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This play dough activity was inspired by the 2015 Caldecott Medal book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. This is an adorable story about an imaginary friend who is real and waiting for a human child to choose him as his imaginary friend! It’s a wonderful story about friendship, imagination and bravery. Plus the illustrations are amazing!
This story can lend itself well to great lessons about creativity, friendship, imagination, identity and patience. And it is so cute you won’t mind reading it again and again.
Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend Creative Play Dough Activity
When we first read this story I knew I wanted to do a creative activity to go along with it! I thought about a creative drawing activity and then an imaginary friend craft, but I settled on a simple Invitation to Create an Imaginary Friend with Play Dough activity!
I’m starting to really love setting up invitations to play because they are so quick and easy! Plus Caden is usually interested in playing with what I set up, but if he isn’t, no big deal, I didn’t spend my entire afternoon prepping!
Supplies & Set Up:
For this play dough invitation you can include any of your favorite loose parts you wish or have on hand, plus a good amount of colorful play dough! I used four jars of store-bought play dough, pipe cleaners cut at different lengths, pom poms in various sizes and colors, skinny craft sticks (from craftprojectideas.com) and all sorts of different googly eyes!
Set up your supplies in an inviting way using a party platter and invite your child(ren) to get creative making their our imaginary friend, just like Beekle! While your child(ren) plays you can read the book or just chat about their imaginary friend they are creating! This is a great way for children to express their creativity, use fine motor skills and work on language development!
Caden really enjoyed this story and wanted to make an imaginary friend just like Beekle! First he mixed two colors together in make a large blob of play dough, then he stuck two skinny craft sticks in for legs, added two googly eyes and a pipe cleaner mouth! His imaginary friends turned out simple, yet adorable!
Have you read The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend with your kids? If not, I encourage you to ask your librarian about it! It’s a great story to read with kids, especially preschoolers with active imaginations!
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