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April 12, 2013

The Rain Came Down {Wash and Learn}

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.  

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Other Wash and Learn Activities:

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.


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  1. Love this!! We are doing numbers to 30 in math starting next week. I think I might just have to give this a try. I love the word families, too. I think my Little Man could do as J-Bug did, matching the letters while Miss E reads the words.

  2. Awesome! How old is JZ and J-bug? Just trying to figure out if it would be useful for my toddler or if i should wait.
    Thank you!

  3. How fun! I love the idea of the numbered raindrops and hunting for them and sorting them! We're working on numbers above 20 these days and this would be great.

  4. I just love the ice cream cone word family activity! Actually, the entire thing looks like a lot of fun! I've pinned this.

  5. Love everything about this! Ice cream word families is a great literacy idea. Counting the raindrops would be perfect for my little one right now. That is one fun bath! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Looks like fun! I love the numbered rain drops!

  7. What a fun and engaging word family activity! I don't know what child would not love learning or practicing their word family lessons like this.

  8. This looks like lots of fun! I am sure this could be even adapted for poor school aged parents with making learning sight words more fun and appealing! Thanks for sharing.

  9. SUPER cute activity!! I love that you practiced word families, numbers, and had some creative fun!! I am buffering to share on social media this week!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF. You always blow me away with your creativity! Hope to see you linked up again soon!

    Beth =)

  10. I love, love, love this fun activity with the kiddos! :) I know my son will really enjoy doing this, so I need to double check our shaving cream quantity. Thanks for sharing at Stress-Free Sunday! I'm going to feature this tomorrow.

  11. What a lot of fun! I've featured it on Tuesday Tots this week as well :)

  12. did the rainbow stain your white grout in the tiles? thanks

    1. Bleach water got it out. I recommend washing immediately. :)

  13. What a fun bath! My girls would also love the "diving" for raindrops. Thanks for sharing at Discover & Explore.


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