Ella’s first favourite book was Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. She requested it so many times that I had it memorized before she was a year old, and I still know it by heart!
I thought it would be fun to revisit the book this week, and what better way to start than with reciting the book while playing with a Madeline Sensory Bin!
We set up this fun invitation to play in a two different ways – as a small world set-up and as a sensory bin. Ella still loves her sensory bins, but she preferred the small world set-up for this activity.
Materials Needed for Madeline Sensory Bin:
- Madeline book, to read before or while your child plays
- Red, blue, and white pompoms (optional)
- Flowers – yellow or red, we went with Poppies to emphasize the connection between France’s Flander’s Fields and our upcoming Remembrance Day
- French flag (real or paper cut-out) — I wish I had known about this 3ft by 5ft one for less than $5 – it would have been great to do the activity on!
- Tiger in a “zoo” (metal container) from our Wild TOOB
- L’arch d’triumph and Eiffel Tower figures from Around the World TOOB
- Small peg dolls
- Bakery or small dollhouse – we did this activity adjacent to Ella’s dollhouse so she could use it as an additional “setting” while acting out the story with the peg dolls, and I included the bakery because it’s oh-so-French to me!
- Any other symbols of French culture, or objects mentioned in the book (vines, rain, shine, ambulance, mice, etc)
I also have started placing these plastic tablecloths under our sensory play activities. While I expect for the children to keep sensory bin items in their bins, the tablecloths help make it easier to clean up any accidental spills, and they are good for still defining the “play area” for my kids who like to deconstruct their sensory bins, pulling items out and organizing them.
In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
In two straight lines they broke their bread
and brushed their teeth
and went to bed.
They smiled at the good
and frowned at the bad
They left the house
at half past nine
in two straight lines
the smallest one
To the tiger in the zoo
Madeline just said,
In the middle of one night
Miss Clavel turned on the light
and said, “Something is not right!”
Little Madeline sat in bed,
cried and cried; her eyes were red.
And soon after Dr. Cohn
came, he rushed out to the phone
and he dialed: DANton-ten-six-
“Nurse,” he said, “it’s an appendix!”
In a car with a red light
they drove out into the night.
Madeline woke up two hours
later, in a room with flowers.
Madeline soon ate and drank.
On her bed there was a crank,
and a crank on the ceiling had the habit
of sometimes looking like a rabbit.
Outside were birds, trees, and sky-
and so ten days passed quickly by.
One nice morning Miss Clavel said-
“Isn’t this fine-
day to visit
And all the little girls cried, “Boohoo,
we want to have our appendix out too!”
“Good night, little girls!
Thank the lord you are well!
And now go to sleep!”
said Miss Clavel.
And she turned out the light-
and closed the door-
and that’s all there is-
there isn’t any more.
We are planning on getting up to a whole lot of Madeline-inspired fun over the next month, including exploring some French food and making our own Madeline peg dolls from the ones you see in our sensory play. Make sure you’re subscribed to our free newsletter so you don’t miss it!
Check out these other fun Madeline-inspired activities from my Co-Hosts in the Virtual Book Club for Kids:
Doubles Activity for Preschoolers from Toddler Approved
Learning About Body Parts with Madeline
Madeline Snack from Still Playing School
Exploring Art & Color from Mama Miss
Made”line” Sensory Tray Writing from Growing Book by Book
Madeline Movement Game from Mom-Inspired Life
Toddler Shape Activity from The Pleasantest Thing
Build the Eiffel Tower from Inspiration Laboratories
Skip Counting 2’s with Madeline from Rainy Day Mum
Flowers for Madeline from the Educator’s Spin On It