Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Tea Party

We recently had a stuffed animal tea party. We invited kids to bring their favorite animals and dress for a party. We served mini-cupcakes and drank juice, read stories, and had a photo booth. The kids also designed and decorated teapots from Oriental Trading. It was a simple but fun party! Both boys and girls came and they were adorable. :)

Books:
Tea Rex by Molly Idle
Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer




Emoji Bulletin Board

I put up a new bulletin board in the children's department today. :)

I used stuffed emoji ornaments (guessing here--they came on a string) that were a Happy Meal toy at McDonald's a while back. Printed emoji pictures would also work if you want to replicate it on your own.

I cut the letters out on the library's Cricut. Hope you like it!

Sunflower Story and a Craft

A few weeks ago, I held a Sunflower Story and Craft program for kids aged 2-5.

I read:

Sunflower by Miela FordSee it Grow: Sunflower by Joyce MarkovicsPlanting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert We sang along to Raffi's version of "Mr. Sun" and danced with scarves. 
I borrowed my daughter's flower builders play set and the kids were also able to play with the pieces from my 5 Little Flowers flannel board. 
We made foam sunflowers and crows from an Oriental Trading craft kit they appear to no longer sell, but there is an even cuter idea in from Artsy Toddler Storytimes for a more homemade one. 
Fingerplays and Action Rhymes: 
One Little Seed* One little seed is all I've got
Watch me plant it in my pot.
With sunlight and a rainshower, What do you know? Up pops a sunflower.

Five Little Flowers (from PreschoolEducation.com) One little flower had nothing much to do, Out popped another one, then there were ________. 
Two little flowers were smiling at the bee, Out popped another one, …

Flannel Friday Roundup for November 11, 2016

I'm taking over the hosting of this week's Flannel Friday roundup due to a technological problem over on Sharon's blog. If you're participating in this week's roundup, please leave a comment below and I will compile all the entries. I will delete your comment after I get your link in the roundup. :)

Thanks!
------

Keith has Jelly in a Bowl and I adore his Kawaii-style felt characters. So distinctive and beautiful!

Jennifer has Five Nervous Turkeys wearing costumes to avoid being Thanksgiving dinner.

Kate has 5 Rubber Ducks and it's good clean fun!

Kathryn blew me away with her original rhyme called Giraffe Has a Snack.

Family Fort Night!

A few weeks ago, we host our first Family Fort Night! We borrowed liberally from bloggers like Marge, Erin, and Amy, so I want to thank everyone for sharing their program ideas. It was a big hit here too! It was a wonderful, simple program and reminded me that those are the best ones! We plan to do this again next year.

We started our program at 5:45pm, 45 minutes after we closed for the day. Another co-worker let attendees into the building and I greeted them in the Community Room with gift bags. Our gift bags included walking s'mores (Teddy Grahams, mini-marshmallows, and chocolate chips), a mini-flashlight, and a map of our town on the outside. The design was inspired by an Oriental Trading idea.

At about 6:00 pm, I read Creepy Carrots to the group as they finished off their snacks in our community room. Then we wandered over to the children's department where they had free reign to build forts using the stacks, tables, chairs, etc. It was really amazing to see what they c…

STEM + Stories: Earth Science

I really enjoyed this month's STEM + Stories! We did two activities I found on the American Geoscience Institute's lesson plans for Earth Science Week*. I made fossils from plaster of Paris (SO messy but fun and some of the fossils did dry too hard for the kids so we had to add more water during the program) and we did a birdseed mining activity. I had the kids wear eye protection for both activities as there was dust involved.  Everything was pretty much as described in their lesson plans but I did want to blog about this program because their lesson plans for Earth Science Week are all awesome, dirt cheap (pun intended), and they have ideas for elementary through high school. So this is a great resource to have in your pocket.

