Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Love: I'm a Dirty Dinosaur

I found this book at an Usborne Books & More party, and just loved that the illustrations use real mud. What fun inspiration for early childhood play and creativity! (There's another one called I'm a Hungry Dinosaur that uses frosting- also really fun)

I was excited to use it during our STEAM play session this summer. The rhyming text is engaging, and can inspire some movement to go along with the story as well.

Connecting Activity: It would be so fun to create your own muddy dinosaur art along with this book, but for this class we opted to explore mud and dinosaurs through sensory play. First we thought about how to make mud and filled up one side of our table with dirt and water.

Then we added the dinosaurs and started playing. I had a separate table set up with soapy water so the dinosaurs could get washed after.

Many dinosaurs went back and forth several times between the mud and the water table, and eventually the mud table turned into a muddy bath table as well. :)

Creative Kids Summer Class: Fairy Tales STEAM Play

Our last day of the STEAM play session was based around Fairy Tales. This was another fun theme that could easily be extended to multiple days of learning.

We focused mainly on two fairy tales, although we discussed other fairy tales, pretend stories and magic in general as well.

The Three Little Pigs
While I read the story of the three little pigs, I modeled creating different structures out of straws (I used drinking straws instead of actual straw, haha...), sticks, and Jenga bricks. We also tried blowing them down like the wolf in the story. :) 

Then during centers, the kids were invited to create their own. 

Rapunzel's Tower
Although we didn't read the story, I set out some cube blocks with the invitation to build the highest tower you could before it fell down. 

Paper Crowns
We used Kwix Sticks to decorate some playful crowns.

Fairy Dust Slime
We also added some fairy dust (...glitter) to create some magic slime.

Jack and the Beanstalk
The second story we focused on was Jack and the Beanstalk. We listened to the story outside, and then found some dirt to plant our own magic beans. Then we created a little castle in the clouds in the hope that our beanstalk will grow all the way up to the castle!

Creative Kids Summer Class: Dinosaurs STEAM Play

We fit a lot of fun activities into our day of STEAM play with dinosaurs, and I probably could have done a dinosaur theme for all three days of the session. There are a lot of great dinosaur STEM ideas out there!

Dinosaur Fossils
We used salt dough to make dinosaur fossils. The children played around making different prints first, and then picked the one they wanted for a permanent print. 

I cooked them at a low temperature for a few hours, and then the kids painted them the next day. 

Dinosaur Eggs
I made two different kinds of "dinosaur eggs" for the kids to excavate. 
These baking soda eggs were fun to watch fizz and bubble.

We also enjoyed trying to melt these ice eggs. 

Dinosaur Bones
A simple invitation to explore x-rays and dinosaur bones with q-tips and dinosaur heads. 

Dirty Dinosaur Play
We made some mud and let our dinosaurs get nice and dirty, then gave them a bath in the water table. This was inspired by a fun (new-to-me) book, I'm a Dirty Dinosaur.

Melting Colors Dinosaur Art
For this art process we used shavings from old crayons and melted them inside wax paper to create colorful dinosaur art. 

Creative Kids Summer Class: Camping STEAM Play

This week was our last session of Creative Kids Summer Class, centered around STEAM play. 
On the first day we used a camping theme to guide our experiences. 

Mountain Wildlife Sensory Bin

Marshmallow Campfire Painting

Fishing Play
This classic fishing game is fun for dramatic play, as well as counting and sorting practice.

Engineering Invitation: Can you build a tent or cabin? 
I helped with the hot glue gun for this activity. :) It was fun to see the different designs and creations the children came up with.

Streams, Rivers, and Boat Sensory Play

Bear Hunt Maps
We made these maps after we sang about going on a bear hunt.

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