Fast and Easy Extension Activities for The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

These crafts and projects for The World According to Humphrey are mostly cheap and easy to do with  household supplies.  They are arranged according to chapter, so as not to interfere with the schedule set up by Sonlight in their HBL K program’s copyright program.  As always, let me know if you have any other activities or ideas your family enjoyed, or if you find any mistakes or broken links. 

Chapter 1: 

  • Play Pet Store, you can just imagine, or get creative with fun price tags and play money and practice good math and economics skills. Here are some fun price tags
  • Make a pet hamster craft. Here is a cute hamster you can easily make with a large pompom ball, with or without the exercise ball. This is another great site for a hamster with a cage, or scroll down for a hamster made from an oatmeal box and paper.  

Chapter 2: 

  • I was trying to find a good lapbook about hamsters in general, but they are less common than I would like.  Here is one that looks simple and effective, and costs about $3.00 for the rights to download.  I have no association with the seller.  
  • Short TV show about nocturnal animals. 
  • Very short video about what is a janitor. (Career/social studies: community helpers)

Chapter 3: 

  • Talk to your children about setting goals for the day, week, or other time period, by choosing something that is hard for them to do or they are afraid to try.  If you need help setting concrete, measurable, trackable, and specific, this is a great site to help you get started. In Chapter 6, you will see Sayeh meet her first goal, so you might wish to use that as a deadline for your first goal.  
  • Practice cleaning fast like Aldo does. If your children succeed in cleaning within a certain time limit, give them a reward they can have with the extra time to motivate them or help them see the benefits. 

Chapter 4: 

  • Short video of what is a principal.(Career/social studies: community helpers)
  • Create a cage for your pet (real or crafted) hamster.  I’ve linked a google search with a variety of suggestions. I am thinking Lego sounds fun for us to try, as we did well with that before.  

Chapter 5: 

  • Play listening games
  • Dictate and create an ad for something your child would like or would like to do.  You can create any kind of ad, such as a want ad, or a selling ad, or just an ad telling people about a service or activity.  

Chapter 6: 

  • Make or send a post card to a family member or friend.  Ask family/friends to send some as well.  You can download a template, or purchase one. Here is a blank one your child can use to draw a picture of Humphrey (or anything else they like) that you can print from home.  
  • Check in with your child on their goal and their progress.  Set new goals if you would like. 

Chapter 7: 

  • Have your child practice learning a new language. If they struggle with language, American Sign Language is usually a pretty easy start.  You can designate a stuffed animal to only speak in that language, to motivate your child to find a way to communicate more words in that language. 
  • Have a tea party. 
  • Learn a song from another country.  There are so many to choose from.  

Chapter 8: I try to avoid Halloween crafts at my house, so I will not suggest any of those.

  • Perform your new song from Chapter 7 for a small audience.  
  • Have a hamster party.  This link shows several ideas, but for us, the snack ideas were the ones we used.  You might include cupcakes and apple juice like in the book.

Chapter 9: 

  • Humphrey looked up at a starry night, and of course, it’s hard to find a starry night craft without coming across artwork by Vincent Van Gogh.  This art project looks fun and you can add in a small artist study as well.  
  • You can do a dog craft to go along with the dog in this story. I chose this project to link because it offers a variety of styles of dogs.  

Chapter 10: 

  • Have some creative carrot-themed snacks. This website, if you keep scrolling, has a lot of fun carrot ideas.  We like the lion, but I made it from melon and carrot rather than bread and cheese.  But, if you have creativity when it comes to food, it will help you to create new ideas.  

Chapter 11: 

  • The book says there are no real hamster based cartoons, but we liked the movie bolt, with the fun hamster. I think there’s a sequel about the hamster, but I haven’t seen it.  
  • Have an electronics-free day, and play games such as Crazy Eights, Pig, and Go Fish

Chapter 12: 

  • Play football
  • Invite a friend over
  • Have your child create mazes.  You can make them indoors on tape-safe walls or floors, or outside on sidewalks or driveways. All you really need is an inexpensive roll of masking tape, and your child can use strips to create mazes or pathways of their own liking.  

Chapter 13:

  • Brainstorm with your child to find a way to cheer someone up, and then follow through. 

Chapter 14:

Chapter 15: 

Create some more fun, creative fruit and vegetable snacks that Humphrey could share. 

After the Book:
There are quite a few more books in the Humphrey series (affiliate link). They are also on audio.  As I metioned above, Bolt is a fun movie involving a hamster.  Here’s the PluggedIn movie review for it. https://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/bolt/

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