Reading Road Trip: Construction Zone

Welcome to stop two on the Reading Road Trip! If you’re just joining us, be sure to download the roadmap so you can follow along. Also, sign up here for a chance to win a prize pack at the end of the summer! The reading road trip continues this week with a drive through a construction zone! Unlike construction zones in real life, which can slow us down or bring us to a full stop and add a lot of frustration to a journey, this construction zone is all about bringing a little construction-themed fun to the summer! So we hope you take some time this week to spend a little “building” time with your kids, reading books with a construction theme—whether that be books about building with blocks or bricks, toys or giant cranes. Continue reading for story time ideas and a construction themed reading list. Read : Books that fit the theme of “construction zone,” however you want to interpret it! FEATURED BOOK: Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus is a book about b

Review and Craft: ONE IS A PINATA

One is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra, is a charming concept book that highlights many festive things -- such as a piñata and agua fresca -- that you might find at a Mexican fiesta! The rhyming text is simple and pleasant and blends in many Spanish vocabulary words. The book includes a glossary at the end that not only defines the Spanish terms, but also explains some of the cultural relevance behind them. This book is a great choice for younger readers learning their numbers and/or to introduce some simple Spanish vocabulary.

READ: One is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers 


  • Have you ever been to a party where there was a piñata? What kind of candy was in it?
  • What new Spanish words did you learn for the first time when reading this book?
  • Can you count to ten? Can you count higher?
  • What are some festive things from the book that you might like to try?
  • What do your friends and family usually do during a fiesta?
DO: Make mini piñatas!

These miniature piñatas could be a fun craft, party favor, or decoration for your own fiesta. They can be filled with candy as a party favor. Or you can use them to add a little color to your favorite space. The little piñatas take some time to make, but they are fairly simple and can be made with items you might already have on hand. 

You will need:
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Pen or marker
  • Cardboard (such as an empty cereal box)
  • Colorful tissue paper 
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue stick (white glue will work, but is messier)
  • A ruler
  • Optional: candy (small wrapped candies, Skittles, M&Ms, etc.)
  • Optional: ribbon
  • Optional: googly eyes
  • Optional: short piece of yarn
  1. Draw a simple burro (donkey) shape or print out this PDF to use as a template. If you draw your own, the drawing should fit in a 4 or 5 inch square. 
  2. Cut out the donkey shape. Don't include the ears or tail, as these will be added later. If using the template, simply cut along the solid black line.
  3. Trace around the template on the plain side of a sheet of cardboard. Flip the template around and trace around it again. You should have two donkey shapes, each facing a different direction (see image #3 in the graphic).
  4. Cut two long strips, about 1/2 inch wide and ten inches long, out of cardboard. I used the side panel of the cereal box.
  5. This step is a little tricky. What you need to do is tape the long cardboard strip to the outside edge of the donkey cut-out. With the donkey shape plain side DOWN, start at the outside of the left leg and work your way up and around, putting a piece of tape every inch or so (see image #4 in the graphic below). When the first strip runs out, switch to the second strip, overlapping the end of the first strip about 1/2 inch. When you reach the feet, be sure to fold the cardboard strip to make a sharp corner. When you're done, you should have what looks like a little donkey-shaped box (image #5). 
  6. Optional: Fill the donkey with small candies.
  7. Set the other donkey cut-out on top, and tape it in place every inch or so. It probably won't be a perfect fit, but that's okay!
  8. Cut two ears out of cardboard and glue them in place at the top of the head.
  9. Cut several strips of tissue paper, about an inch wide. Snip one side of each strip to look like fringe (image #7).
  10. Beginning at the feet, glue the paper strips onto the donkey shape, overlapping each row about half way. Cut smaller strips and glue to cover the face, ears, and along the back.
  11. To make the tail: Cut a rectangle about 3 by 1 1/2 inches out of tissue paper. From the short end, fold it several times until you have a narrow strip of folded tissue paper about 1 1/2 inches long. Twist the paper, leaving about 1/4 inch on each end flat. Glue one flat end to the donkey's butt. 
  12. Trim the fringe. Add googly eyes (or draw eyes with pen or marker) and draw on a nose and mouth. 

Other options: 
  • Instead of twisted paper, use a short length of yarn as a tail.
  • Little hands might have a hard time gluing the fringed strips. They can glue on pieces of colored tissue paper instead.
  • Include a ribbon for hanging. Before taping the top cut-out in place, put a small hole or slit in the donkey's back. Tie a loop of ribbon and slip it through the hole, with the knot on the inside. 
  • If you want to get treats out of your piñata without ruining it, simply use scissors to cut the bottom of the feet out. 
  • Your piñata doesn't have to be a donkey. Make it any shape you want. Some ideas: a star, a heart, a flower, some other animal!
If you make these mini piñatas, we'd love to see them. Share them on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge or #ReadDiscussDo. Have fun reading and celebrating!


Mindy Baker said…
Such a cute craft to go with a fun book! Thanks!