Fun for Kids!

Here’s my dog Cosmo saying, “READ!” 

Giant Carrot Bookmark
What you’ve always wanted, but your mom wouldn’t let you have–a real carrot bookmark!
This is the next best thing!

See this fun video of Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea! 

Superpower bookmarks! FREE Bookmarks for Kids  Print the page to have your own.



The Awesome Talkster
This is a free program that reads Web pages!

  • Talkster can speak online stories or books to you. The voice can be put in “Boy” or “Girl” mode to add a character with a bubble over his or her head. The bubble will show each word as it is spoken and the voice can be put on “slow” for you to follow. Talkster can help you read!

Watch out for the Invisible Kid on this page!


Read my story, “The Perfect Dog!” or if you like I can read it to you! :A really fun web site for kids created by NASA and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Fun Stuff using Jan’s books

Feel free to download these PDF files and reproduce them for classroom use

written by Jan Peck


Download Free Adobe Reader Here

Click and Print


Online magazines that publish young authors’ works:  Pad and Kids Bookshelf are some of the e-zines/Web sites that consider poetry, short fiction and artwork by children.

Here’s some cool links given to me by my new awesome writer friend, Spelile:

KinderArt: the largest collection of free art lessons on the Internet.

The Youth Online Club: various contests for kids from around the net

A place to paint and let your imagination soar!

A Few Fun Markets you can try with your writings!!!

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a publisher of true, motivational, inspiring, heartwarming and heartfelt stories. If you have a story that happened in your life that can bring joy and awareness to chicken soup readers, check out their online submission form “Send Us a Story”. Be prepared to wait a long, long time to hear back.  They don’t tell you if they are NOT going to use your story.  Be sure to also click on their to give you ideas to write. They pay $300 for stories.  They buy true stories from adults, kids, and teenagers.

NewPages Young Authors Guide

Where young writers can find print and online literary magazines to read, places to publish their own works, and legitimate contests. Some publish only young writers, some publish all ages for young readers. For specific submission guidelines, visit the publication’s website. This is an ad-free page; publications and contests listed here have not paid to be included. This page is maintained by Editor Denise Hill, a teacher who loves to encourage young writers.

Author! Author! Student Activity Guide

Way down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea
by Jan Peck; with Illustrations by Valeria Petrone
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2004. ISBN:0-689-85110-3.
$15.95. Ages 3-6.


  A young boy goes in search of treasure “way down deep in the deep blue sea.” On his way, he encounters many fantastic creatures of the sea. In a predictable and rhyming text, the reader swims through vivid wording and illustrations that leads to the hidden treasure.

 About the Author:

 Jan Peck brings color, excitement, and a little exaggeration to her writing. In addition to her books, Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea and The Giant Carrot, Jan has been an editor for Boys’ Life magazine and her stories have appeared in Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, and Turtle magazines. Her story “The Perfect Dog” is in the bestselling book Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul (1998). Jan has earned several awards for her writing, including the Kentucky Bluegrass Award 1999 Master List and the 2000-2001 Arkansas Diamond Award Master List. As an organic gardener and a former cook for a vegetarian, health-food restaurant in Fort Worth, Jan knows a lot about carrots!

About the Illustrator:

 Valeria Petrone lives in her native country Italy and illustrates some of the most vivid picture books of this time. Valeria’s latest works Include, Luther’s Halloween, written by Cari Meister, and The Boy and The Tiger, an updated version of Helen Bannerman’s classic story.

 Classroom Activities:

  1. Creative Writing—Brainstorm a place that the class might “visit.” When the class has decided on a destination, discuss the many things that might be encountered along the way. List words and descriptors for each thing. With predictability and rhyming, let each student write and illustrate their own page to include in the class book.

  2. Science—This book is excellent for introducing sea creatures to young children. The children can take turns acting like the different sea creatures. Read the book aloud and have a group of children act out the action of each of the sea creatures as you get to that page. Provide old nature magazines for the children to look through to find additional examples of sea life. Post the pictures on the bulletin board to make a classroom “aquarium.”

