Kids books and crafts are two of my favorite things these days. We do a lot of reading and crafting around these parts. Today we’re talking about a sweet kid’s book called Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer. Saturday, April 22nd also happens to be Earth Day, so this craft is a double whammy! We’re making fish out of paper plates and a giant shark out of an old, empty cardboard box. I know your kids will love playing chase with their new ocean friends and hopefully the book sparks conversation about unexpected friendship and why you should not always believe what you hear.
If you’re looking for more kid book and crafts that lead to big conversations, check out The Big Orange Splot.
Photography by: Sarah Schiffman
A Short Summary of Nugget and Fang:
Nugget the minnow and Fang the shark have been ocean pals for as long as they can remember. When Nugget heads to school for the first time, he is shocked to learn that sharks are toothy and scary. Nugget explains to Fang why they can not be friends anymore, and this leaves fang very sad. Fang ends up saving the day with his big sharp teeth, and Nugget and his new school friends realize that friends can come in all shapes and sizes.
Here’s what you need to make paper plate fish:
- 1.5 Paper plates per fish
- Paint or markers
- Elmer’s Glue
- Paint brushes
To make a paper plate fish, first cut a triangle out of one paper plate. This will be Nugget’s mouth. Now it’s time to decorate the fish’s body. I let the kids paint, use markers, glue on pieces of paper, and even cut out shapes like a snowflake. All 3 of our minnows are very different! Use the 2nd paper plate to make the fish’s back fin. You can easily get 2 fins out of one paper plate. Decorate the back fin anyway you’d like and then glue the fin to the body of the minnow. The last fish detail is the extra large eye, and I used the left over bits from the 2nd paper plate to cut our round circles.
While the kids crafted the fish, I made a shark! I cut a shark shape out of a cardboard box we had in our garage and spray painted it gray. I used a peice of black construction paper for the shark’s mouth. Then, I cut out ovals and triangles for the shark’s eyes and teeth and glued them to the cardboard body. Here’s the step you don’t want to forget: the handles! I cut off handles from a reusable grocery bag and hot glued them to the back of the shark so that kids could hold the shark on their arm. Fang was and still is a big hit around our house.
Also, if you notice in the picture above, I ended up gluing on an extra fin after I cut out the original shape. So, don’t fret, you can always add extra fins later.
I love the focus!
Of course Max wanted to be the shark, so I ended up chasing him with the minnows! Oh and check out the tail on the fish below, she got a fan shaped fin from a magazine page. So fancy.
While we crafted, I asked Maxwell questions about Nugget and Fang:
- Why did Nugget stop being friends with Fang?
- Why are all of the minnows at school scared of Fang?
- Did Nugget have to listen to the other minnows?
- What does Fang do to show Nugget he is friendly?
- What do you think Nugget and his friends will do when they meets another shark?
Maxwell mostly just listens to me, but all of the questions led us to talk about his friends at school. I asked him if any of his friends at school are different than him? He told me Charlotte is a girl and he is a boy. Good start, sweet boy! I’m learning that these conversations need to continue day to day and week to week. We need to talk about
Have you ever read Nugget and Fang with your kids? Similar to The Big Orange Splot, Nugget and Fang can also lead to conversations about celebrating our differences. I’d love to hear what you and your kids thought? And a giant thank you to Elmer’s for supporting our picture book and crafting series!