Circus Books for Kids

We love heading off to the library and filling up our bag with a bunch of new (to us) books.  Many times we go with a theme when we grab up our books.  Lots of times, we don’t too and just grab whatever we see from the shelves.  With summer upon us and carnivals (and the circus) coming to many neighborhoods/cities, we thought it would be fun to explore the circus through books.  Even if you don’t get the chance to visit the circus, it’s fun to read about the animals, performers, sights, and more in so many great books.  Some of these we’ve read and others are on our must-read list.  Do you have any favorite circus-themed books?

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Circus Themed Books for Kids

Circus books for a circus theme camp or VBS for kids

If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss is a classic Dr. Seuss book with wacky nonsense words based on a circus of the imagination.

Clifford At The Circus
by Norman Bridwell
We love all of the Clifford books and this circus themed book with our favorite big red dog is no exception!

See the Circus by H.A. Ray
A great Lift-The-Flap book quizzing the reader about things that can be found at the circus.

Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer Olivia the Pig saves the circus when all of the performers were out sick.  A favorite in our house, this is just one Olivia book that we love!

Circus by
Lois Ehlert This is one of those library books that we check out over and over again!  We love the bold colors of this circus book and eye-catching illustrations of our favorite circus feats!

You See a Circus, I See… by
Mike Downs Enjoy the circus through the eyes of a little boy whose family runs the circus!

Miss Bindergarten Plans a Circus With Kindergarten by Joseph Slate The Miss Bindergarten books are so much fun to read and this circus themed book is no exception!

Harold’s Circus by
Crockett Johnson Harold explores the circus and sparks the imagination.

Curious George Circus Act by
H.A. Ray George is back to his curious antics as he visits the circus and learns to walk the tightrope.

Paddington Bear at the Circus by
Michael Bond                   

The books we love:

You may also be interested in our Pinterest board dedicated to Books for Kids.  We love a great children’s books and a craft or activity to go along with it.  Check out this pin board for lots of inspiration:
hands-on activities to explore social emotional development through children's books.

Love exploring books with hands-on play?  

Grab our NEW book, Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance, and Empathy, that explores friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books!  It’s 50 hands-on activities that use math, fine motor skills, movement, art, crafts, and creativity to support social emotional development.

The Mixed-Up Chameleon Snack Mix

Mixed up Chameleon activity

Many years ago, we made a mixed up snack mix to go along with some “The Mixed Up Chameleon” activities that we were doing with a group of preschoolers. It’s a fun way to engage little minds using a colorful snack, and is inspired by Eric Carle’s beloved book, “The Mixed-Up Chameleon”. Whether you’re exploring chameleon activities for preschoolers or simply looking for a creative way to engage kids in snack time, this mix is sure to be a hit.

The Mixed Up Chameleon Activity

Just like the mixed-up chameleon changes its colors to blend in with its surroundings, our snack mix offers a variety of flavors and textures to tantalize young taste buds. From crunchy to chewy, sweet to savory, every bite is a delightful surprise!

You’ll want to check out all of our cooking with kids recipes and all of the benefits of getting kids involved in the kitchen. A cooking task as simple as this mixed up recipe is great for little ones!

We have been loving this Preschool Book Club Series!  This week’s book is The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle (affiliate link) and one of our favorites.  We decided to make a mixed up snack mix to go along with the story.  And what a fun time this was! 




Mixed-Up Chameleon Snack



To create your own Mixed-Up Chameleon Snack Mix, gather an assortment of colorful ingredients. Think vibrant green pretzel sticks, golden cereal squares, red and blue dried fruit, and perhaps even some chocolate candies for an extra treat. Encourage your little ones to mix and match the ingredients just like the chameleon mixes up its appearance.

You could actually use any ingredients that you prefer or have on hand. This could be fruit to make a mixed-up fruit cup, or a trail mix type of snack.

As you prepare the snack mix together, take the opportunity to engage in some mixed-up chameleon activities. Discuss the chameleon’s unique ability to change colors and blend in with its surroundings. Encourage your children to use their imaginations and pretend to be chameleons, adapting to different environments as they munch on their colorful snack mix.

