A few months ago Porter starting taking tae kwon do lessons. To say that he loves it would be an understatement, it is the highlight of his week. He’s sure that he’s going to be a ninja when he grows up. He said to me the other day while we were on our way to class, “Mommy, I’m so excited about tae kwon do that I can feel my heart beating!”
I thought it would be fun to do a sort of ninja unit study in our homeschool, where we basically just read all the ninja book I could get from the library, and did a few ninja-related crafts. It made for a really fun week.
Favorite Ninja Books
Although we read many more, these were the ones the kids asked for over and over again and the ones I’d want to add to our picture book collection if money were no object.
The Three Ninja Pigs, Ninja Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat
These hilarious re-tellings of fairy tales cast the protagonists as ninjas-in-training. I loved the way each book emphasized practice and hard work.
Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop by Todd Tuell
This simple picture book follows a ninja boy as he sneaks through the house, steals a cookie, escapes a kiss, only to be out-ninja’d by his younger brother. My kids especially enjoyed this one for its sibling relationship.
Ninja! by Arree Chu
I loved this book for the way the illustrations fit and added meaning to words. The book describes what a good ninja needs and does while showing us a the main character in action, but not always making the best decisions!
Ninja Crafts and Activities We Did
- We made pipe cleaner ninjas. The kids definitely needed a lot of help with this one, but they were so much fun when they were done! (note: I did not use permanent markers to color in my wood face beads, and as you can see the color is rubbing off!)
- We did ninja training in our basement. This is something Porter made up, and basically includes him doing exercises with his dad. He asks to do this all the time and thinks its a blast to hold downward dog or practice a push-up.
- made origami ninja stars
Things We didn’t do that I wish we had/ Things I’d do next time
- no-sew Ninja costume
- shape ninja craft (we meant to do this one but just never got around to it- oops!)
- Draw a ninja using this YouTube tutorial. We didn’t do this during our ninja week only because we’d done this one A LOT when we first discovered it.
- In Porter’s tae kwon do class the teacher will often have them practice a few minutes of quiet meditation. Next time around I’d take this opportunity to talk a little bit about the benefits of meditation (I know there have to be children’s books on this) and try to practice a short 3- minute meditation a few times a week. These ninja stress balls would make a cute addition to this meditation introduction.