Are you familiar with The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn? If not, drop everything and go read it. Then buy it for the young child in your life. It's that good.
The story is about Chester, the raccoon cub who suffers from separation anxiety when it's time to go to school. His mother kisses his palm and tells him that whenever he is feeling a little lonely and needs love from home, all he needs to do is press his hand to his cheek and know that Mommy loves him. Separation anxiety was a major issue in our house for years. I'm so thankful for this book and many other things that helped Trevor feel confident when he is away from us. Right before school started, Trevor was away from us for 5 nights, which is the longest he's ever been away. We were all a little nervous about how that would go, but it was great. While he was gone, I thought back to little preschool Trevor who was so afraid to go to school without Mommy. He's come a long way.
While Trevor was gone, I dreamed up this project:
Just like in the book, the raccoon has a heart representing Mommy's kiss on his paw.
Materials: cardboard tube, paint, black Sharpie, colored pencils, cardstock, googly eyes, glue, heart sticker
Start by painting a cardboard tube grey. When the paint has dried, use a dry foam brush or sponge to add streaks of greys and tans to the tube. You want a mottled look, just like a raccoon's fur.
When the paint is dry, use the Sharpie to draw the raccoon's mask and nose.
Use a white colored pencil to shade the area above the mask and to the sides of the snout to give it dimension. Then use short, quick strokes to add whiskers. Then add a white line across the bridge of the nose.
Cut rounded ears and two arms from grey cardstock. Shade the inner ears with black colored pencil and the arms with both black and tan. Cut a pair of hands from black cardstock. Put a small heart sticker on the palm of one hand. Glue each hand to one of the arms. When they are dry, glue the ears inside the tube. Then put glue on the upper arms, leaving the ends loose. Use a rubber band to hold the arms in place while the glue dries.
I'm really happy with how this turned out. Easy, right?!