Going out to visit a school still fills me with nerves. To counteract the thoughts of being ‘not enough’, I make plans to fill my time in the classroom to give the school and the children extra value. My visits are always more than a reading! We have treasure hunts, stickers for all and craft activities often including building a house for Lum.
The activities revolve around the storyline of the book I’m reading with the class. In Lum‘s first book, the children go on a search for Lum (cue Lum treasure hunt) who has been scaring them. When they find him and learn why he was trying to frighten them, instead of chasing him away, they help him. They show him how to make friends and even build him a home.
Lum was first published in 2016, and building a house for Lum with children has been a staple of my school visits right from the start. It’s taken various guises over the years, from recycling old boxes, to building blocks and most recently a fabulous template designed by my illustrator, Nic Phine. First the template is coloured, then stuck to an old cereal box, cut out and finally built. The activity gives us plenty of time to talk about “what would you do?”, “the kindness shown to Lum” and “ways to make friends”.