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Retrospective Crafts and Activities (Chapters 21-30)

Here are the final review of Charlie Club in Chapters 21-30 + the movie.

A quick glance at Chapters 1-10 can be found here, and Chapters 11-20 is here.

Chapter 21 Good-by Violet (November 11)

After we read the chapter, during which the kids drew pictures of their ultimate “Chewing Gum Meal” we went to the kitchen to try to make a papier-mâché Violet. Once everyone had covered their balloon in blue paper, they could add more colors and varieties of blue. Once they were all hung for drying, we had Thanksgiving flavored gumballs. Then we went outside for cupcakes and to play.

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Chapter 22 Along the Corridor (November 18)

In this Chapter, Charlie is running through the factory past many rooms with fantastic names, including EATABLE MARSHMALLOW PILLOWS. Using hundreds of toothpicks and a HUGE tray of marshmallows, the kids got to work.

While they were working, they had a chance to work two at a time to finish up the Violet Beauregarde they started the week before.

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Chapter 23 Square Candies that Look Round (November 25)

Another short chapter finds Charlie in a room full of square sweets that have eyes that can look around. Using card stock prefolded so it could form cubes, smelly markers, eye stickers and googly eyes, the kids could make their own squares [cubes] that can look around. While the kids worked on their cubes and squares, Tara brought them into the kitchen to make their own lollipops.

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Chapter 24 Veruca in the Nut Room (December 2)

A busy week! The kids drew pictures of Veruca Salt while Tara read the chapter. By the end of the chapter, Veruca has fallen down the garbage shoot. So, after finishing our pictures, she got a trashed with the addition of tissue or other craft supplies. Then she was then put in a garbage box with nuts and paint rolled all over her.

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Chapter 25 The Great Glass Elevator (December 9)

Before we did anything, we started this week by making graham cracker/candy cane sleds. Then, after we read the chapter, we made glittering lanterns with glue, sequins and jam jars.

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Chapter 26 The Television-Chocolate Room (January 6)

We had to take a few weeks off for international travel and Christmas break. So, when we returned, we played a fun warm-up game that was a bit like operator. Then, after Tara read the chapter, we started to make our own TVs, extra special TVs where you could pull out whatever was being advertised! We finished it off with air-bobbing for donuts. Donuts on a string.

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Chapter 27 – Mike Teavee is Sent by T.V. (January 13 and January 20)

In this chapter, all the characters need to wear glasses because the Television room is so bright. So, the kids designed their own glasses, then went back to work on the TVs. They added knobs, dials and remote controls. After everyone was done, they had a surprise, they were actually on TV. They had a great time presenting their TVs on TV and seeing themselves on the silver screen.

The following week, we finished the chapter then made Mike Teavee with Shrinky Dinks!

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The show is over

The show is over

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Chapter 28 Only Charlie Left (January 27)

This week, we made our own Gummies! We started them before the chapter. When Tara read, she used another edition of the book, with a different illustrator – Joseph Schindelman. When we finished the chapter, we compared the drawings from the earlier edition to those we were more familiar with by Quentin Blake.

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Chapter 29 The Other Children Go Home [plus Show & Tell] (February 3)

After reading this chapter we made our own elevators that could go zooming across the room. If some kids were done with a step before others, they could grind Cacao beans into a powder. After we made our elevators, we got into pairs to test them out. Once we tested them out, we had Show and Tell!

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Chapter 30 Charlie’s Chocolate Factory (February 10)

For our final chapter, we all got some crayons and drew on a piece of paper that had a quarter circle in the corner. The kids had to somehow incorporate the arc into their picture. After we completed the chapter and our individual pictures, we went around making fingerprints all over the house! Which were then turned into drawings.

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The movie – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (February 17)

For our final Charlie Club meeting it was a bit of a party! We had a chance to play in the playroom. Then make hot chocolate with the cacao beans we had been grinding for the last few weeks. When we did watch the movie, we made a list of the differences between the book and the movie. We also made a list of everything we liked about Charlie Club.

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And that is 8 months and 31 Charlie Club meetings!



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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


Retrospective Crafts and Activities Chapters 11-20

Our trip down memory lane continues (from here)…


Where was I?

