BOOK PLAY: A Squash and a Squeeze

Loved last week's Wombat Stew Book Play? Well, this week how about A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler? 

A Squash and a Squeeze works well for book play because the kids can put the animals in and out of the house as you read the story. My three year old had fun making the animals go in and out the windows and dance on the table. And the props couldn't be easier to make.

What you need:

  • a copy of A Squash and a Squeeze (kind of essential)
  • small cardboard box (you do need something to use as the house, but it doesn't have to have doors and windows)
  • toilet rolls or cardboard cylinders
  • coloured paper (or white paper and markers/pencils/crayons)
  • a black marker
  • glue/sticky tape
  • scissors
  • stick on eyes (optional)
  • pipe cleaners (optional)
  • toy table and chairs (optional—you don't have to have them)
  • dolls (optional—you could make paper dolls instead)

I've again followed the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple Stupid) and made my animals and house very basic. And you can go even more simple than what I've done here. If you don't have stick on eyes, just draw the eyes. I used pipe cleaners to make tails and horns for some of the animals, but they don't really need them.

I could have (and you can if you want to) made the little old lady and the man out of toilet rolls as well, but my three year old was getting really bored by the fourth animal, so I grabbed some dolls from the dollhouse (thank you auntie Nic) and went with those.

Below are the detailed pictures to give you inspiration on how to make the props. The basic instructions are: tape/glue different coloured paper around toilet rolls and add eyes and other features to make them resemble animals! And they truely only need to resemble them. Once you tell your kid that the goat is a goat, they won't accept it anything else (and will tell you off if you accidentally call it a sheep!).

And a final word of warning: be prepared to read the story a million times in a row!