For added fun, consider incorporating story time into your snack session by reading “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” aloud. As you enjoy the story together, point out how the chameleon’s adventures parallel the mixing and matching of ingredients in your snack mix.

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Have you read The Mixed-Up Chameleon (Amazon affiliate link)
by Eric Carle?   We love this story, just like we love all of Eric Carle books.  This was a great book to read with a little snack.   First, we needed to do a little cooking with the kids.
 Our snack mix used all of the colors for the different animals in the book.  As the chameleon decides he wants to be a different animal, we added the ingredient to go along with that animal, and mixed it up, of course…with a mixing spoon!



In the book, first the Chameleon wants to be like the Polar Bear.  We added coconut flakes to our bowl to represent the polar bear’s fur.  Not a fan of coconut?  Try marshmallows.



Next the Chameleon wants to be like the Flamingo.  We added pink sprinkles.  Because sprinkles make everyone happy 🙂


Next the Chameleon wants to be like the Fox, so we added red M&Ms.

Goldfish crackers are for the goldfish, of course.


When the Chameleon wanted to be like the Deer, we added pretzels for antlers.


For the Giraffe’s long neck, we used our imagination and added pretzel sticks to the snack mix.


Green Fruit Loops represented the Turtle in the book.

Next, the Chameleon wants to be like the Elephant and again we used our imagination to use dried banana chips for elephant ears.  It was a little stretch, but worked for us.  And was a tasty addition to our snack mix!

The Chameleon decides he wants to be like the seal and at that point, we added raisins to represent the seal’s flippers.



The final addition to our snack mix was the umbrellas for the people. 


The snack mix was stirred up and all done!  Ready to eat, while we read the book.  Again!


Have fun with your snack mix and the Mixed-Up Chameleon!

Mixed Up Chameleon Book Activities

We had so much fun creating this Mixed up Chameleon activity! 
Be sure to stop by the other bloggers in this series to see how they are playing and crafting with the Mixed-Up Chameleon:


Home Grown Friends Mixed Up Creatures 
Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Sensory Bin 
Mama. Papa. Bubba. Camouflaged Chameleon Hunt



Here are more kids crafts based on children’s books.

This activity is one of our favorite ways to explore books through play! There are many more ideas in our resource: Exploring Books Through Play.
social emotional activities for kids

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Books About Siblings

Have a new baby in the house? Maybe you are preparing for the newest little one to add to the family fun in the house. A new baby can make for a big change in any home! Use these books about siblings to help big brothers and big sisters adapt to the change that a new baby brings.

Books for New Siblings

We’ve got a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old, and are waiting on the newest little one to join us.  I’m hearing daily from the ladies in the grocery store/preschool/doctor’s office how full my hands are 😉  Oh yes. This I know!  But as full as my hands (and laundry baskets, to-do lists, and grocery carts…) are, my heart is fuller.  I am so blessed to have these three and soon-to-be FOUR little handfuls. 

Watching them play is so much fun.  These kiddos have got the sibling thing down…there are collaborations on very imaginative scenarios that happen daily.  They are building forts outside, getting muddy and grass stained together, and building memories.  Of course they fight with each other.  I mean, they are siblings.  There are fights and tormenting happening daily!  It’s all part of the family thing.

One thing that we love to do as a family is visit our local library.  We LOVE our librarians in the children’s department and bring home a big old stack of books each week.  Lately, we’ve been pulling books from the shelf with a similar theme…Brothers and Sisters!  With the new coming baby, what better topic is there to read than brother and sister books? 

These are our favorite Sibling Books that we’ve been reading over and over lately.   Some, we have, and others we’ve checked out from the library.  All are awesome for introducing a new baby to the family, or just celebrating brothers and sisters!

{This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts}

Books about brothers and sisters

Big Sisters Are the Best
by Fran Manushkin
I’m a Big Sister!
Ronne Randall 


Big Sister and Little Sister
by Charlotte Zolotow
What Brothers Do Best
by Laura Numeroff
Just Me and My Little Brother  by
Mercer Mayer   
Best-Ever Big Brother
by Karen Katz
Best-Ever Big Sister
by Karen Katz

Do you have any favorite books about brothers and sisters?

