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Story Time: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish



Before we head into Story Time, I want to remind you to take a look at the latest posts in the 30 Ways We Homeschool Series.  Also, we launched some Amazing Giveaways last week.  If you haven’t entered them yet, you can do so here, here, and here.  Now then.  On with the show.

Story Time-The Day I Swapped My Dad activities

Story Time is my favorite part of the week.

I love coming up with activities for beloved books, and I love Neil Gaiman.  I adore his sense of humor and his whimsy.  I’ve been a Huge Fan of his work for adults for many years, and I love his approach to children’s books.  Gaiman never talks down to kids.  He tells it like it is.  So if your little is a wee bit tired of Dad sitting around reading the newspaper or watching sports, or whatever takes Dad’s attention away from her, she will relate to The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.  And maybe see how wrong it is to try to swap Dad out for something more interesting.  I will warn you–this is not a short.  It’s kind of long.  Maybe a 10-minute read.  But it’s hilarious and I think your littles will love it.

We need some fun Father’s Day activities for this Story Time, right?  Let’s get to it!


Here’s a free download of a booklet your little can make for Dad with prompts for 10 reasons Dad is so darn lovable (and you wouldn’t trade him for goldfish).  Your little can complete the sentences then draw Dad a picture about the sentence.

story time-10 reasons i love dad download



Story Time -ginger beer

The children in the story have a glass of ginger beer while they are traipsing around town, swapping back all the things that have traded for their dad.  You and your littles can make homemade ginger beer quite easily, and you can include a lesson about yeast and fungi while you’re doing so.  How does that not rock?

What you need:

  • Empty 2-liter bottle (plastic–glass might explode because of the carbonation, and you Do Not want that.)
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 liters distilled water (don’t use tap water–yeast doesn’t like chlorine)
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 2-4 Tbsp ground ginger

What you do:

  • Sterilize the bottle by pouring boiling water into it.  Use a funnel.  So you don’t burn your hands.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice into a measuring cup
  • In a saucepan, heat your distilled water to 105-115 degrees.  Pour into the bottle, leaving enough room for the other ingredients.  (so leave out as many cups of water as you have lemon juice, plus a little wiggle room for the dry ingredients and a small pocket of air for the pressure to build up)
  • Add the sugar and lemons then cap the bottle and shake shake shake until they are well mixed with the water
  • Add the yeast, cap the bottle, and shake again
  • Store the bottle in a warm place for 24 hours
  • After 24 hours, give the bottle a good squeeze.  If you can dent it, give it a couple more hours until the bottle resists denting when you squeeze
  • Make sure you open  within 30 hours or so, though, because–again–explosion
  • Use a cheesecloth or strainer to filter out any sediment
  • Pour back into bottle
  • Chill in the refrigerator; it’ll keep for up to a week

While you’re making your ginger beer, explain to your littles that yeast is a fungus that feeds on sugar.  Yeast produces carbon dioxide, which is what causes the bubbles in the prepared drink.  That’s why it’s called carbonation–it’s caused by carbon dioxide.  You can find a full yeast science lesson at Kids Discover.


Fingerprint Goldfish Father’s Day Card

Father's Day Card-Story Time The Day I Swapped My Dad


What you need:

goldfish card supplies

  • Blue construction paper
  • Orange construction paper
  • Lit Mama’s Goldfish Template (click link to print)
  • Orange and other markers
  • 1 googly eye
  • Yellow Paint
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Cat that won’t get out of the picture (optional)

What you do:

folded goldfish card


  • Fold blue construction paper in half to make card
  • Set aside

Card goldfish traching

  • Print and cut out template
  • Trace onto orange construction paper
  • Cut out goldfish

goldfish card face

  • With your pencil, draw a curved line to mark off the face


  • Dip your finger into the yellow paint
  • Make lines of yellow gills along the body of the fish, leaving tail, fins, and face paint-free


  • Use your orange marker to trace over the penciled face-line
  • Make wavy lines on tail and fins with orange marker


  • Glue on the googly eye
  • Draw a smiley mouth

Father's Day Card-Story Time The Day I Swapped My Dad

  • Glue fish to front of card
  • Write message above and below fish



carrot slices

Um, carrots, please!  We already made a recipe, up there in Science.  But ol’ Dad is eating a carrot on his way home, so slice some up or buy a bag of baby carrots and enjoy them with your ginger beer!

Yeah yeah.  Won’t Dad love having ginger beer made by his own kids for Father’s Day?  Score!

Love wins,


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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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  1. Where in the world do you find these books? (OK, I know – it’s me. Living in Malaysia is not good for my book-finding!) We just recently began trying our hand at ginger beer. It’s pretty fun! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Birthdays and Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #153My Profile

  2. That card is adorable! and the book seems quirky, I had a little peek inside on amazon 🙂

    swapna recently posted…Why Children must tap into their Inner Introvert: What’s so Magical about Solitude? (Practical Mondays #18)My Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Thanks, Swapna! The book is a little different, but I do so love British humor, and Gaiman’s is the best.

  3. This sounds like such a great story, and I love how you put a unit in for Father’s Day with this as well! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels recently posted…Progeny Press (The Drinking Gourd E-Guide Review)My Profile

  4. This is so cute. ” I would never trade you for a gold fish” Love it. Thanks for sharing with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up Party this week!
    Charlene Asay recently posted…Semi-Sweet Banana Oat MuffinsMy Profile

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