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I love planning a few activities to go along with books. I know the days of reading picture books with my kids are numbered so I am determined to make the most of them.
We recently read The Marshmallow Incident by Judi Barrett. This is a story about two rival towns. One of the towns happens to have an enormous surplus of marshmallows. These marshmallows are pulled into battle when the two towns have an ‘incident’.
The Marshmallow Incident Activities
Read the story
The first step of any book and activity combo is to read the story. This story has cute drawings that are typical of Ron Barrett’s work.
My kids love roasting marshmallows. It just screams summer night fun. If you have little ones, this is a great chance to practice fire safety skills.
Build catapults and try to launch marshmallows
We made catapults with paper towel tubes, rubber bands, and spoons – all items we had on hand. GoScienceGirls.com has a great tutorial on building the catapult. My kids are old enough to problem solve on their own so I did not give them directions. I just set out the materials and let them build their catapults through trial and error. The great thing about using ordinary household items to build is that kids start to look at the recycling bin a little differently. It shifts their way of thinking.
This is the perfect opportunity to pull out any castle blocks and try to knock the castle down.
Create marshmallow and toothpick structures
This is a delicious open-ended activity. Put toothpicks and a variety of marshmallows on the table and encourage the kids to create anything they want. If the kids need ideas to get started, suggest they build the biggest tower they can.
If your kids are like mine, they will want to eat the marshmallows after they are finished building, so this might not be a great activity right before bed.
Sort nouns and verbs
123homeschool4me has a great free Marshmallow Incident noun and verb sort on their website. This is a cute way to practice identifying parts of speech. My kids have this skill down pat, but I know that it does show up in Ben’s grammar lessons again this year. I will pull out this sorting activity for a little more fun than a standard worksheet.
Marshmallows are a fantastic hands on manipulative for patterning. Our grocery store baking aisle has a ton of different marshmallows – huge, regular size, mini, chocolate, watermelon, and striped. Start young children off with a simple AB pattern that they copy. The next step is to build their own AB pattern. Once they understand the concept behind patterning, encourage them to create as many types of patterns as possible.
Have you ever read The Marshmallow Incident?
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