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Check out this Little Blue and Little Yellow activity to work on color mixing and sensory play with a children’s book favorite! We whipped up a batch of Kool-Aid puffy paint for a sensory play experience that has a scented aspect. Kids will love this color mixing activity, and will be sure to remember it for years to come!
Last week’s Pete the Cat snack and our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Letter Learning Activity have been a huge hits in our house.  these are some of our most favorite and read (and re-read) books, so this preschool book club series has been a blast!
This week we’re loving another favorite book of ours with Little Blue and Little Yellow.  We made Kool-Aid Puffy Paint to create our own version of color mixing to go along with the book.  This was beyond cool and so much fun to create.

Little Blue and Little Yellow Painting activity

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We LOVE the book Little Blue and Little Yellow, by Leo Lionni.  When we saw this book on the series, I knew we had to do some color mixing.  This Kool-Aid paint recipe smelled so good and the creating mixtures of blue and yellow was a ton of fun.

DIY Puffy Paint Recipe

To make the BLUE paint, I mixed 1/4 cup of flour, one packet of Ice blue raspberry lemonade Kool-Aid, and 4 Tbsp of warm water.

The YELLOW paint was the same recipe, only using a packet of
lemonade flavored Kool-Aid.  Mix the paints up until it’s a smooth consistency and painting is ready to begin!

We made a little blue and a little yellow spot of paint and the kids guessed what color they thought we would get when they mixed.  Little Guy liked to add little bits of color at a time just like in the book to mix into green.

These paints were very sensory!  The texture and scent were such a fun painting experience.

The paints made a pretty green color.

After we mixed a bit of the blue and yellow together, I put the paintings into the microwave for 30 seconds.  These paints puffed right up.  Your microwave oven may vary, so keep a close eye on this while the paints are cooking!

We had to do a bunch more of these.  Baby Girl loves her painting activities!

These puffy paints were very fun.  We painted for a while making puffy blue and yellow mixtures.  And loved the scents!

Kool-Aid puffy paint recipe

Be sure to stop back next week for another Preschool Book and activity.  For now, check out the other awesome ideas to go along with Little Blue and Little Yellow from our Preschool Book Club buddies:
Buggy and Buddy Little Blue and Little Yellow Cookies  | Homegrown Friends Color Changing Rose | Mama. Pappa. Bubba. Blog Color Mixing With Gel Baggies
 Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Color Mixing Activity | Meri Cherry Shaving Cream Paint Mixing
Catch all of our preschool book series posts to read and play along:

Children’s Book Quotes for Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Wishing all of the moms a wonderful day full of snuggles and love!  This mama is celebrating with three blessings and (still) waiting on number four to make her presence.  Only five days late now!  I’m guessing she can hear all of the crazy chaos happening out here and is staying nice and safe and cozy inside mommy’s belly until she is forced to make her way out! 

Mother’s Day with little ones is about the giggles and wiggles, the reading of a favorite book 5,245 times, watching T-ball games in the rain, hearing “Happy Mother’s Day to Yoooooooou, CHA CHA CHA!” 17 times in a row, and using the Hello Kitty shampoo/conditioner/body wash because someone dumped all of Mom’s shampoo down the bathtub drain.  All of these things happened this weekend, and it was wonderful!  I wouldn’t change a thing!

We’ve got a few quotes from favorite children’s books that are perfect for Mom’s.  I hope you are having a fantastic Mother’s Day, and enjoy!

{This post contains affiliate links. You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community.}

On the night you were born quote

“Life will never be the same because there had never been anyone like you.”
From the book On the Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman

“I love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
From the book Love You Forever
by Robert Munsch

“We’ll eat you up, we love you so.”
From the book Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

You Are My I Love You quote.

