Each month, we donate the book that we read to a community organization that supports low-income families and children. Along with the book, we include all of the materials, ingredients, and instructions for a child (or two) to recreate (or adapt) the activities and snack of our book club meeting that month in their home with their parent or caregiver. The organization will choose a family each month to be our “book club pal” and receive our book and activities. We are very excited to be able to share the joy of parent-child reading, playing, and healthy snacking with other parents and toddlers in the area. If you wish to recreate a similar bag for yourself or to donate, here’s what’s in the bag this month:
Book: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
Theme: Dogs and Dirt!
Activity: Pretend play with a toy dog in dirt and doggy bath
Supplies: Tub with dirt (may need to add a small amount of water to make it muddier), Pan with water, dish soap, toy plastic dog, some paper towels for clean up
Directions: Open the tub with dirt and add a small amount of water to make the dirt muddy, put the toy dog in the tub and encourage the child to use the dog to play in the mud. Pour the dish soap into the separate pan and add water. When the child is ready, explain to the child that they can wash the dog in the soapy water. They can repeat this activity as many times as they are interested and time allows. Use the paper towels to dry off the dog and/or clean up!
Snack: “Harry” dogs with peanut butter/cocoa “mud”
Supplies: Bread dog cut-outs, cream cheese, raisins, kid-safe knife for spreading, bowl, peanut butter, plate, cocoa powder.
Directions: Mix the peanut butter and the cocoa powder (small amounts at a time and taste as you go to avoid the peanut butter getting bitter) in the bowl to make it a dark brown/muddy color. On the plate, spread some cream cheese onto the bread cut outs. Add some raisins for “spots.” Put a spoonful of the peanut butter/cocoa mixture on the plate with a kid-safe knife. Tell the child, they can spread the “mud” on the “dog” and then eat the snack. Enjoy!