We dug up some engaged kids this month! Our little book club members must be growing up because they were very involved and interested in both the book and activity again this month!
We read Digger Dog by William Bee. Digger Dog is, not surprisingly, a book about a dog who likes to dig. This dog likes to dig “especially for bones.” The book is all about the dog sniffing out a particularly large bone that he can’t dig out with his paws, or a variety of (progressively larger) construction diggers. When he finally does dig up the bone, the reader is let in on a little secret (using a pull down page): the HUGE bone is just a small part of an enormous buried dinosaur skeleton. The book is repetitive, catchy, and just plain cute and my kiddos LOVE it. They have it practically memorized we read it so often! The book also seemed to be equally appreciated by many of our book club members.
After reading the book as a group, we had a dinosaur bone dig of our own! To prepare for our dig, I made a double batch of salt dough and formed the dough into bones (and teeth and other fossil-like shapes). There are many salt dough recipes available, but I like this one (and her corresponding adorable dinosaur bone math game) from Imagination Tree. I then poured some cornmeal “sand” into a large plastic tub, added the baked and cooled “bones”, and then covered it up with more cornmeal. When it was time to play, we gave the kids the tub with a few instructions, some shovels, and some old toothbrushes and they went to excavating! After a little while, the kids dug up all the bones, so we poured them back in and they went at it again! They repeated the dig 3 to 4 times! I love how the cornmeal looks like the yellow ground in the book illustrations! Cornmeal is also a little nicer to clean up indoors than sand, but sand would work just as well if preferred.
Still, the digging wasn’t over! Our snack was “buried” too! Prior to the meeting, I made dinosaur bone shaped pretzels using the homemade pretzel recipe that we used waaaay back for our How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? book club meeting. (Just a coincidence that both meetings were about dinosaur-related books!) After the pretzels cooled, I placed two in each bowl and covered them with crushed graham crackers to look like sand or dirt. A chocolate graham cracker or cookie would work too if you wanted it to look more like “dirt”. We gave the kids digging utensils (spoons) and let them go at it! I realize we essentially served our kids carbohydrates covered in carbohydrates, but I gotta say, I did not hear many complaints from the toddlers!
Next month, we’ll be reading about something else that can be found in the ground! Check back to see what we “pull up”!