Adam has fallen in love with this weeks Virtual Book Club story – Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle. The Little Blue Truck befriends farm animals along a countryside road. When a mean Dump Truck gets stuck in the mud, the Little Blue Truck tries to help but gets stuck himself. The animals work together to rescue both of the trucks. After reading the story several times Adam asked if he could make a truck get stuck in the mud. We worked together to form a Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin.
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First of all I set Adam the challenge of finding the farm animals mentioned in the story. He managed to find a pig, cow, chicken, sheep, toad, duck and horse – several of which came from his Early Learning Centre Farm Set. He couldn’t find any chicks or a goat but substituted the goat with another sheep. He then had to search his car boxes to find suitable items to represent the Little Blue Truck and Dump Truck. He emptied his cars into three piles – blue transport, yellow transport and then the remaining assorted colours. From the blue and yellow piles he discarded any transport that required batteries or wouldn’t withstand getting wet. He finally picked two trucks that would feature in our sensory bin.
Next we needed mud. I didn’t want to use soil but decided to re-try an activity we did almost two years ago – gloop. Back then, Adam detested any form of messy play. I now have a better understanding of Sensory Processing Disorder and Adam has been following a Sensory Diet for some time. I thought it would be interesting to see how he now dealt with gloop. I combined Cornflour with a little water and stirred in two Hot Chocolate Sachets. The hot chocolate turned the gloop brown to represent mud. It also gave a wonderful aroma to the activity.
I poured the chocolate gloop into our leaf shaped tray from Tiger Stores and let Adam act out the story. It was wonderful to watch him in action. He placed the seven animals into chocolate mud and each one said hello to the Little Blue Truck.
Next the Dump Truck came along and got stuck, along with the Little Blue Truck who tried to help. Adam lined up the animals behind the trucks to help pull them out. He even remembered that the toad came last.
The cornflour mud really did get each item stuck. Adam loved trying to pull the animals up out of the mud. Once the Dump Truck was free, Adam noticed the cornflour dripped down from its wheels. He decided that it looked like worms. From then on in he was fascinated by the cornflour. He spent over an hour scooping up the chocolate mud into his hands and dripping it over the animals and trucks.
I have to admit that as Adam was so engrossed in the activity I had a play too. Gloop is such an amazing substance – hard one moment and wet another. Adam said he felt like he was Spiderman with a web coming out of his hands. He even attempted to write in the chocolate cornflour.
Once all of the animals and trucks had been covered, Adam was concerned by how “dirty” they were. I gave him a bowl of soapy water along with a paintbrush and he cleaned each item.
This in itself was a great activity and a huge milestone for Adam. Up until now he has hated bubbles but he didn’t mind them being over his hands at all. Our Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin was not only a success but demonstrated just how far Adam has come with overcoming Sensory Processing Disorder challenges.
Spell Your Name With The Little Blue Truck – To be a Kid Again
Farm Animal Races – Inspiration Laboratories
Colour Sorting with Farm Animals – Clare’s Little Tots
Decorate a Farm Animal – Mama Smiles
Little Blue Truck Farm Animal Story Retelling – Powerful Mothering
Roll-a-Story Fun (Includes Character Printables)—Chickadee Lit