Dirt and Dip, an Art Storytime


Dirt Boy by Erik Jon Slangerup Illustrated by John Manders
Compost Stew: An A to Z recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals Illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Continuing our summer reading theme, “Dig into Reading,” this week we talked about DIRT. To begin with, we talked about digging in the dirt. Some of the children really enjoyed it; some did not like the feeling of dirt. Then we read our first story, Dirt Boy, which is the story of a child who loves being dirty and hates taking a bath so much that he runs away before bathtime one day. Out in the woods, he spends time with Dirt Man the Giant. This story was excellent for a beginner storyteller such as myself as it had only a few characters. But the story, although long, was quite engaging for my large group.

Our second story this week was Compost Tea. This story is an alphabet book with a rhyming laundry list of additions for your compost pile. If I were to read this story again, I’d begin with a better explanation of composting and making dirt. This story really didn’t resonate with my children, but I think that was my fault for not explaining better. The illustrations in this story are gorgeous collage and I recommend taking a look at this book for that reason if no other.


These flannel mushrooms were introduced at the end of my storytime. Since these were developed as a small group game for the children, I provided a general introduction to the pieces and talked to them about playing a matching game. In upcoming weeks, I will be showing individuals new ways to play with the mushrooms (if they don’t come up with the games on their own). For more information about my matching mushrooms, including how I made them and various games to play with them, see my Flannel Friday post here.

Action Rhyme:

My supporting activity this week was a song. As we sang the following song (to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It) the children pretended to be making a mud pie between their hands. Then at the appropriate point in the song, they would wipe their mud on the particular body part.

I Wish I Was a Little Hunk of Mud (tune of “If You’re Happy & You Know It”)

Oh, I wish I was a little hunk of mud
Oh, I wish I was a little hunk of mud
Then I’d oooeey and I’d goooeey over everybody’s shoooee
Oh, I wish I was a little hunk of mud.

Then I’d splish and I’d splat over everybody’s pants
Then I’d wiggle and I’d jiggle till I covered up your middle.
Then I’d spread and I’d spread until I covered up your head.

Art Station:

Our art word this week was DIP. First we talked about some things we might dip, like brushes or sticks or fingers or string. Then we talked about a few things we might dip into, like paint or water or mud. Finally I introduced our project for the week. I created some flannel “worms” which we would dip into some diluted tempera paint. The “worms” were two and a half inch flannel squiggle shapes that were hole punched and had six inches of yarn attached for a handle. The children had an excellent time wiggling their worms across their papers.

Featured art station set up:

  • Flannel worms
  • Diluted tempera paint
  • Paper

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