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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Books Inspire Play

My son had a friend over to play today. Was looking for something fun for them to do... So I grabbed a picture book off our library stack and got inspired. The first book I picked up was Car Wash by Sandra Steen, and that gave me a great idea - get out some toy cars and let the boys wash them.

We sat down together and read the book first. Then the boys went to gather toy cars while I gathered the washing supplies. What's so great about this idea is that it simple, easy, and most everybody already has the supplies at their house. Using picture books to inspire play doesn't have to be fussy and complicated. Use what you have and keep it simple - your kids' creativity and imagination will do the rest!

After we had all our stuff gathered, we checked our book to see what to do first. Oops! We realized we needed dirty cars, so we took them into the mud!

I used a dry erase marker to draw the track that pulls the cars through the car wash. The boys lined the cars up as they got each one dirty.

Then the boys washed and washed.

We used a mop head as the big, swishy, octopus-looking thing in the car wash. We also used sponges, rags, and spray bottles.

It took several washes to get our cars nice and clean. We wanted happy costumers!

It's always a nice idea to re-read your story after you play. Then you have lots of stuff to talk discuss and compare. How was your car wash like the one in the book? How was it different? What could you do different next time? Which car was the hardest to clean? What would the family in the story have thought about our car wash? Do you think our car wash was as good as the one in the book?

Other ideas:
  • You could make cars out of cardboard boxes and take your cardboard cars through a pretend car wash. Use your rags, sponges, mop heads, etc (minus the actual water though.
  • Take your actual car through an actual car wash. Was it like the car wash in the book? How was it different? How was it the same?
  • Get out your bikes and give them a "car wash." You could even use pretend money to pay for the car wash.
  • Teach your kids how to wash your real car. They probably can't do it all themselves if they are little, but they can help! And the sooner you start teaching them how to do it, the sooner they will someday be able to do it without your help!
In what simple ways have you played with books this week?

This is the book we used today:

Other book suggestions:

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