Wednesday was Scrub A Dub Dub Day at Magness Library.
Sitting in the tub were plastic rubber ducks, squids and octopuses, but that’s where the nursery rhyme ends and sad reality begins as participants in the library’s Summer Reading Program learned about the effects of oil spills on marine life.
“I always have one project per program where the children are going to get really messy. This was it,” said Magness Library assistant director Merissa Chapman. “Today, they learned about oil spills by taking a clean tub of water – a miniature ocean – and adding some nasty stuff. They were each given a plastic sea creature they had to rescue by cleaning it up with Dawn soap and a toothbrush.”
While this experience was meant to be fun and educational, oil spills can be devastating to the environment. Images associated with oil spills – such as marine life coated with oil – can be upsetting to young children.
“When children see images on television about oil spills and the subsequent cleanup effort, it can be very upsetting to them,” said Chapman. “Today’s project demonstrated that there are things people can do, and are doing, to help when oil spills occur. Hopefully, they came away inspired to protect our oceans and each has a new friend for their bathtubs at home.”
At least one octopus has a different destination.
“We’re going to the pool after this,” said participant Ashlyn Kennedy. “We’re taking swimming lessons. I’m taking it into the pool with me.”
Charlotte Carr shook her head yes when asked if she was having fun getting dirty.
“I also like making mud pies,” said Charlotte, demonstrating how to mold the mud into a pie using two hands. “It’s fun.”
The pies are allowed to dry and are then called mud cakes. However, says Carr, neither pie nor cake are edible.
Wednesday’s story time was “Fidgety Fish” by author Ruth Galloway. The book is about the adventures of Tiddler, a fidgety fish who darts and wriggles all over the place. He has a great time exploring, until he finds a dark cave.
Tails & Tales Summer Reading 2021 continues through July 23. For more information, Magness Library can be reached at 473-2428.