Youngsters and staff at Kiddi Caru’s Bedford day nursery held a week of activities to celebrate the much-loved children’s book about the fun-loving, colourful elephant Elmer – including making their own elephant structures with arts and craft materials.
The original Elmer book was published in 1968, establishing the main character’s cheerful and optimistic personality traits and now famous yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, black and white patchwork pattern. Consequent stories explored themes relating to diversity, with Elmer discovering that when he tries to change his appearance in order to ‘blend in’ with the other elephants, they no longer recognise him, or accept him as one of their own.
The rest of the week was filled with singing elephant songs, dressing up as elephants, squirting water out of trunks and making elephant sounds, Elmer story times and taking rides on elephants created out of decorated cardboard boxes.
Hannah Buckley, nursery manager, said: “Elmer is one of those characters that children have loved for generations. He has a wonderful personality and the stories really capture their imaginations. The theme of diversity is a powerful one; Elmer paints himself grey to blend in but when it begins to rain and the grey washes away to reveal his true colours he realises that his friends love him just the way he is. This is an incredibly positive message for children of all ages.”
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