I read three books: Gold Fever by Verla Kay to go with the mining activity, A Rock is Lively by Diana Hutts Aston, and If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk. I did introduce the California Gold Rush era a little bit to give some historical context as …

"I Love Sailing" Draw and Tell

I wrote an easy draw and tell story for my Sail Away program this week and I wanted to share it for Flannel Friday. I hope you like it! It's so simple to draw--mostly lines and circles and you finish with a sailboat! 
This week, our host for Flannel Friday is Kate at Felt Board Magic.
Download the story and instructions here

Sail Away: Boat Storytime with a Craft and STEM activities

Every three years, my fair city participates in the Tall Ship Celebration. This festival is a huge deal and it's one of my favorite recurring events around town. And we have a lot of cool events in the summer, so that's really saying something. I wanted to do a simple program for the Monday night before the festival this year to have something to get the 2-6 year olds pumped up for those tall ships!

Sail Away Story and a Craft Program: 
Monday, July 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm


Craft: Pool Noodle Sailboats
Supplies: Pool noodles cut into approximately 12-15 pieces (I used a serrated kitchen knife), drinking straws cut into 3 inch lengths, craft foam for the sales, hole punches, scissors.

Book List: 
Sail Away by Donald Crews
Little Tug by Stephen Savage
On the Boat by Cynthia Amoroso

Songs, Rhymes, and Storytelling: 
Let's All Do a Little Clapping --my storytime opening song

Let's all do a little clapping!
Let's all do a little clapping!
Let's all do a little clapping,
And spre…

STEM + Stories: Robotics

This summer I am doing a monthly program called Stories + STEM. Each meeting, we'll have a different topic and we will read a story or biography and then have different stations with activities related to the topic. This program is for ages 5-12 and I limited it to 40 kids at a time. June's topic was robotics.

I read two books: Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! by Todd Tarpley and Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett. Then I divided the children into three groups and they visited three stations in a rotation.

Two of the stations were competition robots from the local high schools' robotics teams. The children were able to drive the robots, learn how they were built, and ask questions of the students on the teams. The coaches were also there supervising.

The last station was run by one of the robotics coaches who brought a set of 8 Ozobots to the program and showed the kids how to program them using paper and colored markers. I was not familiar with …

Finger Play: Five Lovely Starfish

I wanted to share with everyone a really simple but fun fingerplay I spotted in Artsy Toddler Storytimes, which is my favorite resource for planning my 2 and 3 year old storytimes. In that book, this rhyme i sused as a flannel board rhyme but I decided to adapt it as a fingerplay. I like it because it's simple enough I can actually memorize the words. I adapted it on the fly to use some fun vocabulary words that are synonyms for "big" so each verse was a little different.

Here are the words as given in the book:

Five Lovely Starfish
Five lovely starfish sitting on the beach,
Along came a wave and now there are four.
(count down to zero)

So what I did was insert a different word in front of wave like: big, giant, huge, enormous etc. I used my left hand to count and made my right arm a wave with a rolling motion that knocked my left fingers ("starfish") down.

Minecraft Madness

The one program I knew I wanted to do over Spring Break was something Minecraft-related. We do have 10 public computers in my children's department but I knew that wouldn't be enough to meet demand so I decided to plan an "unplugged" program. I was fortunate to find tons of awesome ideas online and I actually think I have enough ideas that I didn't use this time around for another program. Maybe this summer?

Our program was a drop-in, all ages program held the Monday of Spring Break from 2-3:30pm. We had 95 people attend and I received some really kind compliments.  To decorate the room, I used black tablecloths. I also hung purple and black streamers and a Minecraft portal sign in front of our program room door.

We had two crafts, both from Kerry Ann Morgan's AWESOME blog post. What I loved about these crafts was their simplicity. We did the Minecraft creeper magnets and the Minecraft sticker crafting project. I overheard one of the boys say, "This is t…

Going to the Pet Store (take 2)

A few years back, I shared a rhyme called "Going to the Pet Store" and it remains a staple of my storytimes today, particularly my outreach and school visits. At my local Meijer, I found a set of puppets that I thought were the perfect size for bringing along with me when I go out into the community to do storytimes, especially because they come in an adorable carrying case.

