Friday, June 24, 2011

Splish, Splash, Splat!

Today's feature book is Splish, Splash, Splat!  Written by Rob Scotton.
Nervous little cat, Splat, is just sure this is not going to be a good day!  His mom has arranged a play date with Spike, his friend who seems to break his toys and eat all his candy.  Then he finds out that it is his first day of swimming lessons....ugh.  Water is horrible and makes him soggy.  But his day seems to take a turn when he realizes he is not the only one who doesn't like the water!  So...what will Splat do to figure out how to make his day a little better?  I think it's something very brave! :]

This is a great book for those children who are a little afraid of the water.  And the activities I have are great for getting them splashing and wet with no fear!
(My 15 year old daughter even joined in on the fun - so, it's fair to say, all children will enjoy this weeks little book club!)

* 1 small play pool 
* rubber ducks (as many as there are kids)
* hand cut paper fish (as many as there are kids) 
* 1 small bag of candy fish
* random supplies for a small obstacle coarse (i used pool noodles and hula hoops)
* a home made fishing pole
* 1 small magnet
* paperclips (equal to however many fish you have)
* water balloons

(before book club begins...with perminant marker number the bottom side of each duck.  Cut fish shapes out of colorful paper or have the kids color them with fun summer colors.  On the back of each fish write questions that will spark short conversation.  Place a paper clip on each fish where the mouth would be.  Have children create a simple fishing pole, tying a small magnet to the end for the 'hook'. Set up an obstacle coarse.  Using scratch paper, write some activites on small cut out squares, as many activities as there are ducks - I'll give you a hint in activity time.  Hide 'clues' around the yard, I will also explain this in activity time. You're ready to start!)
Just an example of the supplies I used.  
I laminated my fish so they could go into the pool, but you certainly don't have to.  You can place them around the outside of the pool and the idea is still the same :]

It's time to go outside and enjoy the warm summer weather!  Fill the pool before you start your book club.  The water will have time to warm a little before the kids jump in.  After you have read the story ask each child how they feel about the water.  Have they always felt that way?  What kind of "floaties" do they use at the pool?  Have they taken swim lessons?  What's their favorite thing about going to the swimming pool?  Maybe share a story about how you were once afraid of the water and how you got over your fear...this will help children feel more comfortable and understood :]

**Now it's time to play!**  
1. Have a child pluck a duck out of the pool.  Find the number on the duck.  
2. Then tell them you have hid a paper with the same number on it somewhere in the yard (I stuck mine with tape to tree trunks, planter boxes, the garden hose, etc)...have them find it!  All the children can help find the numbered paper, but the child who picked the duck is in charge of the activity written on the back. (example: first to start the game, first in line, gets to be the 'finder' and so on)
3. When the activity is read...then play that activity!  All children participate in each activity!
4. After the activity...start all over again with a new child and a new duck!

I choose to have 6 ducks and activities.  Every one of mine start with jumping into the pool and then back out of the pool (getting used to the water!).  Here they are! Pick the ones your child would like the best, or be creative and make up your own :]
activity #1:  "Jump in the pool, jump back out! Splat loves his candy fish and doesn't want to share!  Search for a bag of candy fish, hidden somewhere in the yard.  When you find it will you be able to share?"  
activity #2:  "Jump into the pool.  Sit down in the water and splash like a crazy cat while your friends count to 20!  Then splash your friends...he he he!"  
activity #3:  "Jump in the pool, jump back out!  Splat doesn't want to play with his friend...but I bet you do!  Grab a water balloon and grab a friend, then play catch until the balloon goes SPLAT!"
activity #4:  "Jump into the pool and lay on your tummy, blow lots of water will be funny!!!!"
(mom, make sure the water is shallow enough for this activity)
activity #5:  "Go ahead, be quick as a cat!  Run the obstacle coarse then come right back!"
activity #6:  "Jump into the pool, now jump out because it's time to go fishing!  There's so much to talk about!"
(some conversation starters I wrote on the back of my fish: What superpower do you wish you had? - What is your favorite thing to do in the summer time? - If you could be any kind of animal what would you be? - What do you want to be when you grow up? - Who is your hero?  After each question is answered ask the children why they chose that's sure to get the conversation going!)
catch? or splat!
Oh, I found clue #6!
splashing like a crazy cat :]
We finished the obstacle coarse...YAY!

There's no right or wrong way to set up these activities.  If my instructions seem complicated (but, I hope not!) comment below and I will reply - or just make up some more simple ideas of your own!  Good Luck and Enjoy!!!

Happy splashing...
Miss Lisa :]

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