Those pesky April showers also leave us with plenty of puddles. Puddles are fun for children to play in, talk about, and explore. If you are not able to go outside to splash and play in puddles, a simple book can spur some activities to keep everyone busy indoors.
Reading about a Puddle Adventure
To begin this lesson idea, ask kids questions about playing outside in the rain. Have they ever done it? What is it like to splash in puddles? Do you enjoy the sounds? What items are helpful to have when going out to play in the rain? After some time discussing these items, introduce The Puddle by David McPhail. The little boy in the story is bored inside on a rainy day. He gets his mother to agree to go outside to sail his boat in puddles, but he cannot get into the puddles and wet. He heads out into the rain with a raincoat, hat, and boots where he finds a puddle. This is when the story comes alive with a pesky frog that takes his boat. We continue on this adventure as he meets more animals along the way.
Story Retelling and Acting
To continue along with The Puddle, allow children to use their voice to tell their own puddle tale. Create a giant “puddle” out of a poster board that will serve as the stage of their tale. Then bring in some props for their creation. Take a variety of animal toys that can serve as inspiration for them to create their own adventure. This may be a fun activity to make a video of. You can let the children know that you will be recording their story so they can hear it from start to finish when you are done. Remind them to speak slowly and loud enough so they can be heard. Some children may need some questions to help prompt them to get going. If you want to work on specific words, group items that go along with that instead of simply animals. Children can make a very different puddle tale with their own mix of items and words.
Design your Own Rain Boots
The little boy in The Puddle wears a pair of rain boots. Creative rain boots are very popular right now in some areas. Allow children to make their own fun rain boot design as part of the unit that they will be able to bring home. To do this, give each child their own boot on a heavier weight paper. Then allow them to use markers, glitter, stickers, or other craft items to make the rain boot of their dreams. If you have more time you can allow them to make a pair.
To connect this activity to families at home, send home an e-mail or note letting them know what you will be working on. If you plan on doing a video of their child’s story, ask for a way to send it to them so they can view it. E-mail may not always be an option, so think about a secure video hosting service. YouTube and others allow for protected sharing where only those you allow may view them. Sharing how well children are doing with their language skills, especially when they may be multilingual at home, is important for boosting their self confidence.