Another super play date today. I have beeen DYING to do a space themed session and was excited when I found this space story - Your Alien to inspire our activities, and bonus points for it being autographed by Tammi Sauer! Wonderfully sweet story about a boy who accepts an alien into his home, school and heart without a second thought - then with a fabulous amount of Christmas lights, helps his new friend find home again. Not sure where this little guys calls home, but we imagined the moon, playing with moon dust (flour + olive oil), moon rocks (aluminum foil), and finally made our own alien portraits. I think these private play dates are my favorite and I need to get my hands on the second book!
The objects around this book may seem incredibly random but I promise you they all were key to making probably the best read-aloud with a playgroup ever. A bag of unicorn glitter, because you know they shed. A handful of forks to scratch with our hooves, some pom poms to throw with every poof and magical unicorn entrance, and cupcakes... because the magical beasts aren't house trained. Paired with this book, along with our unicorn horns (party hats), and mini wishing well (water filled buckets and some coins to throw) it was a hilarious, interactive, amazing morning with a great group of kids.
A unicorn came to Texas and burped out a U N I C O R N R A I N B O W S E N S O R Y W A L K for my playgroup today! Complete with froot loops, foam squares, rainbow pasta, colorful rice, polka-dot tissue paper, homemade playdough, and rainbow water beads. It was epic - wish I had taken a video!
My little unicorns.
Wishing for unicorns.
If I had it my way, the first week of my term would be focused on community building, cheesy icebreakers (that adults hate and kids love), and aaallllllll the school related books. Although I love the classic charmers, like First Day Jitters, I love LOVE using untraditional stories and new finds to teach policies and procedures. Which brings me to Rules of the Playground: my new favorite back to school book. I'm using it at my playdate on Saturday (see previous posts for water bead amazingness), but I can't wait (CAN'T WAIT) to read it to my newbie students. When I was a kid we had this really cool fort on the playground and we would race to it. Whoever was first would chant "I'm the king of the castle and you're a dirty rascal!" - this book is so reminiscent of those memories and being the ruler for the day. It's also rad that three main characters are named after the author's kids - I'm obsessed with Augustine's faces throughout the read. The perfect book to teach recess (and play) etiquette.
We had the greatest time painting our @fortmagic! The kids got super messy!! We wrapped the entire base of our "castle" with saran wrap, whipped up some shaving cream + food coloring, and let the toddlers have at it!
Water beads & water balloons.
My rulers of the playground! We made cardboard crowns and all promised to be kind and fair!
Dinosaurumpus - is a spectacular book that I LOVE reading out loud. Foot tapping, onomatopoeia yelling, and dinosaur romping! For our playdate, I paired it with a homemade "tar pit" (aka cornstarch, water and black food coloring), a Jello swap, and frozen dinosaur eggs.
I had bit of a mishap with the first pit - the blue on my cheap plastic baby pool bled into the "tar" and died my hand a bright smurf blue - didn't think the mamas wanted to take smurfs home, so luckily I had one last container of starch and was able to make plan B happen. It wasn't as epic as the pool could have been... but the kids still had fun!
We helped our babies hatch using salt and warm water. Some kids were pretty clever and figured out if you just dropped them on the concrete they would open. This was the perfect activity for a hot Texas morning!