Chapter 11 The Miracle (September 3)

We made tie-dyed shirts! Before we read the chapter we prepared the shirt. Then we read the chapter. In this chapter, Charlie finds the Golden Ticket. We played Pass the Parcel while our shirts sat in a solution. Kids dyed their shirts 2 at time. When we weren’t dying shirts we played with some weird magic growing fake snow.

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Chapter 12 What It Said on the Golden Ticket (September 9)

We are back in school, and met up after in Lincoln Park. We tried fizzy cola bottles and cola bottle gummies (some were sour and some were not). Then we painted with balloons.

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Chapter 13 The Big Day Arrives (September 16)

Inspired by all of the newspaper reports in the book, and all the reporters and onlookers at the gates of the factory – the kids each got a press pass and interviewed each other.  Because we met at Perry Park this week, they had space to move and conducted their interviews on the run.

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They also got a chance to take some pictures with my ipod, which you can see here.

Chapter 14 Mr Willy Wonka (September 23)

This week, we finally met Mr Wonka and go inside the factory, which is like a maze. Mazes were kind of a theme this week. We drew them in chalk before the chapter, we did them on paper while we listened, and then in teams created GIANT mazes with straws in a big box.

Can you draw a maze?

Can you draw a maze?

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Chapter 15 The Chocolate Room (September 30)

This was the first week we learned what became a staple for many more chapters, The Hat Song.


Before we read the chapter, we made our own chocolate. Afterwards, we made our own land of chocolate with scented play-doh! We had chocolate play-doh, plus cinnamon, peppermint, almond, lemon, orange-mango, coconut, and the grossest grape smell you can imagine.

Making Chocolate without a Waterfall

Making Chocolate without a Waterfall

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Chapter 16 The Oompa Loompas (October 7)

Before we read the chapter, we did the Hatr Song again. Then we talked about what we *thought* we knew about Oompa Loompas.  When we read the chapter, we stopped a few times to add to our list, and then made more additions at the end of the chapter too. In this chapter, we learn Chocolate comes from Cacao beans. We explored the beans, and chopped them up. Then we drew pictures of the crazy beasts and beings in Loompa land. We ended by watching a short video or real cacao beans being harvested in the rainforest.

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Chapter 17 Augustus Gloop Goes Up the Pipe (October 14)

We met on Columbus day, and made our own chocolate coated pretzels. After reading about Augustus Gloop falling in the chocolate river and getting sucked up the pipe, we made our own Gloops, stuffed him fat, then tried to send him through a variety of different pipes!

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Chapter 18 Down the Chocolate River (October 21)

In this Chapter, Charlie’s journey through the chocolate factory continues on a boat made from a boiled sweet. We wondered if boiled sweets were even buoyant? After reading the chapter, we headed outside to make some predictions and experiment with whether some of our favorite treats would float.

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Chapter 19 The Inventing Room — Everlasting Gobstoppers and Hair Toffee (October 28)
We read Chapter 19 in the kitchen, all the while making a crazy marshmallow and sugar treat. We blended and cooked sugar and marshmallows together, until it had an almost clay-like consistency to bend and build with.
Then we went and worked a little longer on those great big mazes.
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Chapter 20 The Great Gum Machine (November 4)
First we tested out the mazes that we finished last week. Then went inside to read chapter 20, where the giant machine whizzes and fizzes, “gradually, the mixture began to froth. It became frothier and frothier, and it turned from blue to white to green …” Tara had an experiment, a demonstration of “frothy” with baking soda and vinegar.
Then, when the chapter ended, we made our own machines with Styrofoam, tin foil, rubber bands, and lots of other materials they could choose to pick from.
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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


Retrospective Crafts and Activities Chapters 1-10

A lot happens over 31 Charlie Club meetings. We had birthdays, lost a lot of teeth, changed grades/ teachers, and many of us learned to read over the course of Charlie Club. Here is a quick retrospective on what we did each week:

Chapter 1: Here Comes Charlie (June 18)

In the first week, we started the book piling 10 kids up into Ellen’s bed to listen to chapter 1.

E & E Melt Chocolate

While some of us helped Tara melt squares of chocolate in the kitchen, we drew pictures of the things we longed for.