“I am your parent, you are my child. I am your quiet place, you are my wild. I am your calm face, you are my giggle…I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo.  I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you.” 
From the book, You Are My I Love You
by Maryann K Cusimano

“If There Ever Comes a Day We Can’t Be Together…
…keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”

From The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
by A.A. Milne.

Guess How Much I Love You quote

 “I love you right up to the moon and back.”
From the book Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
“If You Love to be A Hundred, I Want to Live to be A Hundred Minus One Day So I Never Have to Live Without You.”

"I love you through and through. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow too." quote

I love you through and through, yesterday, today, and tomorrow too.”
From the Book I Love You Through And Through
by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

Childrens' Books for Mother's Day

Get the books here:

Winter Book List Winter Activites and Books

The first series with the All Things Kids members Mamas Like Me, Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, All Done Monkey, Fun-A-Day, House of Burke, and Crayon Box Chronicles is wrapping up as January comes to an end.  We’ve got plans for great series’ each month in 2014 and the first was a big success!  We had so much fun checking out these winter books and all of the great crafts and activities to go along with them.  Some of these winter books are old favorites, and others are new to us.  But, each book has a great activity for the kids to go along with the theme of the books.  So, bundle up in your warmest sweater, head off to the library, and get ready to read and have some fun!

Winter Book List Activities for 13 Winter Books


Winter Books Crafts and Activities

 {Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts.}

White Snow Bright Snow by Delightful Learning
Ten On a Sled Activity by Reading Confetti

Snowballs Snowball Kit by Fun-A-Day



Snow Dance Activities by Inspired Treehouse

Snowmen at Work Activities by All Done Monkey

Geraldine’s Big Snow Craft by Crayonbox Chronicles

Just A Snowman Craft and Activities by Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

The Snowy Day Activities by Wildflower Ramblings

Owl Moon craft by Joyfully

Looking for more Winter activities for the kids?  Follow along on our Winter Fun and Learning Pinterest board:

Winter Books Crafts and Activities for Kids

We are excited to join the girls in the All Things Kids bloggers with our first series!  During the month of January, we will be hosting a link up related to Winter Themed Books with Crafts and Activities related to those books.  We are huge fans of creating crafts and activities to go along with our favorite books, so this series was right up our ally!  Starting tomorrow, we will share the links to some of our favorite bloggers Winter Book and Craft.  By the end of the series, we’ll have a great collection of crafts to go along with 7 different Winter books.  Not only that, but a link up will be available for other bloggers to share their favorite winter themed kids books. 

Winter Books Crafts and Activities for Kids

These fabulous bloggers are joining up to create a year of 12 different series’ in 2014:
January 6- Fun-A-Day~ DIY Snowman Kit

January 7th- All Done Monkey~ Snowmen at Work Snowball Painting and Train Play

January 8th- House of Burke~ The Mitten Cookie Cutter Stamping

January 9th- Crayon Box Chronicles~ Geraldine’s Big Snow Snowy Paper Bag Tree

January 10th- Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails~ Just Snowman Winter Books Craft and Activity

January 11th-Mamas Like Me

January 12th- Sugar Aunts

We would love for you to join us in the All Things Kids community on Google+ for inspiration, ideas, or just a place to communicate with other parents about ALL things kids!   We are also pinning to the All Things Kids Pinterest board and would love to have you join us there.

All Things Kids Community


Join us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


Polar Bear Activities

polar bear theme for therapy

You may have noticed a polar bear theme here on the website in the past few days. Here, you’ll find all of these linked in one place so when you are creating a therapy theme, you have everything you need for polar bear crafts, polar bear sensory activities, polar bear gross motor ideas, and more. Add these ideas to an arctic animal theme, and have fun this winter!

Polar bear activities including crafts, snacks, gross motor ideas, fine motor ideas, sensory bins, and more.

Polar Bear Activities

This time of year, polar bear themes are common. There are many ways to incorporate this fuzzy arctic animal through play and learning while still building skills.

Here are some of the fun ideas we’ve shared:

Polar Bear Sensory Bin- A polar bear sensory bin goes well with the books and snack listed below. Make a day of polar bear learning and play for home activities or a therapy theme.

