Frye Families: Bathe the Cat

Small Frye is a free monthly program for preschoolers and their caregivers. If you are not able to attend, you can check back here every month for a different artmaking activity inspired by the story. To learn more about the program, including how to register, visit our program page.  

By Lila Thomas

In December, we read Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty.

Watch the video and reflect on the story with your child using the questions below. 

Reflecting Prompts

What happened in the story? How do you think the cat felt?

Why do you think it’s easier to do chores together?

What could happen if the whole family decided not to do household chores?

What's something that you do to keep yourself clean?


Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty follows a frantic family as they try to get some chores done—with no help from the family cat, who keeps scrambling the list of tasks with hilarious effects. Can the family work together to get their chores done before Grandma arrives?!

Hand shapes cut out of construction paper on more pieces of construction paper, along with crafting tools

For the art project, we’ll create and participate in an activity/game based on Bathe the Cat. We’ll make germ characters with magic clay and googly eyes, then place them on pre-cut paper hands. Your child’s goal will be to sort out all the germs into a basket from the paper hands by the end of a short song of your choice.

Construction paper hands and more craft materials including pens, clay, and googly eyes

This art project could be an opportunity to discuss the importance of hygiene and washing your hands with your child. You can prompt them with questions like “ What are germs?” and “How do we get rid of germs?” You can also demonstrate how long it should take to wash your hands by singing the alphabet, “Tops and Bottoms”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or a nursery rhyme that resonates with your child.

A 'germ' made of a googly eye on clay with other crafting materials in the background

Feel free to let your child play and get familiar with the material of the magic clay and googly eyes. When they have made multiple shapes they like, you can help them put googly eyes on the shape to add some character to these germ creatures!

Construction paper hands and 'germs' made of clay, paper, and googly eyes

Whenever your child feels the germ creatures are complete, gather all the germ critters and grab your pre-cut hands. You’ll need a basket and at least two pre-cut hands of the next part of the project.

Once you’re ready, you can introduce this art-making project as a game! The goal will be to place the germ characters on the hands and then work together to remove all the “germs” from the hands by the end of the song. You can set a timer with your tune of choice. While they’re removing the germs from the pre-cut hands, you can help them sort germ critters into the basket.

Construction paper hands and a basket containing 'germs' made of clay, paper, and googly eyes

Once all the germs are clear from the paper hands, you can wash your actual hands! Feel free to congratulate them for working together to clean the crafted hands and talk about what they learned about the importance of working together and good hygiene.

A small basket containing craft 'germs' made up paper, clay, and googly eyes

Have fun crafting and sorting out these whimsical germ critters!