Chapter 2 Mr Willy Wonka’s Factory (June 25)

We drew some pictures from what he had read, while we made our own ice cream in the kitchen.

Ellen drew the bed and the factory

Ellen drew the bed and the factory


Chapter 3 Mr Wonka and the Indian Prince (July 3)

No longer squished into Ellen’s bed. We stayed on the porch. We divided into 2 groups to make our own castles and structures from food. But we didn’t use chocolate. We used apples.

Roisin - aliens

Roisin – aliens

Chapter 4 The Secret Workers (July 10)

Grandpa Joe tells Charlie that one of the world’s greatest mysteries is how Mr Wonka reopened his factory without every having opened it. It remains locked. All that is known is there are “faint shadows thatsometimes appear behind the windows, especially late at night when the lights are on.”

So we made our own shadow puppets.

Creating shadows with a backlit sheet

Creating shadows with a backlit sheet


Chapters 5 and 6 (July 17) The Golden Tickets & The First Two Finders

It is finally announced that Mr Wonka will open his doors to the 5 lucky finders of Golden tickets. The kids were so excited, they begged Tara to read Chapter 6 as well, where we learn Augustus Gloop and Veruca Salt have won tickets.

After the 2 chapters we made our own Golden Tickets.


Chapter 7 Charlie’s Birthday (July 31)

Poor Charlie Bucket, it’s his birthday and he has no party, no cake, and only one present: a chocolate bar that does not have a golden ticket.

So we threw him a birthday party with traditional games like Pass the Parcel, Blind Man’s Bluff,blowing Bubbles, and blowing out birthday candles!

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Chapter 8 Two More Golden Tickets Found (August 6)

Tara was not there! She was packing to go to Ireland, that day!! Left to my own devices, I realize this was possibly the scattiest Charlie Club we had! The pandemonium was not unlike Violet Beaulegard’s living room as she is surrounded by reporters, waving her arms and shouting.

We painted the driveway, we read the chapter, we sang some songs, I tried to teach them about money (!) we chewed bubblegum and tried to blow bubbles. We had a scavenger hunt, we couldn’t find anything left in plain sight. The now dried driveway paint sizzled with vinegar, shot from super cheap water guns that didn’t work.  I tried to have a bubble blowing contest, but instead they mixed the bubble solution with dirt to make mud. I turned on the bubble machine and waited for parents to come. This wasn’t even a longer than usual Charlie Club!

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Chapter 9 Grandpa Joe Takes a Gamble (August 12)

Tara and Ellen are in Ireland, but somehow we pull together another Charlie Club. In this chapter, Grandpa Joe takes his last bit of money, to take a chance to buy another bar of chocolate – Wonka’s Nutty Crunch Surprise.  Luckily Leah helped me pull this week off.

The kids designed a new line of chocolate bars by taking words out of a hat to use in the name of the chocolate. They then chance had a part to play determining colors to include in the label, and media (markers, crayons, paint, etc) to include in the design. They had to use what they pulled, but they could add anything else as well.

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Chapter 10 The Family Begins to Starve (August 29)

We took a break for Tara to get back from Ireland. When we reconvened things were not good for the Bucket family. It is desperately cold, Mr Bucket lost his job and he is shoveling snow to make money, but it is not enough to feed the family.

We made icy looking snowflakes. Some kids (Cerys) also played in some pretend snow, which was CRAZY messy.



Cerys makes a snow mountain

Cerys makes a snow mountain


Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


Highlights – what the kids liked best

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During our final Charlie Club, as they watched the movie, or during a break – the kids could write down what they liked about Charlie Club.

Here is what they came up with.

‘My favorite parts of Charlie Club were…’

making the treat sometimes

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all of it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

getting to know everyone!

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evry buty is crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


when Mike tv gos in the tv !!!!!!!!!!!!