Polar Bear Gross Motor Activities- We used a masking tape obstacle course in this polar bear gross motor activity. The polar bear gross motor slide deck is a great addition to getting kids moving.

Polar Bear Self-Regulation Activity- Use this polar bear deep breathing printable to help kids with mindfulness and deep breathing as a coping strategy. It’s a free self-regulation tool you can use in a polar bear theme at home or at school.

Polar Bear Science- Kids can use play dough and cut straws to explore how a polar bear’s fur keeps him warm. It’s a great fine motor workout, too.

Polar Bear Worksheets- You’ll love all of the items in our Winter Fine Motor Kit. It’s loaded with coloring sheets, handwriting pages, puzzles, and crafts with a polar bear theme. There are sensory bin materials, polar bear finger puppets, lacing cards, modified handwriting pages, scissor skills activities, and so much more.

Polar Bear Books

{Note: This post contains affiliate links.}   Head to the library with this list in hand. There are so many great polar bear books out there, and they make a great addition to sensory play, handwriting activities, and gross motor play. We’ve been reading these books all weekend, and they are SO much fun!  The kids especially love Ice Cream Larry, which is such a silly, fun story!  Some of our favorite Polar Bear Books for Kids:  

Ice Cream Larry by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Touch the Sky, My Little Bear by David Bedford

God Gave Us the World by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Mama, Why? by Karma Wilson

That’s Not My Polar Bear by Fiona Watt

Polar bear books for kids

  I put together a bin with a bunch of craft supplies so we are ready to do all kinds of Polar Bear activities.  We had a stay-at-home day today and did a few fun things while it was frigidly cold outside…  

  We checked out the areas where Polar Bears live and found the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Canada, Denmark, Greenland, and Russia.   

 We talked about how the mama bear finds a big mound of snow and paws a shelter to protect her and her baby cubs during winter.  Then the mama and baby come out in the spring.  

Polar Bear Imagination Activities

polar bear quiet page for imagination and pretend play with felt

 This felt board was quick to snip up while the kids were eating breakfast this morning.  So fun for imagination play!  Big Sister pretended to be the mama bear and dug out the snow mound for a little home so the baby could stay inside.  

We made this big snow mound using blankets over a table.  All of the kids played in here for a long time! Little Guy kept saying “Humans are coming! Humans are coming!” and crawling in and out of the opening.  Baby Girl LOOOOVED all of the action and just got really excited to be part of it 🙂  

Polare Bear Craft

Big Sister did a cutting and gluing craft to make a Polar Bear.  She thought Mr. Bear needed some buttons on his belly 🙂  You’ll need just a few items for this polar bear craft:

  • White paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Black Marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue
polar bear craft

To make the craft, draw circles in different sizes on the paper. You’ll need a big circle for the belly, a smaller circle for the head, two circles for the ears, two circles for the eyes, and a circle for the nose. You could also just draw on the eyes and nose.

Cutting circles is a great beginner scissor skills activity for kids. Curved lines is a more difficult progression in cutting with scissors because kids need to hold the paper with their assisting hand and turn the page in order to cut with smooth cuts.

To make this activity easier, use thicker paper or draw thicker lines.

Glue the circles onto the bubble wrap and add the face features.

Cute polar bear craft

Polar Bear Snack Idea

We finished up with a little kiddie cooking activity for snack time.  Raisins, bananas, apple slices, and marshmallows made some cute little Polar Bears.   

Polar bear snack idea for a polar bear theme with kids
Preschool snack for a polar bear theme

  I thought Little Guy’s Polar Bear snack was pretty cute 🙂

 We have more ideas in store for the rest of the week, so be sure to stop back to see what we are up to!  Have you done any cute Polar Bear themed activities? Link them up in the comments, I would love to check them out!!      

winter fine motor kit

You’ll also love all of the items in our Winter Fine Motor Kit. It’s loaded with coloring sheets, handwriting pages, puzzles, and crafts with a polar bear theme. There are sensory bin materials, polar bear finger puppets, lacing cards, and so much more.


Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to