Create, Live

Bringing Children’s Books to Life: Paper Dolls

October 28, 2014

Way back in June (cough) Kate at Little Lewes joined in with a blog challenge started by Hattie at Free our Kids to create an activity from the pages of a favourite children’s book. I loved Kate’s Inspired by Matisse post. I want the ‘Henri’s Scissors’ for myself.

Ohh, brilliant I thought, that is right up my street. And it will be a perfect thing to do in the summer holidays with the children.

Anyway, time passed and the school holidays flew by and by the time I remembered it was too late. Then, as we settled into our routine I found that the two days I have at home with Kate each week are perfect for doing things like this. And so it popped into my mind. Even more serendipitous was the fact that Kate had pulled out Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb again recently and had been asking for me to make her some dolls.

I love everything about this book (spoiler: except the boy with the scissors). I love the idea of generations of mothers doing the same thing with their daughters (although clearly paper dolls are not a girl only activity. Piran loves making them too). I am sure that my mother made paper dolls with me, I loved making them as a child.


I drew and cut out the dolls. Kate decided she wanted three boys and three girls. She was totally amazed at the way they held hands when we opened them up.


Next she wanted to colour them in. She drew in their faces and I gave hair where instructed. I let her make all the decisions, I just did as I was told.


Coloring in was hard for her so I thought the water colour paints would be great for this. Kate painted tops and bottoms for all of her people, chatting away about each one as she did it. The paints looked really great, we just had to be a bit careful when they were wet as the paper was thin and quite fragile.


In the book the little girl gives all her dolls names so we had to as well. They are (from L:R) John, Piran, Michael, Lin, Ann and Kate.

This is a ,lovely book which is all about imagination and adventures and memories. You can’t go wrong with Julia Donaldson. I haven’t added a link to the book but I do encourage you to find a local children’s bookstore and go and buy one.

This was a really lovely activity to do. I think that Emily at Mummylimited should have a go next – I know she is a very busy lady with her hands full but bearing in mind it took me 4 months to do this I am sure she can think of something.


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  • Reply Kate October 28, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Bravo Kelly, what a gorgeous post and thank you for linking to mine! I will definitely be doing this with my boys and when I do will take some snaps and share with you. We don’t have Paper Dolls but I will have to borrow it from the library. I see from the bottom of the post that you have done some posts about ‘the year in books’. Look out for a post on Little Lewes coming up about something Bags of Books have just launched for kids along this themeā€¦ Well done again on a really lovely post. Kate x

  • Reply snafflesmummmy October 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    They look fab. My boys love making paper people. So versatile too. Might have to make some snowmen soon

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