It's Wash and Learn time brought to you by Learn Play Imagine, Bath Activities for Kids and In Lieu of Preschool. Last week we focused on Earth Day science with a Compost Bin Sensory and Imaginative Play. This week our theme at Learn Play Imagine is literature!
JZ (5), J-Bug and I have been enjoying books by David Shannon, the featured author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids for the month of April. Our favorite book is The Rain Came Down.
To bring the book to life I created a rain before and after scene in the bath.
Supplies: (affiliate links provided)
I used shaving cream paint to paint a cloud and a rainbow on the bath tub walls. Shaving cream paint is made by mixing shaving cream and food coloring or liquid watercolors. Food coloring is much cheaper, so i use it whenever possible. I used liquid watercolors for the purple. I also mixed gray with blue food coloring to make the cloud.
I cut raindrop shapes out of blue craft foam and wrote the numbers 1-38 using a Sharpie. (38 was a random number. I cut up two pieces of craft foam and decided it looked like enough.) Then I filled the bath tub with water and bubbles and blue color tabs and tossed the foam raindrops in the water.
The boys were ecstatic to "dive" for the "hidden" raindrops and stick them to the bath tub wall under the rain cloud. (Craft foam sticks to tile and other surfaces when wet.) We have done bath hunts before, like our glowing egg hunt, and this raindrop hunt was every bit as exciting. Tip: the more bubbles in the water, the more fun kids will have.
This was such a wonderful way to learn through play. Each time they found a number they said it out loud before sticking it to the wall.
After finding all the raindrops they ordered the numbers.
The first half of the book The Rain Came Down is about how a rainy day puts everyone in this town in a grumpy mood. People are yelling at each other and honking horns and generally being impatient. Then the sun comes out, and a rainbow appears. Suddenly everyone is happy and kind to one another. JZ and J-Bug's favorite part is when the ice cream man gives everyone extra scoops on their orders!
Like the raindrops, I cut ice cream cones and scoops out of craft foam, using a variety of colors. I stuck the cones to the wall around the rainbow and tossed ice cream scoops into the bubbly water for them to find.
On the cones I drew word families. Each of the scoops had a word on it that fit into one of the families. JZ and J-Bug read the words and put them on the correct cones. J-Bug doesn't actually read yet, but he knows his letter sounds and is really trying to sound out words. I showed him how to match the letters in a word family. This was a simple introduction to word families for him and a great practice exercise for JZ who is reading well now.
After matching all the scoops to the correct cones and reading the words from each family, JZ counted how many scoops were on each cone.
Finally, the moment they were waiting for arrived: I gave them permission to mess up the shaving cream paintings. J-Bug had been dying to stick the foam pieces in the shaving cream. He tossed them up and watched with delight as they stuck to the paint.
For added fun I gave them the rest of the shaving cream paint that I had used to paint the rainbow and clouds.
They had more fun painting themselves than the walls. Please note: JZ's face was blue for a day. We washed his face well but did not scrub hard. I knew the paint would come out on its own and didn't want to irritate his skin by scrubbing. You might want to avoid shaving cream paint the day before family pictures or other important events.
For more ideas for hands on learning follow Learn Play Imagine on Pinterest.
Other Wash and Learn Activities:
Experiments in the Bath Tub Early Learning Number Party Bath Math in the Bath Alphabet Bath Time Fun Letter Building Alphabet Bath Magnetic Alpha-Bath
Be sure and visit Bath Activities for Kids to see their Kool Aid Science and In Lieu of Preschool to see their Shower Ball Pit for literature week in the Wash and Learn series.
This post may include affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy HERE.