This year's Summer Reading Program theme (for kids) is Make a Splash!
Chapter 3 - Wow! The Wonders of Water:
The Science of Water -
- Sink or Float - this activity can be two activities in one. First you need to make (or buy) a "stage" for a puppet, and then make (or buy) a puppet. The puppet is a game show host for the game show Sink or Float, which is basically a science experiment where you gather random items and drop them into a tub of water to see if they will sink or float. If you have a large group, it may help to divide the group into two and randomly select team captains who can ask their group whether they think the item will sink or float, but ultimately the team captains have the final say.
- Lumpy Liquids/Squishy Solids - these are science experiments that can by found on the FLYP Wiki but basically any experiment where you turn a liquid into a solid would work for this title.
- Book Suggestion(s): Can it Really Rain Frogs by Spencer Christian and Bathtub Science by Shar Levine
Water Conservation -
How Much Water Matching Game - The SRP Manual has a matching game called "How Much Water", where you must attempt to match how much water is used to certain activities (brushing teeth, flushing toilet, producing a car and its four tires, etc.). If you want the exact worksheet, you can contact me, but this is easily reproducible if you make your own sheet with facts you've looked up.
Book Suggestion(s): Flush by Carl Hiassen
It's Raining -
The Umbrella - There is a draw and tell story called The Umbrella. The exact story can be found in the SRP Manual, but the premise is basic enough that you probably don't need it - A boy (a dot) is stuck inside because his mom won't let him go out in the rain. When it finally stops, he goes outside and up a hill, then down the hill (the top curve of the umbrella), once he gets to the bottom (a dot opposite the first), he starts going home but runs into puddles which he must jump over (forming the mini bottom arches of an umbrella); when he is almost back to the original dot, it starts raining again but luckily the boy has remembered his umbrella (finish connecting to the original dot and add the handle).
Weather Mobile - A basic version of the weather mobile craft presented can be found at Crayola's website, here. The one presented at the workshop had the sun on one side, and a rain cloud (backed with blue paper) on the other. Also, the pieces hanging included suns and clouds instead of just rain.
The Rain Came Down - Read the book The Rain Came Down by David Shannon and let the kids make the noise of the rain by either snapping, clapping, or rubbing their hands together, and make the noises for other parts of the book (i.e. sirens wailing and the ice cream truck - it should be interesting to see the different interpretations of each sound).
Other Book Suggestion(s): It's Raining, It's Pouring by Kin Eagle and Rob Gilbert, Move Over, Rover by Karen Beaumont (similar to Jan Brett's The Mitten), and Just Add Water: Science Projects You Can Sink, Squirt, Splash, Sail.
Chapter 4 - An Ocean of Fun:
Life's a Beach -
Musical Beach Ball Hot Potato - This game is exactly the same as hot potato except a beach ball is used, and is set to music so that when the music stops, the person holding the beach ball is out.
Crab Walk Relay - A group is divided into teams and compete against each other in a relay race where they must run to a bucket containing soft items (it doesn't really matter what you use - a beanbag would work well). At the bucket, they must pull out an item, balance it on their stomach, and crab walk back to their teammates, where the next person would repeat these actions until the race is complete.
Shell Art - A very simple craft using clean shells (or rocks) - just paint a design on them!
Ocean in a Bottle - Kind of like a terrarium but with water. Find instructions for this craft here.
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark - Instead of just reading The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist, if you can get your hands on either fish and shark cut-outs or hats, you may want to let the children act out the book. It's the same premise as The Three Little Pigs, so it shouldn't be difficult even for young children to remember "little fish, little fish, let me come in" or the reply "not by the skin of my finny fin fin" - even those who are not one of the main characters can join in these lines.
Octopus' Garden -
Ship to Shore - This game can be complicated, so you can change the rules depending on your group. Put a sign that says "ship" on one wall of the room you are in (or on a tree if you are outside), and on the opposite wall put up a sign that says "shore". Start out by telling your group that when you say "ship" they must walk towards the sign that says "ship" ("shore" obviously means go towards the "shore" sign), then start adding in the different commands you can find here. The extra commands vary from "hit the deck!" (lay down on your stomach) to "peg leg" (hop on one foot).
I'm Wrestling with an Octopus - If it is possible for you to get a helper, you might consider reading Jack Prelutsky's poem I'm Wrestling with an Octopus (you can find the poem in the book A Pizza the Size of the Sun), with your helper standing behind you doing the motions of the octopus.
Clam Craft - Using a small to-go container, color the container, stick on googly eyes, draw a pearl inside (or use a marble), and voila, you have a clam.
Jellyfish Craft - Turn a bowl upside down and color the bowl. Glue strips of bubble wrap or other plastic (or fabric, if you have nothing else) from the bottom of the bowl to make a jellyfish.
Sock-to-pus - Take an old, long sock and stuff beans or rice in the toes. Rubberband (or tie a ribbon) around the beans, then cut the remaining part of the socks into eight strips. Decorate the strips and add eyes to the round part, and you have an octopus. Click here for more detailed directions and a picture.
Starfish Craft - I was very unimpressed with this craft. You just take an egg carton and cut the bottom of the cup part into a star shape. After seeing the FLYP Wiki picture, it looks cuter than the one presented. Click here to see it.
Fish Mobile - This is the same craft as the Weather Mobile mentioned earlier, only using fish. I have patterns for the fish, if anyone is interested.
Coffee Filter Fish - Color a coffee filter with markers, then spray with water. When it dries, wrap the coffee filter around a smaller wad of paper, and rubberband. There should be enough of the coffee filter sticking out of the rubber band to make a fish tail. Add googly eyes, or just draw them on and you have a very tiny fish.
Book Suggestion(s): Seashells by the Seashore by Marianne Berkes and Out of the Ocean by Debra Frasier