Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is a family favorite. Scarry created a world of real and imaginary vehicles (think bananamobile) for land, air, and sea. Scarry’s inventiveness ensures that adults will also get a kick out of this book. This book has seen us through many mealtime preparations, dinners out, and visits to places where running around is frowned upon. It’s definitely the one book I couldn’t live without (apologies to Jane Austen).
There is a scene in the book where several different vehicles, all loaded with cargo, get into one HUGE pileup–there’s whipped cream, ketchup, bananas, eggs, maple syrup…everywhere. It is “Some Accident!”
I thought rather than our usual reenactment of crashing cars, why not take this outside, with some props? I gathered items present in the scene, making only a few substitutions. I didn’t want the kids playing with raw eggs, so I use hard boiled; I didn’t want to waste maple syrup so we used corn syrup, and I used ketchup mixed with water instead of tomato juice.
As I gathered the ingredients my 4 year old jumped up and down with excitement. When I set everything up outside, the kids were somewhat tentative at first, just crashing cars and splashing a bit. Then I grabbed an egg, held it up, and crushed it in my hand, letting pieces of it fly. They both looked up, and you could see a glint in their eyes, as if to say, “really? we are allowed to do this?!” And then things got MESSY!
It was a fun way to bring the book to life. And then we got the hose out and cleaned everything- and everyone- up in a giant car wash!