There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Shell is a great preschool beach book. In the book, an old lady swallows a shell. Of course, following the pattern of the traditional song, "I know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", we don't know why! Swallowing the shell leads to other strange choices, like swallowing a crab, a fish, a gull, a pail, some sand, and a wave. As anyone can tell you, swallowing these strange beach souvenirs, causes any old lady to belch. When the old lady belches, out pops a perfect sand castle.This book is a fun beach twist on the traditional folk tale.
Book Activity:After reading this book, we created a book activity to retell the story. I created a beach bucket old lady by adding yarn and google eyes to a beach bucket. I hot glued the yarn (it was almost like twine... that's what we had around the house). After I hot glued it, I gave the lady an ah-mazing haircut. Now you know why I'm a teacher and not a hair stylist. We gathered items from around the house and dropped them into the old lady bucket one by one as we retold the story. We used sand in a container and water in a container as a wave bottle. If you are brave, you could let your child dump loose sand and water into the bucket. Be prepared for a messy activity!
Our "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Shell" book activity was super fun, but I wanted to create a way to put the items into the Old Lady's mouth. I also wanted a book activity that we could reuse and store easily. I created a simple file folder game.
This file folder game is available in my Beach Thematic Unit in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. The unit includes a printable pail. All you have to do is add google eyes, hair, and cut out a mouth. I also created printable cards of each of the items. My boys love to shove the cards into the Old Lady's mouth. They also love to open file folder and find the print out of the sand castle in the old lady's "belly". There are many other fun book activities in the unit!
Either way you play, this book activity is great for retelling a story and also for holding the interest of the child while you are reading the book!