With the Kids

Salt Dough Creations with Flotsam and Red Ted Art

Storybook Summer post by Maggie of Red Ted Art

Today we would love to share with you a book by one of my favourite authors and a little cute fridge magnet craft!

We do love a good read. And what better time to while away those long summer afternoons, reading a storybook on a picnic blanket or on a shady bench? Great for some quality time together. Today, I would love to share one my favourite “authors” – David Wiesner and his book Flotsam.

For those of you not familier with Wiesner, many of his books are illustrated stories, without text. Aha. So where is the reading in this book? Well… for me reading isn’t just about learning your alphabet and deciphering words. It is about imagination and vocabularly. It is about discovering new things together and about disappearing into fictional worlds.

Flotsam, does just that. It is the story of a boy, who one day finds an old camera on the beach. Curious about it’s content, he takes the role of film to be developed. When he gets the photos back, he is in for a big surprise. He discovers photographs of world under the sea – mechanical fish, octopuses reclining on sofa’s, turtles with whole cities on their back. More importantly, he sees a photo of a girl. A girl holding a photo. And on that photo is a boy. A boy holding a photo…… The boy realises that he is supposed to do something. What will it be? And where does the story continue?

Wiesner is a beautiful illustrator – appealing to a wider range of age groups (my neighbour’s 8 year old and 10 year old boys love this book too) – loaded with possibilities.

We love taking turns, telling the story – or all chipping in at every page. A great way to practice “story telling” without “not knowing where to begin”.

We also love to get crafty!

So we took our book and thought about what we could make. My son loves salt dough modelling, so we decided to recreate some of the see creatures out of saltdough (check out our favourite “coloured saltdough recipe” over on Red Ted Art). Saltdough is wonderfully versatile you can make all sorts of things from it such saltdough beads or hand-/ footprint keepsakes. Made from basic kitchen ingredients and then either air dried or in the oven.

We browsed the book again looking for details that we enjoyed – and decided on some crabs, turtles, star fish and aliens (yes… they feature in the book). A lovely afternoon spent creating.

Then we baked them in oven. Once dried, we glued on some googly eyes and then we took them out to our sandpit for some undersea recreation fun. And when you are done with THAT, why not add some little magnets to the back and you have the most adorable fridge magnets?!

I do hope you enjoyed our Saltdough creations! Do check out the rest of the Storybook Summer fun here on Make And Takes and I would love to see you over at Red Ted Art some time soon!

Maggy, is a mum of two (Red Ted, aged 4 years and Pip Squeak aged 2 years) and blogs over at Red Ted Art – where she regularly crafts with her kids, as well as bringing weekly tutorials for teens and adults – providing crafty inspiration for all the family. Look out for her new craft book due out in Spring 2013!


  1. I love this book! It was a little abstract for my little guys the first few times but I think your creations and maybe even acting it out a little bit with the salt dough creations would really help bring the book even to a toddler/ preschool level.

  2. I LOVE this book! When my kids were little I always bought it for their teachers. Funny, I never bought it for myself. Heading to Amazon to add it to my cart….. :)

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