Each year we celebrate all the little ones who have completed our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten – many are students entering Kindergarten, but others are still little ones who have been reading since they were a few months old. We try to hold our party in August before school starts to celebrate these families who put an emphasis on early literacy at home!
I start the program off in a joking way, telling the families that they may have read 1,000 books, but we’re going to read another together! This year I chose crowd-favorite characters – Elephant & Piggie! I love the way Mo Willems creates these characters and you can’t find a better book for reading aloud (especially if you have two people!). I went with I Really Like Slop in which Piggie is sharing all that she loves about slop with Elephant. Elephant gamely decides to try slop even with the flies buzzing around it and what ensues is hysterical! The kids were giggling up a storm – which was awesome!
After we read our story, we had a very special project to work on – sensory bottles! This created absolute mayhem in our programming room, but the kids (and adults) seemed to really enjoy it! I bought Voss water bottles from Amazon. Ours were a little smaller than the typical bottle (330 ml vs. 500 ml), but they were the perfect size for our sensory bottles. And for 12 bottles for $9.99, I couldn’t pass it up. I then hit up our local dollar store for confetti, glitter, beads, and googly eyes to fill our bottles, plus funnels (3 for $1). I also grabbed generic baby oil and food coloring from Target and superglue to close up the bottles.
We used the Lemon Lime Adventures blog post as a basic set of instructions, emptied about a 1/3 of the water (used it later for refreshments) and then allowed the kids to add to the bottles the little trinkets they wanted. With adult help, we added a drop of food coloring (you don’t need very much – it get’s too dark) and the baby oil. We then super glued the cap closed and the kids LOVED it!
This project was not for the faint of heart – it required a bunch of supplies and trust in the adults helping, a lot. But if you have a smaller crowd, it’s a great activity that kids will definitely love doing and the parents enjoyed it because their house wasn’t covered in glitter by the end of the evening!