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reading the book

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eating the treats

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all my frends are thar

the treats

Emilia isn't so sure about today's treat

Emilia isn’t so sure about today’s treat


eating the treats

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reading the book

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haveing fun


seeing tara

"'Augustus!' cried Mr. Wonka, seizing his hand and pumping it up and down with terrific force."

doing the craft


being crazy


being crazy

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Posted by on March 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


Some differences between the book and the movie

When we watched the movie of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Tara asked the kids if they noticed any differences between what we read and what we watched. Here is the list the kids gave Tara, and Tara gave me…
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I asked for 10.  I got 31.  And I’m sure I missed some since they were at times coming fast and furious during the movie
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1 Different title

2 Oompa Loompas have green hair and orange faces in the movie

3 The movie Willy Wonka looks different, he has no beard

4 The movie starts in a different place

5 The shopkeeper is not fat and he sings a song

6 Charlie has a job!!!

7 Where is Charlie’s dad?

8 There was no teacher in the book

9 There is no birthday scarf for Charlie in the book

10 The golden-ticket-finding-machine works differently

11 There are no newspaper reports in the movie (Mr. Bucket reads the newspaper in the book)

12 The mom in the movie sings and does lots of laundry

13 Charlie goes out alone at night in the movie

14 In the movie a man is kidnapped (man-napped?) for a case of Wonka bars

15 Someone who we think is Slugworth talks to the golden ticket winners when they win their tickets

16 In the movie they go into the factory on October 1 (not February 1)

17 Only Oompa Loompas sing in the book

18 The news reporters didn’t go into Charlie’s house in the movie

19 Some characters are thinner or more wrinkly in the book

20 Mr Wonka didn’t shake everyone’s hands off

21 Mr Wonka didnt tease Veruca

22 There’s no contract or hat/coat grabbers in the book

23 There’s no shrinking hallway in the book

24 Mr Wonka doesn’t scare kids with his cane in the book

25 Mr Wonka doesn’t snap his fingers to call an Oompa Loompa in the movie (he plays a whistle)

26 Charlie and Grandpa Joe don’t drink the fizzy lifting drink in the book

27 There are no geese or golden eggs in the book and where are the squirrels and nuts?

28 There’s no Cream-o-Vator in the book

29 The Oompa Loompas wear different suits in the Television Room

30 Charlie and Willy Wonka don’t hug in the book when Charlie wins the factory

31 The elevator doesn’t go to the Bucket house to get the family
It was so different the kids weren’t too sure if they loved it.
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No wait, two thumbs up for a movie day and Charlie Club!
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Movie)

If our final chapter was fairly typical, our final Charlie Club movie party was not very typical at all. Starting with when we came into Tara’s house the playroom was open and the kids could explore and play as much as they liked. Not typical.

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To the displeasure of Gingy the guinea pig.

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While some kids played and explored, others went to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate, using the cacao beans ground in previous weeks, with soy milk, sugar and heat.

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As the concoction bubbled, we got the orders down for the homemade hot chocolate.

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The beans made an interesting evolution.

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Not everyone was sure they liked it.

Time for the movie!

No, wait! First popcorn to burn/over-salt/spill/eat. (No pictures of that, I was the one messing that up!)

And first aid treatments to poor Emilia who got a nose bleed and a love bite from Gingy (despite being two blood related events with the same victim, they were actually unrelated) (luckily no pictures of that either – busy me!)

While I was in the kitchen battling blood and popcorn, Tara and the kids talked about some of the things they loved about Charlie Club. The full list is below and here.

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Ok. Time for the movie?

Wait, what movie is this? Not Charlie but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? The name is different!

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Is that the only difference? Tara challenged the kids to find 10 differences between the book and the movie. She got a lot more (31!), they were coming so fast and so thick she couldn’t write them all down!  The full list is here.

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After starting the movie late, we had to stop the movie not once, but twice for bathroom breaks. And stop it to write down and notice some of the differences with the book. It just gave the kids more chances to write what they loved about Charlie Club.

It also gave them a chance to work on some word searches.

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Here is the list of what everyone wrote about Charlie club:

‘My favorite parts of Charlie Club were…’

making the treat sometimes
all of it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
getting to know everyone!
evry buty is crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
when Mike tv gos in the tv !!!!!!!!!!!!
reading the book
eating the treats
all my frends are thar
the treats
eating the treats
reading the book
haveing fun
seeing tara
doing the craft
being crazy
being crazy

When the movie was over, the kids gave the movie experience the thumbs up!

