Three By the Sea
Kentucky Derby Activities for Kids

Sebastian and the Balloon

Philip Stead

"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere."  - Mary Schmich

The joy I felt when I read Sebastian and the Balloon stemmed from the adventure I travelled on along with Sebastian. One of my primary philosophies as an educator is that books open a child's imagination to places and adventures that will serve him well throughout the rest of his life. By reading and becoming lost in stories, a child's creativity grows and deepens and inspires skills that will used throughout adulthood. Whether it is a cardboard box and afghans like Sebastian, a blanket draped over a table to make a cave, or a shady alcove of trees where fairies are sure to live, imagination takes a child everywhere and quite often books are the ticket that took them there.

More Books from Philip Stead: A Home for BirdA Sick Day for Amos McGee
Bear Has A Story to Tell

In this Issue

 

Hot Air Balloon Craft

Of course, we wanted to make a life-size hot air balloon with a cardboard box and afghans, but when that became too problematic (due to restrictions from air control, of course), we scaled down our aspirations a bit and switched to pipe cleaners, egg cartons, and cardstock to make an equally lovely, though a bit smaller, hot air balloon. 

If your young reader is feeling particularly inspired by this activity, make several and create a mobile. 

Hot Air Balloon Craft

Supplies

  • Egg carton
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • Cardstock
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • String, yarn, or clear filament
  • Crayons, markers, paint, etc., optional
  1. Cut four rectangles of cardstock, about 2 inches by 9 inches. Decorate with crayons, markers, paint, etc., if desired. 
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf
  2. Arrange the four pieces with the ends overlapping by 2 inches, in a plus-sign shape. Staple to secure. 
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

  3. Curve the pieces so the other ends overlap by two inches and from a sphere. Staple to secure.
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

  4. Cut each pipe cleaner in half. Staple one piece of pipe cleaner to each section of the "balloon."
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf


  5. Cut one section from an egg carton. Punch a hole in each of the four sides. 
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

  6. Thread the end of each pipe cleaner through a hole and twist to secure. 
  7. Punch two holes in the top of the balloon. Thread a piece of yarn, string, or clear filament through both holes to hang. 
    Hot AIr Balloon Craft - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

More Things that Fly! Found Art AirplanesPaper Tube Wasp and Wasp Mobile

 

Watch and Learn: Hot Air Balloons

 

Homemade Quick Refrigerator Pickles

"Would you like a pickle sandwich?" asked Sebastian.

Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

Of course when we read this, we knew our recipe for this book would have to be how to make pickles, which can easily be turned into pickle sandwiches. These pickles are very easy to make, with lots of kid-friendly steps with no cooking required. Peeled cucumbers are very easy for kids to cut with a butter knife, and the vinegar solution simply needs to be stirred before pouring over the cucumbers. 

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles - Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead - Off the Shelf

Homemade Quick Refrigerator Pickles

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Peel cucumbers and thinly slice, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  
  2. Place the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with salt, tossing to evenly coat. Allow the cucumbers to drain for about 30 minutes. 

  3. Place the cucumber slices in glass jars or a medium lidded container.
  4. Stir together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. This may take several minutes.
  5. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers. Refrigerate overnight. 

   

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