Saturday, April 27, 2024

Messy Storytime - Preschool


Messy Storytime

Finally, a new storytime theme that I haven't done before! 

I'd been thinking about trying the paper marbling activity using shaving cream for a while, and after doing it for a group of developmentally disabled adults and seeing how easy it was, I decided to incorporate it as part of a "messy" storytime for kids.

We started with our usual "hello" song, followed by this month's warm-up song "The Wheels On the Bus". Then I introduced the topic of messy play and messy art, and lead into our first book with "Are You Ready for a Story?".

I started off with a new-ish book, Oops! by Julie Massy and Pascal Bonenfant. This is a great interactive book that encourages the audience to explore cause and effect, often with funny, unexpected, and/or messy results. 

It's perfect for storytime because it is interactive, has repetition, and is not too text heavy, something that is seemingly harder and harder to find in picture books these days. This is not only a chance to have some silly fun, but also an opportunity to talk about accidents and how everyone makes mistakes.

We followed that with two messy songs, "Icky Sticky Sticky Bubble Gum" by David Landau:

"Icky Sticky Bubble Gum"

Icky, sticky, sticky, sticky bubble gum, 
Bubble gum, bubble gum.
Icky, sticky, sticky, sticky bubble gum
Makes my hands stick to my _____.

And I pull, and pull, and *puuulllll* them away!

And Laurie Berkner's "I'm a Mess":

"I'm a Mess"

I'm a mess, I'm a mess 
I'm a big old messy mess 
From the north to the south 
And the east to the west 
What I am is a really really, really big mess!

I try to get dressed but I make a mess 
I jump in the puddles and can you guess 
 make mud pies when the mud is fresh 
And then UH OH I've made a big mess 

I'm a mess, I'm a mess . . . 

Now eating messy food. You know it's the best 
'Cause no matter what I do I make a big mess 
Get dinner on my jacket; Breakfast on my vest 
Lunch in my socks, UH OH what a mess!

I'm a mess . . .

For our second book, I choose the classic I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow. This is a really fun and funny book about a naughty child who just can't stay out of the paint. They are caught painting all over the walls, ceiling, and floors by their caregiver, who hides the paint in the closet and tells the child "Ya ain't gonna paint no more!", and sends them to take a bath. However, the mischievous child just can't help themself, and gets the paints out and begins painting all over....themself!

The book has a great rhythm for reading aloud (and can be sung as well), using a rhyming scheme to help the audience guess what is being painted next, ending with "I'm such a nut, I'm gonna paint my ____!" This is a really fun book, though I have to confess the improper grammar bothers me, from years of being drilled that "ain't" isn't a word in grade school.

Then we went straight to our messy activity!

Activity - Paper Marbling

Shaving cream paper marbling, messy storytime

I filled the sensory bin with shaving cream (not really full, but a nice thick layer) and squirted drips of washable tempera paint all over the top, then used my fingers to swirl the colors. Next, the kids, with their caregivers' help, pressed a piece of paper down onto the shaving cream, rubbing it to be sure it made contact. [You can also give each participant their own individual tray or foil pan to spray shaving cream on.]

Next, the carefully lifted the paper up and placed it on a tray, then used a squeegee to scrape most of the shaving cream off and followed with a paper towel to get the remaining residue. Then let dry.

While the papers were drying, I invited the kids to play in the remaining shaving cream in the tub, which I thought they would be all over. However, some of the kids didn't want anything to do with it, a couple of others finally at least tried it, and only one child really got into playing in it, eventually blending all the colors into a peachy-beige. One little boy kept going back and forth, dipping his hand in the shaving cream, then going to the bathroom to wash it off, and

The marbled papers really turned out well, and I was surprised at how easy it was and how well it worked. 

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