The first book I "read" was Flotsam by David Wiesner. I know, I know, I read this one all the time, but I LOVE IT! It's a great story, the pictures are gorgeous and fun, and it gets the kids engaged in the story and using their imaginations. It really is my favorite children's book.
The second book I read was I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. What a fun book! This one is about a giant squid who compares himself to various sea creatures, until he encounters one that is bigger than he is. Even the parents were laughing at this book, which is always a good sign. We all really enjoyed this one.
Before our last book, I had a fun activity for the kids. I had a small bucket filled with a layer of sand and a layer of blue plastic pony beads (to give the impression of water). In between the layers, I had hidden various (plastic) sea creatures. I had the kids close their eyes and reach in the bucket to find a sea creature (which they got to keep). They all enjoyed this (even the bigger kids).
The last book I read was Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae. I hate to be negative on this blog...the purpose is certainly not to put down any authors or books. However, this is one of the few books I've read that I didn't like (certainly not for reading aloud). I got this book for storytime after reading positive things about it but it didn't work for me at all. The first issue was that it has a strange cadence to it...I could not pick up the appropriate cadence to get the book to rhyme. The other issue was that is used the word "dumb." I always change words like "stupid", "dumb" or "fat" when reading aloud, but its hard for me to understand why an author would include negative words in a children's book to begin with. This book does have cute pictures and the kids loved shouting out the names of the sea creatures on each page.
For arts and crafts time, I got a few different books of Dover stencils ,some blue construction paper, some paint and foam brushes and let the kids make their own underwater pictures. This was fairly messy, but we were using washable paint and I put newspaper down to minimize the mess. I love to see how creative some of the kids are...
Like this picture on the left, where the little girl added bubbles into her picture of seahorses. Love it!
And here's a shot of my boy shopping at the market. He got this foam sword - he LOVES it!