Of course, warm spring weather entails mud, muck, dirt, and bugs so this is usually what my kids look like when they decide to come back in my house:
Oh well. I may have to run a bath and mop the floor more often, but at least they are tired at bed time.
In honor of my own little Pig Pens I thought that I would share some of my favorite "dirty books". (I bet you never thought that a children's librarian would suggest dirty books.)
The first two books that I want to mention are for toddlers or preschool aged children and are excellent for teaching colors.
The pictures and text of Dog's Colorful Day are more simplistic than those of I Know a Wee Piggy, which is slightly longer and rhyming. Both books will have your kids giggling as Dog and Piggy get covered in a variety of colorful and messy substances from red jelly and brown mud to green grass and pink cotton candy.
There are printable templates available online for Dog's Colorful Day and a variety of pig templates too.
You can just print these and let kids paint, color, or decorate with pieces of paper, puffballs, or stickers. For reusable fun, though, you can get the pictures laminated (for $1 at the library) or cover them with contact paper. This way kids can draw on Dog or Piggy with dry erase markers (or the new dry erase crayons which are awesome). My boys loved decorating their laminated pictures with play-dough. Dog would end up with not just spots, but also mustaches, beards, rainbow afros, a variety of hilarious accessories, and even oozing guts (which was my older son's idea).
There are just way too many adorable and hilarious books about dirty, messy kids. Probably, because kids are happiest when they are the filthiest (at least mine are). Here are just a few more that are guaranteed kid pleasers so check some of them out soon.
And nothing beats the classic Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion read below by Betty White.
Have fun getting dirty!