Marine alphabet (& a free printable poster)

From the Windy blog — Foggy & Cloud demonstrate the International Marine Alphabet (also known as flag semaphore). You can learn more about semaphore from Arthur Ransome's Winter Holiday or read this excellent student project by Susan Laflin.

You may download and print this mini-poster to help you with your messages. This is taken from the inside dust-jacket of Foggy.

(I made an extra colourway for fun, so you can download the blue one here and the yellow poster here). As usual, all rights from the Windy series reserved © Judith and Robin. Happy signaling.

Shoelace Sewing

Simple shapes with pre-cut holes that your little one can use by sewing around the edges (this isn't a practical sewing project). This activity was originally inspired by a 5-year old boy I spoke to. His kindergarten class has a wooden sewing set which is very popular with the children. Here are instructions and templates so you can make your own sewing set.

This is great for the 3-5 set and is a surprisingly easy craft project to set up.

Instructions are here and a set of templates to download so you can make this at home. There are 4 shapes to sew: Windy's kite, Sunny's guitar, Snowy & Chinook's flower and Foggy & Cloud's boat.


· Card stock (such as an empty cereal box)
· Scissors
· Hole punch
· Shoelace (yarn with scotch tape on the end would work, too)
· Templates


1. Print out one of our templates.
2. Trace shape from template onto some card stock or cardboard. We used the inside of a cereal box.You can also hold the printed template together with the card stock and cut the shape out directly.
3. Use a standard hole punch to make a series of holes around the shape you have cut out.
4. Child may then use a shoelace to sew around the edge. You may also use a thick piece of yarn with some scotch tape rolled around the end for stiffness to mimic a shoelace.