Here's the rhyme again:

Going to the Pet Store Going to the pet store,   (Slap your knees to the beat) Gonna find a pet.  I wonder what to get?  Hmmmmm...  (Scratch your head)  (Look in the house and pull out a puppet)
(I actually bought three sets of these puppets on clearance for $9.99 each. I've already blogged the pirate and ocean animals with a rhyme I whipped up for them, so please check those posts out too!)
This week's Flannel Friday is being hosted by Kate at Felt Board Magic.

I Swam the Sea to See the Animals

This is my second post about the puppet sets I found on clearance ($9.99!) at Meijer. The previous post was on pirates. Today's is on ocean animals and you can find the set at Amazon, but I think much more than $10 is too much. Here's a little song I made up to go along with the killer whale, star fish, dolphin, and clown fish. I would sing it all the way through and then pull out a puppet! Easy peasy!

I Swam the Sea to See the Animals

I swam the sea to see the animals, see the animals, see the animals.
I swam  the sea to see the animals, and this is what I saw!

Similar rhymes I have done include pirates and pets!


This week's Flannel Friday is being hosted by Lisa at Lisa's Libraryland and is a Summer Reading Roundup! This year our summer reading theme is sports and so swimming is totally related.

Summer Reading Program 2016 Ideas

I know lots of people doing sports/games-themed summer reading programs. Here are some program ideas from my blog archives if you are looking for some inspiration.

Life Size Chutes and Ladders (school age)Mascot Mania: Baseball (all ages) Maze Maker (school age/tween)Minecraft Madness (all ages, blog post will be live in May!) Minute to Win It (school age/tween) I have blogged several of these. Mother Goose Games (early childhood)Parachute Playtime (early childhood)  Please let me know if you try any of these programs and how they go!

Going on a Pirate Ship

I found this wonderful pirate set of mini-stuffies on clearance for $9.99 at my local Meijer store. I thought it would be great for storytime so I wrote a rhyme to go with it. I hope you like it! There is room for all of the animals hidden inside of the pirate ship, and pull one out at the end of each time through the rhyme. I'd probably save the shark for last because sharks upstage everything else. Also, all of these stuffed animals make noise but it would be entirely possible to do this rhyme without using the squeakers inside. I just thought that was worth noting so you're not surprised by a stray rattling sound or a woof.

Going On a Pirate Ship
Going on a pirate ship.
Gonna be a long trip!
Want to take some friends.
I wonder who to bring?
Hrmm... (or ARRGHH)

I have previously posted similar ideas for ocean animals and pets!

This week's Flannel Friday roundup is being hosted by our fearless founder, Melissa Depper at Mel's Desk. Thanks for hosting, MZD!

BlockCam App at Maker Club

Another iPad app we tried at my last maker club was the very cool BlockCam ($0.99).  This app lets you take photos and automatically turns them into "Lego" masterpieces. Please note that this app is not affiliated with Lego Group. You can also simply add accessories like a mustache.



"Nesting Chickens" Rhyme

A long time ago, we ordered a set of nesting chickens from Lakeshore Learning (now discontinued). They were meant to go in our children's department's toy area. We just felt like they came apart too easily and weren't that fun of a toy. So they have been sitting my office for about a year decorating the top of my filing cabinet. Really, that was a noble life for a set of nesting chickens. It could have been worse. BUT I wanted to find some library-related use for them. So, lo and behold, this week I was planning a ducks and chickens storytime when I happened to walk by them again, like I do multiple times a day since this filing cabinet is between my desk and my office door.

