Fun (and Free) Activities From Children’s Authors

Here are a bunch of freebies I found on various author’s websites. Good stuff that I’m sure teachers, parents and babysitters will be happy to make use of for entertaining little readers. 

Shel Silverstein’s website has a section with several cool Learning Resources for educators. My favorite is the “Runny Babbit” activity that teaches kids how to make up spoonerisms, which are such an underdeveloped part of education nowadays.

Josie Whitehead is a poet who has a million darling poems posted on her website. This one she calls The Rhyming Game and I could see it being a fun activity that a group of early readers could do together. There are a great many animal poems, and Josie makes a suggestion for young artists to create their own illustrations to go along with the poems, such as this one: Cat is a Cat for all That.

Todd Parr is an author/illustrator and a branding juggernaut from the look of his website. His books include “It’s Okay to be Different” and “The Feeling Book” and all have a very distinctive and recognizable style. They are full of color and meant to appeal to very little children. His website has a section for Fun with a bunch of downloadable activities. I particularly like the paper dolls!

The inimitable Eric Carle has a whole section on his website where he provides detailed guidance on how to make cutout artwork similar to his illustrations for books like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and “The Hungry Caterpillar.” Hey, man, don’t give away all your secrets!

Avi, an author whose blog I particularly enjoy, has many excellent resources for teachers on his website. Most notable among these are “Readers’ Theatre” scripts that can be used to turn two of his books into plays.

Joan Aiken, author of the Arabel and Mortimer series, has a whole section of “Fun Stuff” that includes a whole coloring book, ecards, bookmarks and movies.

Coloring Pages and Other Printouts

The following authors have a section on their site with activity sheets you can download and print out for kids to color or do stuff like complete mazes, etc.

Bob Wilson, an author and illustrator from the UK, author of the Stanley Bagshaw series and other books.

Ron Parker, author of A to Z Mysteries for kids.

Children’s book author and illustrator, Melanie Hope Greenberg has supplied the blog with a selection of coloring pages to download.

Katie Davis has a coloring page to go along with her book, Recess!

Jean Reidy, author of such gems as “Too Purpley” has several coloring pages found amongst the Resources on her “Time Out For Teachers” section.

David Williams, author of many books including “Gangsta Granny” has a huge section of fun stuff in his “School Zone.”

Camilla Chester, author of “Jarred Dreams” and “Thirteenth Wish” has several activities more appropriate for older students, such as character development projects and word searches.

Andrea Beatty, author of the very popular “Rosie Revere” picture book has several really cool items that can be printed out and folded into airplanes or copters.

Sherry Ellis, author of “Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China” has a few cute downloadable word searches and an online scavenger hunt list she calls a “webquest.”

Wanda Luthman, author of “Franky the Finicky Flamingo,” has several coloring pages on her website.

Aura Parker, author & illustrator of the darling picture book “Twig” has a very sweet packet of activities that go along with the book.

An Vrombaut, author of 64 Zoo Lane which is also an animated cartoon series, has several coloring pages.

Note: This is hardly a comprehensive list. But one thing that became really clear when I was looking for these is that many authors don’t make these goodies very prominent on their websites. If you are an author and are reading this, please consider adding a heading to your navigation menu that says “Free Stuff” and collecting these in one place to make it easier for fans to find.