STORM is Coming

Who is storm and when is he – or maybe she – coming?!!

Listen as the farm animals try to figure out who storm is after Farmer tells dog to get all the animals into the barn because storm is coming!  Wee Wednesday, Storm is ComingSeptember 24th offers silly suspense as we wait on STORM in the book Storm is Coming by Heather Tekavac.

The Pout-Pout Fish

On Wee Wednesday, September 17th, turn your frown upside down as we read, The Pout-Pout FishPout-Pout Fish by Deborah Dieson, a rhyming book about a gloomy fish who decides that being glum isn’t how he wants to be for the rest of his life.

After the story, make a fun felt fish!

Chemical Reaction Painting

The Clay Center houses an art gallery in addition to multiple science galleries.  Because of this, we try to incorporate a mixture of science and art into each of our programs.

Art and science work together naturally, so the connection is easy!  Think about it, scientists are always developing new paints, papers, synthetic graphite, solvents for paints and the list goes on.  Artists have helped scientists to document studies and progress.  NASA developed an entire NASA ArtSpace program in 1962 to help document their missions and discoveries.

This chemical reaction activity is a simple and fun way to mix science with art!

What You Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking SodaWhat You Need
  • Food Coloring
  • Construction Paper (or any thick paper)
  • Small cups or watercolor palette
  • Drinking Straw (cut in half)
  • Cup of Water
  • Paper Towels (someone has to clean up)
  • Optional: Glue Stick

What You Do:

Pour a small amount of VINEGAR into each cup and add different colored FOOD COLORING to each cup.

*Food coloring packages typically only offer red, blue, yellow and green so be creative and mix up colors such as purple (red and blue) and orange (red and yellow)

Use the GLUE STICK to coat the CONSTRUCTION PAPER in glue.Glue Paper

Sprinkle BAKING SODA on the paper and rub it into the glue; shake off the excess.

*If you are opting not to use the glue, simply sprinkle BAKING SODA all over the paper and spread it around.

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Take your HALF STRAW and put one end in the colored vinegar, cap the other end with your finger.Paint with Vinegar

Put the HALF STRAW on the paper and slowly release the finger that is capping the end as you drag the straw around the paper.

You should see little colored trails beginning to fizz up all over your paper!

As to not mix all of the vinegar colors, dip your straw in a CUP OF WATER before choosing a new color.

After you get the hang of using a drinking straw as a paint brush, try dripping color from the straw or blowing large pools of colored vinegar around the paper.

Painted Image    Painted Image 2

Come up with lots of other straw painting techniques because the possibilities are endless!


The Grouchy Ladybug

The ladybug in this book by Eric Carle is grouchy for sure!  It starts the day by trying to The Grouchy Ladybugpick a fight with someone its own size, but then decides the fellow ladybug isn’t big enough for a good fight.  The ladybug goes on to challenge other larger animals until finally a whale of a creature puts a stop to all the bullying.

Join us on Wee Wednesday, September 10th at 11am or 1pm to learn what creature finally brings the ladybug back to reality!  After the story, we will make our own ladybugs.

Will your ladybug be grouchy or happy?


I am Groot (the Puppet)

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy a few weeks ago, I can’t stop making Groot puppets. I do this mostly so I can make him dance. Thankfully, no one finds this strange because we’re all about puppets in our latest exhibit What’s Your Story? From digital to physical, we’ve got supplies to put on some amazing shows.

While below are the instructions specific to Groot, they can be modified to make any Walking Puppet. (For our purposes, a Walking Puppet is one with holes for your fingers to provide the legs).


Foam or cardboard
Glue or tape
Markers or colored pencils


1. Sketch Groot’s form onto either foam or cardboard. (I’ve used foam, but a recycled cereal box would work just as well.) The only requirement is material stiff and strong enough to stand up once it has been cut out.

2. Add two circles at the base. (These are where your fingers will provide “legs”.)

Groot Begins

He only looks creepy until you finish his eyes and arms.

3. Don’t forget the details! Add Groot’s eyes, mouth, and a few vines.

4. Draw limbs and leaves separately.

5. Cut out Groot’s body, arms, and leaves.

6. Cut out the circles for your fingers.

Groot and Arms

6. Glue or tape his “arms” and extra leaves in place.

Groot Complete

Just like the movie poster!

7. Turn on music. Make your Groot dance!

Why puppets? They combine art and storytelling and use both to aid students understanding of concepts from history to science. Create the cast of a favorite books and re-enact the story (a fun review and to help with comprehension) or go bold and put on a puppet show of the Oregon Trail or the Rock Cycle.

In the comments, share your classroom creations or other creative ways you’ve used storytelling with your students!


P.S. If anyone is taking requests, I’d love to see a potted puppet Groot.