Over In the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Maryanne Berkes
Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea by Cynthia Rylant
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
Who doesn't love to read at the beach??
Ocean Painting: As we were reading Over in the Ocean (one of our absolute favorites!), I thought it might be fun to do our own ocean paintings using shimmery aluminum foil as a canvas. I had seen a post about painting on foil on the blog Picklebums, and thought this would be the perfect time to try it out. I added a little dish detergent to the paint as suggested, and taped sheets of foil to some cardboard to make it a little more sturdy. (I used the top of a take-out pizza box for the cardboard base -- worked like a charm! Little yogurt cups make perfect paint containers, too, I might add.) I gave both kids their shiny canvas and let them go at it.
Water table play: To help get cleaned up after our painting, we decided to do a little fishing in our water table. W and E love any excuse to play in water and thorough soak themselves, so today we got out our fishing set and splashed away. You can't go to the beach without playing in the water and getting wet, right?
Oh, and I almost forgot our theme music for the day! We needed some good tunes to make the day feel truly summery. While we painted and fished, we listened to Putamayo's Caribbean Playground album. If you haven't yet discovered this world music series, you've got to check it out. I used to play Putamayo's albums from around the world in my 7th grade geography classroom, but now my kids and I listen to them all the time. I love that it exposes them to the music of different cultures, and they love the funky beats. Caribbean Playground was the perfect soundtrack for our day at the beach!
Bath time stories, anglerfish, and bioluminescence: After getting a little (or in E's case, very) soaked and chilly fishing in the water table, we decided to take our beach party upstairs to the bath to warm up. And this time, we took our stories with us! I started out by reading The Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark as they played in the tub. W always loves the anglerfish in this story, and is fascinated by fish that glow in the dark. I am, too, for that matter. Animals are just so cool sometimes, aren't they? I thought it would be fun to make our own glow in the dark ocean using glow sticks, so after we finished reading, we cracked some on, turned off the lights, and pretended we were Mr. Fish and Miss Shimmer exploring the dark ocean depths with only the glowing lights of the anglerfish to guide our way. W and E had so much fun swirling the glow sticks around. They really were very cool!
Imagine (a fabulous little story by Alison Lester) naming every sea creature on the ocean page as we went. I have to say, it was one of the most fun bath times we've ever had!
So there you have it -- our story-inspired, beach-craving adventures of this dreary February day. I've decided to try and share some of the other book-related activities that we do from time to time on here, as well, and will post them on the "Storytime Activities" page I've created above. I hope to feature other fabulous ideas from you and fellow bloggers as I find them, so please feel free to comment and share any of your favorite ways to bring stories to life. Happy reading, and happy playing!