The Piggy in the Puddle Handwashing Fun

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My bloggy pal Hilary over at Raising Fairies and Knights started a fun new Monthly Crafting Book Club this year - a challenge to create activities to go along with some of the most beloved children's books out there.

The first installment focused on Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance, where I featured our Animal Action Dice Game from earlier in the year.

February's book was If You Give a Moose a Muffin, so I came up with a Cause & Effect Box to go along with the story.

March's selection was Dr. Seuss's ABC, so the three of us set out for an alphabetical scavenger hunt.

Now it's April, and for the first time this year, we didn't actually have the chosen book (The Piggy in the Puddlealready here at home.

Not a problem, of course, because we love the library, but this new-to-us book was a little trickier than the others to create an activity for.

After debating whether or not to allow Gv to dig up part of our yard to make some mud pies, I hit upon the perfect idea:  to tie the book in with some of the hand-hygiene tips I'd been trying to teach her!

We first coated Gv's hands with a little oil to help the cinnamon "mud" stick on really well.  I'd considered using cocoa powder for this, but then decided that cinnamon would work just as well and make everything smell extra-delicious, so, bonus!

All muddied up

We tried washing it all off using just cold water.

It didn't do a darn thing.

Not even after an extremely vigorous bout of rubbing.

So we tried hot water, but that just produced the same no-good results.

Soap!  Soap might make a difference!

And it did.

Needing a bit more washing time, after seeing some cinnamon still stuck in her hand-wrinkles.

What I liked best about this activity was that even with all sorts of rubbing with the soap, there was a bit of cinnamon left in some of the nooks and crannies of her hands.

This gave me the perfect opportunity to point out how important it is to really get the soap everywhere and also to rub and rub and rub and rub so that she doesn't miss a spot.

We even sing a song I made up to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" while we wash:

Wash, wash, wash your hands
Get them nice and clean...
(that's the part where you run them under the water and grab the soap)

Rub, rub, rub your hands
Get them nice and clean...
(repeat this about three times)

Rinse, rinse, rinse your hands
Get them nice and clean...
(repeat this until the soap's all gone)

Dry, dry, dry your hands
Get them nice and clean...

& then end with a big cheer, because clean hands are something to really get excited about!

After Gv's hands were all spic & span again, we did one more activity to see why the soap worked so well to get rid of the dirt and germs.

We filled a bowl with water and then sprinkled pepper all over it.

"Look!  The pepper's floating!"

Then I handed Gv a bar of soap and had her dip it into the bowl:

"The pepper's running away from the soap!"

If your child is a bit older, you could easily use this opportunity to discuss water tension and such (see this site for an excellent explanation), but for Gv right now, we just talked about how the soap made the "dirt" go away. 

These were both such great activities, Gv wanted to repeat them both several days later.

The good thing is, neither one is very difficult to do, so it's been pretty easy to give in and do it, whenever she's asked.

And the best part is, she's really been extra-thorough while washing her hands lately!

What do you like best about this silly book?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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