  3. Phonological Awareness—There are many rhyming words in this book. In order to increase phonological awareness, as a class prepare a Rhyming Ladder with all of the rhyming words in the story. To start, pick one word from the text and write it onto a sentence strip. Reread the story and have the children point out all of the rhyming words that match that particular word. Write these words on sentence strips and tape them to the original word in a ladder format. Throughout the remainder of the month, if a student points out another word that rhymes, add it to the Rhyming Ladder.

Fun Things To Do:

  1. Ocean In a Bottle

Children can create their own ocean floor with this simple craft. For a class or large group, ask friends and co-workers to save baby food jars.


Bottles (peanut butter jars, baby food jars, water bottles, etc.)


Sea Creatures (purchase small plastic creatures from a toy store or Oriental Trading Co.)

Plastic grass, seaweed, and aquarium items.

Small Rocks





Be sure the bottle is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Place sand and small rocks in a bottle. Add small plastic sea creatures and grass (seaweed). Add water and salt. This makes a fun “Ocean In A Bottle.” As the bottle is moved around, the sea scene changes. Note: Use super glue to secure the lid so the bottle cannot open accidentally.

2. Finger Paint Sea Creatures

Provide a variety of materials and let the kids be creative. Be sure to have handy wipes or a sink and towels for clean up.


Construction or art paper

Contact paper

Tissue paper

Wiggle eyes



Finger Paint

Sponges (for sponge painting)


Cut out the construction paper into the shape of a sea creature (or use a die-cut machine) and let each child select a creature. Let them use all of the above materials to create their own unusual creatures.

3. Paper Plate Starfish Craft


9-inch paper plates (2 per fish)





String (optional)

Small self-sticking magnets (optional)


Make your own starfish pattern or find one on the Internet (one is available at Trace the pattern onto a paper plate and cut out the fish, cutting two plates at the same time. Turn one of the plates upside down. Fold and crease each arm from the tip up to the center of the fish so that the folds stick up. Now fold in the opposite direction between each arm up to the center. Glue the folded starfish to the other starfish you cut out (both plates should be upside down). Paint the fish. Glue on a string or magnet to hang up the fish. Decorate with beads. Plastic necklace beads glued on so the holes are face up work very well to create the starfish’s “suckers.”

Web Sites to Explore:

  1. Ocean’s Creatures – A to Z Home’s Cool

This web site allows students to research the many sea creatures found in the deep dark sea. The site also includes links to web cams and ocean exploration videos, whale songs, and more.

2. Sea Animals Themes

The site name says it all—here you will find songs (ex. “The Fishy Pokey”), art activities, games, coloring pages, snack ideas, and more, all related to sea animals.

3. Ocean Animal Printouts – Enchanted Learning

This site provides numerous pages to color and label various sea animals. Although it is age-appropriate, the site is very detailed, so it would best for the teacher to research, and the children to reap the benefits.

  Further Readings:

  • Carle, Eric. Mister Seahorse. Philomel, 2004.
  • Conrad, Pam. The Tub People. Harper, 1995.
  • Florian, Douglas. In the Swim. Harcourt, 1997.
  • Pallotta, Jerry and Frank Mazzola. The Ocean Alphabet Book. Charlesbridge Publishing, 1986
  • Pratt, Kristin Joy. A Swim Through the Sea. Dawn Publications, 1994.

  Activity Guide prepared by Karen Verhalen and edited by Jeanette Larson.

 If you have comments or suggestions, email me at
Books alive and kicking!

One Response to Fun for Kids!

  1. Cindy Harrington says:

    Hi Jan~ I am a preschool based speech and language pathologist who is also a big fan of your Way Down Deep in the deep Blue Sea story and use it every year during our ocean unit. I was looking for an ocean scene printable for kids to mark off the sea creatures as they “meet” them in your story but it has been a bigger task than I imagined to find one with all of the items from your story. Would you consider posting a printable coloring page aligned with your books?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.