And an idea struck me. What if I used the words from a previously posted rhyme about Nesting Cats and made it Nesting Chickens. And thus it was so. I give you "Nesting Chickens:"

"Nesting Chickens" Chicken, Chicken I hear a sound Who is it?  Cluck! (repeat 2 times)
Chicken, Chicken …

Green Screen Fun at Maker Club!

Inspired by Karen at Teen Librarian Toolbox, I started using a green screen at our last maker club. The kids and I had SO much fun. I wanted to share a little bit about what we did.  Our green screen set-up is available from Amazon and comes with black, white, and green backdrops. It's not professional quality but it works great for my purposes (green screen photography but we also use this setup to run photo booths at a number of our programs). 
Like Karen, I loved the app Green Screen Wizard Mobile ($4.99 plus in-app purchases if you want to use some pre-made backgrounds) for its quick use. I was able to show the kids how to import backgrounds once and they totally ran with it. We only had one iPad at this program but we are in the process of getting more set up so I plan to have 2-3 at the next Maker Club program. 
The kids really started getting into when I showed them how to drape the green screen to make my head appear to float in space, as you can see in this photo below: 



Seuss Celebration 2016

We have an annual Dr. Seuss Celebration in March at all of our branches. Here's a quick write-up of what we did at my branch this year. We also had a reading corner and gave out cookies while the families listened to Seuss stories. We also had a page do face-painting (cat's nose and whiskers) but I don't have a picture of that. 


Lorax Craft: 
We made Lorax puppets using straws, pipe cleaners, pom poms, and googly eyes. The Lorax buddies are Ellison pumpkin cutouts. I cut the second arm out of each one by using a different copy and lining it up and cutting it (no tracing). It took about an hour to do 100 while I was on the desk (so I was answering phone calls and helping people in between cutting.) The idea for this craft came from here, although we changed it from a finger puppet to a stick puppet. The easiest way to stick all the parts on was double-stick tape although we tried glue sticks, and glue dots.









Cat in the Hat bowling:Used red solo cups as bowling pins and added …

Flannel Friday Roundup for Friday, March 18, 2016

Happy Flannel Friday!

Thanks for joining us. I'm excited to bring you this week's posts.

It seemed like lots of us are thinking spring this week! Kathryn brings you some beautiful flowers based on Lois Ehlert's classic picture book Painting a Rainbow.

Speaking of flowers, Bonnie from Buckeye Librarian (hey neighbor!) shares her homemade flower puppets, complete with the cutest bee I've ever seen.

Nikki from Hey There, Library shares some super cute felt rabbits she found at her Target's dollar spot. She has a couple of great ideas for using them, so be sure to check it out.

In other animal news, Storytime Ukelele brings you the chords and some adorable felt pieces to accompany "Little Bird, Little Bird." I've long been a fan of Elizabeth Mitchell's lovely version of this classic song myself.

Flannel Board Fun has THREE posts for you to enjoy. An adorable set for the classic "Little Mouse" game, a mitten matching game, and a story song …

Flannel Friday Placeholder for March 18, 2016

I'm hosting this week's Flannel Friday roundup, so leave a link to your blog post in the comments below and I'll post a compilation over the weekend. Not sure what Flannel Friday is? Well...


***You can also find Flannel Friday on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter hashtag, and on our Blog. If you're new to Flannel Friday, don't forget to add your name and location to our Where Is Flannel Friday map.***

Michigan KidLib 2016!

I wanted to let everyone know that registration is open for the 3rd annual Michigan KidLib unconference! The date is Friday, May 13th. We have some fun new plans in motion and it should be a great event. Registration is free. We will be returning to Clinton Township (Metro Detroit) so I hope to see lots of you there. We have had people from three other states attend past events, so we are definitely not limiting attendance to Michiganians. Since we will be in the Metro area, I hope to see some library school students from U of M and Wayne State (my alma mater) as well.

Learn more on our website.

If you have any questions, you can contact the three of us planning the event: Lisa Mulvenna, Andrea Vernola, and myself by email.

Image Credit: Pixabay