Kite Flying, Grace Lin

It’s been a week of wild March winds here – and this is the perfect book for windy weather!

I love Grace Lin’s books and think that they are very suitable for turning into sensory stories – the stories are beautifully simple and the illustrations so clear. She has written about Chinese New Year (Bringing in the New Year) and the mid-autumn Moon festival (Thanking the Moon), Chinese food (Dim Sum for Everyone) and Chinese vegetables (The Ugly Vegetables).

My favourite book of hers at the moment is Kite Flying, published by Random House and also available as an e-book.

Kite Flying, picture book by Grace Lin

This would be great as a simple sensory story. It would tie in well with any Chinese theme, or dragon or weather theme…And of course it would be the perfect story to accompany actual kite-making – maybe afterwards as a way of re-calling the activity.

Start with some fans to make the ‘wind’ blow.

Selection of folding fans

Then have some sticks to bang together. (You could just use claves from the music box – they would make the right sound when banged together even if they are not the right length.) An empty glue bottle would be a fun prop to squish and then you could flap some huge sheets of coloured paper or kite fabric and wave some streamers around. ‘Paint’ the back of the children’s hands with a clean paint brush. And finish with a kite – or even better – lots of kites!

Tip: If you are not actually going to take your kite outside to fly then this type of windsock spinner will probably be easier to use as a prop than an actual kite (not so breakable):

Fish windsock spinner

It may be easier to snip off the strings and simply ‘fly’ it around the room by holding it at the ‘mouth’. You may be able to find a Chinese dragon shaped one:

Chinese dragon windsock spinner

Remember – not all of my props recommendations are toys! The props I suggest should not be used by children unsupervised.