For the third week of Summer Reading we found ourselves washed away with books about the beach. Since the kids were guessing again, I brought in a beach towel, very large sunglasses, a beach bag, an umbrella (for the shade, hopefully not for rain), and a beach ball.
The first story that the 2's and 3's read was All you need for a beach by Alice Schertle. This is a great book for this age and the story explains all that you need to have for a great day at the beach, right down to the teenist, tiniest, 500 million grains of sand.
Our second book was Miranda's beach day by Holly Keller. Miranda's mother takes her on a beach adventure for the day where Miranda gets to build sand castles, chase crabs, and make friends. This is a great book for toddlers as it captures thier personal experience at the beach.
The final story the 2's and 3's heard was Beach day! by Patricia Lakin. Beach day! is the story of four alligators who set off to spend a day at the bach. When they get side tracked, and lost, along the way they end having a beach night. This story has very simple text and large, bright illustrations that are good for storytime.
Since a day at the beach isn't much fun without a beach ball, we listened to the song Beach ball baby from Katherine Tines Hunk-ta-Bunk-ta Funsies 1 and tossed a beach ball around as we sang. We also rolled the ball on the floor back and forth to each other.
We also beach boogied to The Wiggles' Beach, beach, sandy beach song from the Getting strong: wiggle and learn album. For this song scarves were passed around for the children to wave in the air as they danced to the music.
To end story time we got out a box of 'clean sand' and let the kids play with it. Clean sand is made up of equal parts sand and flour (3 cups of each to start) with about 1/4 cup oil, and 1 cup of water mixed in. The consistency is that of gritty play dough. You could use colored sand or add food coloring for variety. The kids had a great time playing with it. They were each given a tray to put their sand on and there were cups, spoons, plastic animals, plastic bugs, forks, and rocks for them to play with in the sand. This was a great activity for the kids and they didn't want to leave!
I will note, the recipe said that the sand could be stored in an airtight container to be re-used. I had it in a container (maybe not airtight enough) and after a few weeks it grew mold. Either way it was cheap and great fun.
The 4's and 5's started story time with the book Rita and Whatsit at the beach by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod. In this story Rita is very excited about all of the fun she can have at the beach, but her dog, Whatsit, isn't so keen about joining in. He agrees to play, but only if he gets a treat. This story shows all of the imaginative fun that can be had at the beach, even if your only playmate is a lazy dog.
The 4's and 5's also read Alice Schertle's All you Need for a beach and then we finished with To the beach! by Linda Ashman. To the beach! is about a family as they prepare to leave for a day at the beach. With the car packed up and ready to go, they set off only to realize they left something behind. This leads to remebering something else, then one thing more, then another, until they wonder if they will ever get to leave (or of there is any more room left in the car). This is a fun story with very amusing illustrations.