Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire Book and Activity!

 My kids were over the moon excited to see this huge box in the mail waiting for them to open!  As part of the "Love Books," activity and book swap,  Critters and Crayons send an Explorer package for my 2 kiddos! WHAT FUN! 
We couldn't wait to be explorers!  What a great choice of books for us. 
Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire is about exploring the world around you and we love to do that.  Fancy Nancy and her best friend Bree create an explorer club with rules. They examine different things in the backyards like butterflies, trees, ants, and birds.  Their younger siblings want to join, but don't seem to follow all the rules in the beginning.  At the end, they find the best discovery (you'll have to read it to find out what it is) and are unanimously voted into the club.  We talked about how different people bring different skills and talents to a group and even though little brothers and sisters may have trouble following all the big kid rules, they still are important, valued, and must be included. 

My 5 year old really enjoys reading Fancy Nancy books because she likes learning and using big words for things.  I liked this book because it combines illustrations and photographs, fiction and some non-fiction parts, making it a very well rounded book with an educational and entertainment component.  After reading the book we were ready to start our activity - The Little Explorers Discovery Jug!

Before opening the jug, I asked the kids to think about what our activity was.  My kids couldn't quite figure out what exactly was in this "Little Explorers Discovery Jar."  Elly was soooo silly and said," I will use my 5 senses to figure this stuff out."  She looked at it.  She shook it and listened to it. And YES she smelled it.  (That is her smelling the jug)  She actually sniffed around the entire outside and couldn't smell anything out of the ordinary. <insert a ton of sniffing noises as you envision her doing this around the entire container.> "PLEASE can we just feel it?" she begged! Welll.............

I knew that this was cloud dough and remembered that it may be a tad on the messy side.  In fact, on her blog she post about could dough Tricia writes"Keep this in mind, folks.  Fun can be had all around with this stuff.  And I mean, All Around.  :)" I know my kiddos and took this as a warning to head outside.  Besides, everything about this book and activity screams "OUTSIDE!" 
We unscrewed the cap and dumped it right into our empty sand and water table on the deck.  The kids started sifting their fingers in it and shouting, "I found a  ____" (insert the name of really cool little shells and rocks that Tricia's kids filled the jug with) They were so into this activity, that I grabbed a book and snuggled up on the deck in the sunshine to read for pleasure!
Soon, Elly said, "I know what this is! It is flour..." and from there, the fun was had, all around!  It was a full body sensory experience!  The kids played with it for hours and then we saved what we could for another day of play!
The only thing I wished I had were 2 large magnifying glasses for us to take an explorer walk with.  If anyone knows a good place to get sturdy, large, clear magnifying glasses - please let me know, I am on the search for some!  

A special thanks to Tricia at Critters and Crayons for this awesome gift!  Stay tuned to see what books and activities Robyn and Whitney from Pen Pals and Picture Books and Ann at Little Sprout Books received in this book and activity swap!  

If you missed out on the swap, but love the idea, please don't feel bad...
1. We may do one again this summer if there is enough interest
2. You could make one for your kids (this would make an AWESOME Valentine's Day gift)
3. You could make this for another parent in your life that would appreciate it, maybe a single parent? someone who is working long hours? or just a friend who would benefit from your kindness?

If your stuck on what to make or how to connect an activity to a book, feel free to stop by our linky to get ideas.  If you have a great blog post that connects one book and an activity (or activities) and want to share, please feel free to link yours up too! That is why WE blog, to share ideas and become better parents!

The Educators' Spin On It


  1. Sorry about the cloud dough in the hair! haha! I'm glad they had fun!!!! I love this post- And this whole book/activity swap has been a ton of fun! Thank you!

  2. That's one of the best ideas I've hear about! So cool that they enjoyed it as much as they did!

  3. Learning Resources Jumbo Magnifiers

  4. Oh wow! What a great package!! That looks like a ton of fun!

  5. Awesome and very creative. Also quite appropriate for 5 year olds with little brothers.

  6. This sounds like an awesome day/activity/book/memory. The perfect combination! I'll keep an eye out for magnifying glasses for you! Thanks for sharing this with us at Rub Some Dirt On It!

  7. Sorry to respond late to this. I am looking at your blog to see what kinds of activities your little ones love so I can get the summer box ready. We have large sturdy magnifying glasses we purchased from Kaplans. My children love them!


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