I did a search on Pinterest for “book and craft” combinations and ended up finding this Build Your Own Alien play dough project that was perfect. This was paired with a book called Aliens Love Underpants, but I couldn’t think of an effective way to provide a selection of ‘underpants’ for a large group of kids. Laminating is expensive and then I would have to cut them all out by hand. So, I looked for other alien books and found these two at my local library.
- Station 1 - This station had a pile of “space junk” (stuff that came out of my recycle bin). Things like plastic containers, cardboard boxes and magazines or catalogs work best because they are heavy enough that they won’t blow away in a breeze. Also they should be clean, of course.
- Station 2 – Two brown paper grocery bags to deposit the space junk in.
- Station 3 – Two cookie sheets with paper cut-outs of various pieces of hardware and spare parts. These all had tape on the back of them and were lightly stuck to the cookie sheet so they wouldn’t fly away, but the kids could easily pick them off without pulling the tape off the back.
- Station 4 – A poster of a rocket ship that the kids had to stick the hardware on. I used a free web tool called Block Posters for this. All you do is upload a picture or graphic, tell it how many pages wide you want it to be, and it will chop the graphic into blocks and output a .pdf file that you can print. Then you just trim off the white borders and tape the pieces together.
- Station 5 - A pile of "moon rocks", plastic Easter eggs filled with candy and wrapped in aluminum foil.
In hindsight, one rule I should have explained more carefully is that each kid was only allowed to take one moon rock at a time, because some of the kids were grabbing handfuls at a time, and one kid ended up with a ton while other kids only had a couple. The kids didn't seem to notice, but to make it fair for each kid, I would limit the number of rocks per kid so that they all end up with the same amount. You can use the moms to enforce this by telling them that the kids are only allowed to have so many.
We've already had one mom volunteer to host Mommy and Me Book Club next month, so I can't wait to see what we are going to be doing!