in the square. As you go to each station, you’ll see letter stamps to stamp your passport. Have fun! Bon Voyage!”
Directions: Drink this so you can be small enough to get through the little door!
Supply list: printed directions, stamp pad, “W” stamp, tray, cups (You can write “drink me” on them, like I did, or you can print out nice labels like these.), a drink (I got this because it was on sale at the store, but if you want to get really creative, try this do it yourself bubble gum soda.)
Hallway – Small Half
This part of the “hallway” for was when they were small. So, anything that makes them have to crawl or crouch down. When they came out of it, there was a small low table with a plate of the “Eat Me” cakes on it.
Supply list: something for a “hallway.”
My husband is so talented! And Wonderland signs can’t be straight…I think that’s a rule. 😉
Directions: You need to get bigger to get that key!! Eat this cake and grow bigger. But now, you’re too big! Walk down the hall looking for a way out!
Supply list: printed directions, “eat me” labels (I just used toothpicks and a printer label, but you can print out these for something nicer), a plate and pieces of cake (I used a nice Little Debbie cake cut into fourths.)
Hallway -Big Half
This one is about getting big, so anything that makes them feel bigger. I put a little kiddie slide in front of a long table and had them climb on it. And the fan directions were at a table perpendicular to it.
Supply list: stool or little ladder, table, table covering, smaller table, and if you happen to have a tree like looking house plant, that’s a nice little bonus to feeling big.
They really liked this, probably more so for the tantalizing opportunity to do the forbidden. 🙂
Directions: If, you want to be small enough to get into the garden you need to make a fan.
- Choose a picture.
- Lay y our paper down with the picture facing down on the table
- Fold a little bit of the paper.
- Turn the paper over and make another little fold.
- Turn the paper over and make another little fold.
- Repeat until you’ve folded the whole thing!
- Grab one end of the folded paper.
- Bend a little bit of the bottom.
And start fanning yourself! Make sure you don’t fan so much that you disappear!!!
Supply list: printed directions, printed coloring pages
Directions: You know that queen wanted red roses!! So, better get to painting!
Supply list: printed directions, butcher paper to cover table, chairs, stamp pad, stamp letter “o,” white roses (Trader Joe’s has them the cheapest around here), red paint, paintbrushes, and small cups of water to leave the paintbrushes in
Directions: It’s always tea time!!! Grab a hat and a plate, grab some food and enjoy a mad hatter’s tea!
Supply list/ideas: a few tables, lots of chairs, tablecloths, printed directions, basket of hats, streamers, clock at 6, mouse in a teapot, too many seats, treacle (I used dark treacle, which is molasses, but there is also light sugar syrup), party horns, roses, diy tissue paper balls, cups, mismatched plates, food (I served whatever was handy and cheap — vanilla wafers, jelly beans, pb and j sandwiches cut in card suits — my friend had these cookie cutters. They were super cute!)
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea try in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Create your own bat or bat scene. Don’t forget to make our bat twinkle!!
Supply list: table, butcher paper to cover table, chairs, printed directions, stamp pad, stamp letter “n,” black paper, some kind of sparkly craft item (I had sparkly paint tubes, smaller than these, but similary. Glue and glitter would work too. Maybe glitter glue? But, not sure about that.)
Directions: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is full of impossible things. Create your own impossible thing.
Supply list: table, butcher paper to cover table, stamp pad, stamp letter “d,” a bunch of craft stuff, scissors, glue, tape, googly eyes
A feather with eyes and hair! Impossible! 🙂
Directions: The Cheshire cat was always disappearing! Draw a cat or your favorite animal with the white crayon – then choose a watercolor to wash over it to make him appear!
Supply list: table, chairs, tablecloth, printed directions, stamp pad, stamp letter “e,” watercolors, paintbrushes, small cups with water, white paper, white crayons
Disappearing cat activity…that she disregarded and just painted a cat. 🙂
Directions: Grab a friend and play some games! You can play a card game you know or look through the stack of directions and try a new game.
Supply list: table, table cloth, chairs, printed directions, stamp pad, stamp letter “r,” couple decks of cards, card game directions (I just went through this list and printed out ones that I thought would fit for the ages.)
Directions: Create a card soldier. Glue a card down and make some legs, arms and a face with markers or pieces of paper.
Supply list: table, butcher paper covered table, stamp pad, stamp “l,” printed directions, cards, glue, construction paper, scissors.
Directions: Lewis Carroll was the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He made up the story for a young girl in his family named Alice. But, Lewis Carroll wasn’t his real name! He wanted to have some privacy, so he used a pseudonym — a false name. Grab a journal and make up a pseudonym for yourself. Write it on the front and draw a picture of a dream you’ve had. This is your new dream journal. You can draw or write about your dreams. Or just make up your own stories.
Supply list: table, table covering, printed directions, stamp pad, stamp letter “a,” markers or colored pencils or crayons, blank book (you can staple card stock over printer paper or use these, but they aren’t great — but they’re easy to cut in half if you don’t have time to make your own.)
Directions: Send yourself a postcard!! Fill out your address. Draw a picture of something you enjoyed in the book or at the party. Write yourself a note about your favorite thing. And leave it in the box to be mailed out.
Supply list: table, table covering, printed directions, postcards (I use small unlined index cards and draw a line down the middle on one side and put lines for an address — they don’t look great, because I cannot, for the life of me, draw a straight line, even with a ruler. But, the kids don’t care. 🙂 )
Directions: Play however you’d like! There are no rules, but the queen’s rules!
Supply list: croquet set, cards tied to the wickets
I got this set for 80% off!! But, I’ve had a couple people tell me they got a set at a garage sale. So, maybe keep an eye out for those or on Craigslist.
Good Bye Table
Supply list: box for passports, books for the kids to take home (these are just books I no longer want or have found for very cheap), and a sign: What a wondrous dream! Thank you for coming! Please leave your passport in the box below. Please take a book (one per child). See you next time on the train!
Talk about the give way!! I was lamenting forgetting to save all my directions and throwing away the hard copies. My husband suggested getting them out of the trash, and I said no way. They’ll be dispersed all over the place. The bags are full of molasses and paint and food. I’ll just type them again. Then I went to sleep and my husband handed me this stack in the morning!!!!
He went through the trash outside for me and found all my hard copies. So, I didn’t have to try and remember what I wrote!! He’s the best!!
To see what inspired some of my ideas and more ideas you might want to try, see my Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Unit Pinterest board
Previous Book Club: Little Pear
Next Book Club: The Boxcar Children
Find all our book club meetings at Kid’s Classics Book Club.