I found my two-year old reaching for a book that I had thoroughly enjoyed, Zog and the Flying Doctors by the brilliant Julia Donaldson. The inspiring book spins a delightful tale about a princess who pursues her dreams to be a doctor. This inspired me to create my own Zog And The Flying Doctors story-craft activity with my child.
“Zog and The Flying Doctors” is the sequel to “Zog”, also by Julia Donaldson. In the book, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout go about on their trusty air ambulance, Zog the dragon, to care for ill creatures in the kingdom. However, Princess Pearl eventually finds that she has to prove herself as a doctor by curing her uncle, the king, of “orange fever”.
According to the book, the cure for “orange fever” requires a concoction to be made from grated unicorn horn, a lion’s sneeze, mermaid scales, slime and cheese.
On that premise, we decided to utilise basic household items to conjure up our own ‘cure’ for yellow fever based on the ingredients listed in the book as our own Zog And The Flying Doctor Story-Craft Activity.
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Zog And The Flying Doctor Story-Craft Activity
We used the following “ingredients” (which may be creatively substituted) for the story-craft activity:
Homemade or store-bought play dough
Random tiny gold stars
Tray, bowl or some receptacle you do not mind getting grubby
Wooden spoon to stir, or happy eager hands to mix
1. Depending on your child’s age and scissor skills, get them to cut or tear pieces of coloured paper into a receptacle. If you utilise a tray, it conveniently doubles up as a larger surface to work the dough play at the end of the activity. This coloured paper represents the ‘grated horn of unicorn’. Just a point of clarification to unicorn lovers – in the story, it was an extra unwanted horn that the unicorn was glad to dispose of; and no unicorns were harmed in this Zog And The Flying Doctor Story-Craft Activity. Skills practised: Fine motor skills from tearing and scissors-usage. These serve as great pre-writing exercises.
2. Next, put in the “lion’s sneeze” – in our case, the glitter. Parents can enhance the experience with a bit of role-play fun, by doing a mighty ‘ahhh-chooo!’ for every sprinkle of glitter. Subsequently, encourage your child to do his/her hilarious rendition.
Skills practised: Role play
3. Add in “mermaid-scales” in the form of sequins. You may wish to count the number of scales as you place it in the receptacle, or get your child to put in a pre-stipulated number. For older children, you may request that they count in groups of 2 or more.
Skills practised: Age-appropriate counting and pincer-grasp practise.
4. Throw in some play dough to depict slime. The amount of dough has to be substantial enough to bind together all the ingredients.
5. To represent cheese, I added some tiny gold stars.
6. Mix all the ingredients with happy eager hands or with a wooden spoon.
Skills practised: Strengthening of hand muscles.
When you are done, ta-da! You have your miracle “orange fever” cure! The Zog And The Flying Doctor Story-Craft Activity may be concluded with open-ended dough play.
This is an example of a story-related craft activity that we came up with that required no specific items nor copious amounts of time in order to engage in a power bonding session with your child.
You can similarly do so by letting your imagination and creativity run wild, or simply obtaining ideas from your child, to extend the magic of their favourite book too!