Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Clubs: That's Gross!

For this month's book clubs (I run K-2 then 3rd-5th clubs back to back), I decided to do things that were gross. I pulled a whole bunch of books that we had based on the following search terms: gross, yuck, slime, disgusting, pee, farts, and poop. It was like a third grade boy's favorite Google search terms. 

I did find a whole bunch of books, though! Unfortunately, none of them were Grossology cause I guess that one gets checked out a lot. Well, that just means I don't have to promote it! 

I started by reading: Yikes! Your Body up Close by Mike Janulewicz. 

I didn't read the whole thing, just enough to gross everyone out (giant photos of lice, anyone?). I do wish the flaps had a better reveal of what you are looking at - they just show more magnified parts which you still have to decipher. The skin photo was cool, though. 

We then moved to the table to make dirt cake. I love making dirt cake with the kids. Take oreos, remove the inside stuff, and smash them. Make chocolate pudding. Put a gummy worm in the chocolate pudding and add the crushed oreos on top and I swear it looks like you're spooning up dirt. Delicious, easy, loads of kid appeal, and it involves smashing things. It never ever fails. 

Then we went to craft time: SLIME. 

We ended with slime because it was the messiest and because it invites extended play. The best recipe is from Steve Spangler Science and uses glue and borax. I've been making this particular concoction for years and it's super squishy and gross and fun to play with - definitely a winner.

Slime Ingredients

Slime as boogers. 
Though I didn't make it this time I've also made a fun-to-moosh-around slime out of cornstarch and water. You mix the two until you have a liquid-y type thing which hardens when you squeeze it: 

And when you let go it goes all liquid-y again. It's fascinating... 

 ...but rather difficult to clean up. 

I was going to teach my older kids the "Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts" song, but they were a little hyper and I didn't want to add fuel to the fire. It would have been so awesome, though...

I'd say this topic was very successful with both age groups. The Wee Book of Pee definitely elicited some giggles and several people were curious about how toilets work (thank god for David Macaulay!). I also had a pretty high check-out rate for the books that I had pulled, which pleased me.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Flannel Friday: Dr. Seuss

I used these flannels in March for Dr. Seuss's birthday, but am just getting around to posting it now. Which means you have lots of time to make it for next year! Or you could, you know, use it not on Dr. Seuss's birthday. (Whaaaa....?)

These are different kinds of flannels for me in that I usually use the flannel in place of the book, but in these cases, I read the book while using the flannel simultaneously (except for the balloon one).

First up: I wish that I had Duck Feet. 

The character in this story wishes for a variety of animal parts (duck feet, a long long tail, antlers, a long nose) before deciding that he's happy just being himself. Here's my blank character. 

And here he is in all his glory. 

It's a cute story, even though it's a little long. I often cut a page from the description of every animal part because I tend to be reading to preschoolers. They find this one very funny and can usually supply the last word of the story ("ME!"), which I always find endearing. 

I like to read A Great Day for Up, too, and though I don't have a flannel for it per se, I do have a balloon race as an extension activity. 

I made six balloons that start at the bottom of my flannelboard. 

I originally made a colored cube from a kleenex box, but when that one got crushed (PSA: make sure you stuff your kleenex box with newspaper before making it into a thing the kids will be handling) I miraculously received a donation of this amazing soft cube: 

I then give the children a chance to roll the cube and move the corresponding balloon up the flannelboard. Whichever balloon makes it to the top of the flannelboard first wins! 

Finally, I do the classic: Green Eggs and Ham

I made pieces for all the repeated words.  

I put the pieces up as they come up in the story and then I stop saying the words altogether and simply point to each piece as the children shout it out. They are usually familiar with this story, and I find that using the flannels makes it new again.

This week's Flannel Friday is being hosted by Ms. Kelly at the Library. Make sure you check it out for more flannel ideas!
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