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And a thumbs up for Charlie Club too!

Tara handed everyone their fingerprint art from the week before.


Ruby and Delia got bring home their own so they could make their own collaborative fingerprint masterpiece too.

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And with that, it was VERY late and time to slip on the ice during a cold walk home! We left an incredible mess for Tara and Ellen behind: spilled popcorn, toys all over the playroom, dirty cups all over the kitchen, “Showers of dust and broken tiles and bits of wood and cockroaches and spiders and bricks and cement… on the three old ones who were lying in bed, and each of them thought that the end of the world was come.” (OK maybe not that bad!)

But would there be anything to eat? Would we get a treat? Tara had a bag of goodies for everyone!

‘Anything to eat?’ cried Charlie laughing. ‘Oh, you just wait and see!’
[The last line in the book]

Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized



Charlie’s Chocolate Factory (Chapter 30)

Eight months after our first Charlie Club, we come to the final chapter. I am having a hard time writing this post. I feel like after all this time, this entry should be epic, practically operatic. But the actual events were pretty typical: we went up the hill as we have all fall and winter. We went straight to Tara’s kitchen for a snack, as usual. Eva was starving and Cerys wanted Tara to give magically provide her with goldfish. Nothing surprisingly dramatic. Oh well.

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After snacks we went into the living room. Someone asked if we were going to read the last chapter in Ellen’s room, as we had the first couple weeks. No, we would not be doing that, that was because the first chapters took place with all the grandparents piled into bed. But we did talk about some of the things we had read about over the last 29 chapters, and the things we had done. We talked about making our own tie-dye shirts (Emila was wearing hers!)  and Augustus Gloop or making shadow puppets.  Eva remembered that in the very first week we melted chocolate.

After talking about some of the chapters and our adventures, I handed out a big square piece of paper so they could color while they listened to Chapter 30, which was rather long. There was a semi-circle in the corner of each paper, and they should somehow incorporate the shape in whatever they drew. Tara gave everyone a cup with 7 crayons; everyone had crayons in the same colors.

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They were so busy that they barely looked up when Tara walked around to show everyone the last illustration in the book.

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The idea with the drawings was that when they were done, they would all have an individual picture, but they could link up, and be connected with the circle and a common theme.

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I’m not sure my lofty idea was entirely successful, especially since I didn’t center the circle very well – and they are always free to draw whatever they like, so there wasn’t really a common theme. We still got some really interesting pictures. Layla, Roisin and Jonah all used the semicircle to make a sun. Emilia and Ellen both made a chocolate river. Fin used the semicircle to make the mound of snow where Charlie had found the dollar in the end of Chapter 10. Eva used the semi circle to create Augustus Gloop’s large tummy. Cerys drew Frozen.

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Jonah’s prehistoric picture with sun.

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Augustus Gloop and a Chocolate River

After we completed both the chapter and our drawings, Tara had a lovely, messy craft lined up for the kids that would take place in multiple rooms! Each table was covered with paper, and each paper had some rectangles on them. The kids were to make finger prints all over the rectangles. “Switch!” “Switch!” They had to make sure they left their mark at every station on every table.

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After each area was well marked, they were then to create a picture incorporating the fingerprints they saw. They could also add more prints if they wanted.

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To help inspire the kids, Tara walked around with some examples of how fingerprints might be transformed.

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As the kids worked, Tara asked everyone to put their name next to their picture. Emilia said, “It’s like everyone made my picture because it has everyone’s finger prints on it!” Exactly!

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Ellen put a question mark next to her name, because had she really made this picture? Or was it everyone? There were some extra rectangles so that Ruby and Delia would be able to make their everyone-art too.

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Soon, Tara called everyone back to the kitchen, where she had lots of tasty things gathered on the stove.

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Today’s treat would be Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. Practically rolls off the tongue. In fact, Tara got the kids to say it together a few times! They were so excited they were jumping up and down.

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After everyone got a bowl

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we went to the living room. While we ate the delights, Tara put on the original trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie starring Gene Wilder.

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The treat was so sweet and so good we had to eat every last drop.

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My writing here might not be epic — but the Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight was certainly a memorable finale!

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized