Homemade Bow and Arrow Flight Investigation (A companion activity for the story of William Tell)

Books become even better when you pair them with fun activities!

See what we did to go along with this month's Monthly Crafting Apple-Related Book Club theme.

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My bloggy pal Hilary over at Raising Fairies and Knights started a fun Monthly Crafting Book Club - a challenge to create activities to go along with some of the most beloved children's books.

We had some great times last year (see links at the end of this post) and have continued the fun this year:

January - Ladybug Girl Addition Bugs
February - Giraffes Can't Dance Roll-a-Dance Die
March - How Do Dinosaurs...Social Skills Game
April - The Very Hungry Caterpillar Box
May - Unique Nature Creations
June - Pinkalicious-Inspired Collage Art
July - Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten Can Craft

This month, our little group isn't sharing the same book, but the same theme: Apples!

It'll be a long time before our temperatures inch even a degree or two closer to fall around here, but in the meantime, we Floridians can try to trick our bodies into thinking it's fall by flooding our brains with apple-themed activities.

I had several apple-themed books in mind when I considered this topic, but then one day Gv and I were listening to some tunes and I knew we'd have to go with this selection:

My dad loved watching The Lone Ranger when I was little, so I've been familiar with this musical piece for pretty much my whole life.

Even though Gv had no clue who that masked man was, that didn't stop her from breaking into a gallop when the famous overture began to play.

I started to share the story with Gv, but quickly realized that I had no clue what it was actually about, besides having to do with shooting an apple off someone's head with an arrow.

And if I'm being really honest, this is what first springs to my mind, when considering this topic:

So I turned to the trusty Internet for the real scoop and found the basic story to read, but the tale didn't actually begin to come alive for us until we got the book from the library.

After reading the story, Gv was most curious to learn more about how a bow and arrow works.

Images of 7th-grade P.E. flashed before my eyes, but I certainly didn't have a big old bulls eye target or other archery materials sitting around to introduce her to.

So we made our own.

I took a coat hanger and stretched a rubber band around the little hook thingies. Then Gv decorated her quiver (toilet paper roll, of course!), covered the bottom with a bit of foil and filled it with things she thought would make good arrows.

Who needs fancy equipment?

She chose a pencil, straw, craft stick and pencil gripper.

We decided to tape together two straws and craft sticks to see if that would make them fly longer and I also cut a notch in the end of the straw and craft stick arrows so that they'd sit easier on the rubber band bow.

We just snipped the end a bit with scissors.

It seemed like the pencil's eraser and the gripper stuck pretty well on their own, since they were kind of rubbery.

Next, we  made our predictions on which "'arrow" would fly the farthest.

Gv picked the craft sticks and I picked the pencil.

We were both wrong.

The straw! The straw went the farthest (Gv's standing next to the straw).

We had a blast heading out to the backyard to try our bow and arrow skills out.

Look at those fingers pinch! Such a sneaky way to get a little fine motor skills practice in!

The straw arrow ended up flying the furthest. The craft stick was the trickiest one to launch and the pencil gripper's prowess was so pitiful, we had to just laugh.

I also had to laugh when I saw this photo. Like I said, the craft sticks were the trickiest to launch!

But the straws flew far and were easy to work with and she had so much fun, she asked if she could keep her bow and arrow to play with every day.

Look at how tickled she is!

Bonus: a new toy as the result of our little book activity and test!

We could have played this game longer, but the skeeters chased us inside after 2 rounds!

I did not expect such a thrown-together bow and arrow experiment to work out so well, but it did and we were also introduced to a new story along the way!

Do you know the whole story of William Tell?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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Check out the other amazing crafts that my fellow bloggers came up with for this month.

Come back next month and see what crafts and activities we come up with for our next book selection, The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin. You already know about our love for these books, so I can't wait to play around with ideas for this one! Join our Facebook Group HERE to participate.

Want to see all the great book activities from last year? Just check these out:

January Animal Action Dice Game for the book Barnyard Dance
February Cause & Effect Box for If You Give a Moose a Muffin
March - an alphabetical scavenger hunt for Dr. Seuss's ABC.
April handwashing fun to go along with The Piggy in the Puddle
May 5 Little Monkeys Fold 'Em Up for Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
June pinecone princess & Cozy Sweater Warrior Paper Dolls for The Princess and the Pony
July - lantern craft for Curious George Goes Camping
August - mini backpacks & dress-a-doll fun for Froggy Goes to School
September - pumpkin fun for It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
October - monster shape-sort bags & other crafts for Have You Seen My Monster?
November - cozy paper quilt for Bear Stays Up for Christmas
December - snowflake activities for Millions of Snowflakes

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  1. She is So cute! Thanks for sharing this at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Happy almost fall.

  2. What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing with us at Love to Learn: Pinned.

  3. so creative!! I love how you can use everything on hand!! (sorry I commented ages ago but I don't think it went through!!) Thanks for sharing at the #monthlycraftingbookclub

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