Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Duckling Gets A Cookie Simple Craft and Magic Cookie Jar

{Virtual Book Club for Kids: September Author - Mo Willems} 

How One Book, A Simple Cookie Craft and a Magic Cookie Jar are Coming Together to Make Me a Better Mommy...

Adjusting to a new school year after a hectic summer left our family 
a bit frazzle. We had 2 major problems: 

1. Mommy needs to chill out! The pressure to potty train Caterpillar (just 3 in August) in time for him to start preschool in mid-August and his struggles with adjusting left me with a short temper. I found my frustration level rising and had some angry outbursts that I am NOT proud of. I was becoming a mommy I did not want to become. I was angry. 

2. Wild Thing (almost 5) came out of the summer with a seriously bad case of the "I Wants." He was whining about everything! It certainly was not helping with my frustration issue. This was not something we wanted to see continue. Not at all...

Just as I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by my own struggles and the new challenges Caterpillar and Wild Thing were presenting, the Virtual Book Club for Kids (VBCK) came to the rescue announcing their authors and book selections for this school year and reminding me about The Duckling Gets A Cookie by Mo Willems, a book we read for the first time two years ago, also thanks to VBCK. (Here's 4 activities we did with the book then).

We revisited this book as a family and I realized this book could help us change. We engaged with the story. We talked about Pigeon and how he gets frustrated so easily and always focuses on what he feels is wrong or what he wants, rather than focusing on what he has and staying calm. We also talked about Duckling and how giving and understanding he is. Even though Pigeon gets upset, Duckling is still loving. He still gives Pigeon the cookie.

Then, I talked about myself and about how I was sometimes like Pigeon. 

I even asked the boys if that they thought so, and they did. Even Caterpillar exclaimed that I get "too fus-to-waited." Then, we talked about each of them and how they were sometimes like Pigeon, and Wild Thing recognized that he sometimes makes a big deal about the things he wants rather than appreciating what he has. He recognized that he feels better when he is like Duckling - giving and helping others.

We then spoke about Duckling and about how we could help one another by giving each other more love if we see that one of us is upset and how we can do that anytime and with anyone. 

We talked about how we could be extra kind if we see that someone is sad or angry. 

Then, I showed the boys our new magic cookie jar (which is really just a rooster cookie jar that a neighbor was going to donate to Goodwill). 

We turned it into our Pigeon Cookie Jar with simple paper, a Sharpie and some tape. Then, Wild Thing spotted some lids that we happened to have and those instantly became cookies -- some with no nuts and some with nuts.

With our magic cookie jar and recycled lid cookies, we've done some pretend play and role playing and re-telling of The Duckling Gets A Cookie, but most importantly we've given each other a cookie as a reminder. I gave Caterpillar a cookie at bedtime when he was getting very upset and he instantly calmed down and went happily to sleep with his cookie. Wild Thing gave me a cookie the last time Caterpillar peed on the bathroom floor instead of in the potty as he knows I get very frustrated when that happens, and it helped me stay calm. 

And now, just seeing the cookie jar serves as a trigger, a reminder for me, and I take some deep breaths and remind myself that I don't need to get frustrated or angry in those moments when I'm feeling overwhelmed. 

I have two wonderful ducklings and they like to give me cookies (love)...

We're also planning to make real cookies to send to a family member who is in a bit of a "pigeon" phase. Focusing on kindness towards others can make a big difference. Pennies of Time has great tips for families interested in service and acts of kindness and she shows how this approach truly does bring families closer together and really cuts down on the "I Wants!" 

I am so grateful for Pigeon and Duckling and for the magic cookie jar that is 
reminding us to be kind and giving! 

Have you used a children's book to address a challenge that your family or child is dealing with -- or perhaps to discuss a difficult issue? If so, please share and while you're at it, tell us about your favorite Mo Willems book! 

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Activities 
Cardboard Box Bus Craft & Number Game for Kids by Toddler Approved
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Activity by Coffee Cups and Crayons 
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Puppets by Playdough to Playto 
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: Puppets, Crafts and Storytelling by Playing with Words 365 Letter B is for Bus Craft by Royal Baloo
Pigeon and Bus Activities inspired by Mo Willems by The Educators' Spin On It 
Pigeon Rhyming Race Activity by Growing Book by Book 
Pigeon Handprint by Mama Miss 

Knuffle Bunny Activities 
Mo Willems Inspired DIY Bunny Costume Felt Headband by The Educators' Spin On It 
Knuffle Bunny Activity Mats by ready-set-read 

The Duckling Gets a Cookie Activities 
Counting Chocolate Chips - Duckling Get a Cookie by 3 Dinosaurs
Nut Free Alphabet Cookies by Rainy Day Mum
Sticky Cookie Craft by The Pleasantest Thing
The Duckling Gets a Cookie Math Games by Inspiration Laboratories
The Ducking Gets a Cookie Printable Clothespin Activity by Lalymom 

Sharing this at: Booknificent ThursdayThe Weekly Kid's Co-Op, Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop, and Good Tips Tuesday.
You might also like: 
Tot School Letter E:
Elephant and Piggie
VBCK: Bill Martin Jr. 
Book Inspired Meals + Snacks


  1. Such a sweet idea! Thanks for sharing it!


  2. LUV how you recycled the lids into a cookie! perfect for hours of play! So glad that you are co-hosting the Virtual Book Club for Kids this year. Can't wait to see what you share!

  3. I love this. I think we could use magic cookie jar too. I will have to check out the book from the library and try it. Thank you!

    1. We often recheck it from the library over and over. This time, we revisited the book through a reading of it on Youtube as our library didn't have it when we went! It must have been checked out.

  4. Great creative, though I must admit I have never really been a fan of Mo Willems' books.

  5. This is fantastic! I love how you saw the opportunity for change in a children's book! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope to see you again next week.

  6. This is fabulous! This is just what I need right now. I am overwhelmed, frustrated, and I feel disconnected from my son. He is almost three. He gets very frustrated too. I have been putting off the potty training, but I need to do that soon. This will help him learn more about emotions and kindness, and it will remind me to stay calm. Thanks for sharing :)