Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting a Little Crafty and Making Read Alouds Fun! {FREEBIE}

I decided to do something a little different today and post some crafty goodness. Most of you don't know this, but in my free time (of which I have so little these days) I sew and draft patterns. I have also taught both sewing and pattern making classes over the years. Awhile back I was feeling nostalgic and decided I really needed to make a toy from my past to share with my students. When I was a little girl I had a Little Red Riding Hood topsy turvy doll. It looked a lot like this:
 On one side was Little Red and if you flipped her over she was Granny. If you then turned Granny's cap over, she became the Wolf. When I was little, I played and played with this, all the while retelling the story of Little Red Riding Hood.  This was absolutely one of my favorite toys.
So, when I flipping through pictures of myself playing with my doll, the teacher in me took over. I knew that I had to make a few for my classroom. At the time that I designed the pattern, there were no other patterns on the market. Even now, I am not sure if there are any non-vintage topsy turvy patterns out there.  So, after many hours of trial and error, I came up with a few fun dolls to use for read alouds and/or student retelling. These dolls are cherished in my class. The students can't wait to get their hands on them!

The first doll I made was Cinderella Rags to Riches:

 Here is my favorite topsy turvy doll that I made, Alice and The Queen of Hearts. She is divine!

{FREEBIE!} As my gift to all of you sewing teachers (or teachers with a sewing friend!), I am giving you a free copy of my Alice and Queen of Hearts Doll pattern, after all she is my favorite! If you decide to make one, send me a picture. I would love to see what you create! Just Click HERE to get your copy of the pattern PDF.

 If sewing is not your thing, check sites like Etsy for handmade Topsy Turvy dolls. You can also still find a few commercial examples of these dolls like this one from North American Bear

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. This is so cute Shelly! I love the Cinderella one! This would be so fun to use when reading stories of Cinderella from different cultures!
    Teaching With Style

  2. Wow Shelly! You are so clever! The little topsy turvy dolls are ADORABLE!


    Early Years Fun

  3. Thank you for your kind words! You do get a lot more mileage out of Cinderella. The nice thing about the pattern is that it is easy to adapt to different characters. Bug Hugs,


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