Friday, March 27, 2015

Annual Spring Break T-Shirt Party

  • Program Goals
    • Signal a program break
    • Bring people into the library
    • Encourage creativity
    • Attendance: 45
  • Evaluation
    • 3-27-15
      • Attendance: 31
      • Feedback/Connections: Several new families and lots of familiar faces. Everyone really enjoyed it and I was excited to see some of my special needs patrons for the first time.
      • Notes: This was the smallest group I've ever had - and it was wonderful. The only drawback was issues with the paint AGAIN. Tops popping off, smaller paint going blurt, very annoying. I need a new paint supplier.
    • 3-24-14
      • Attendance: 44
      • Feedback/Connections: People really appreciated the new, more organized program. It was too chaotic in the past.
      • Notes: Lots of changes. Spring Break was earlier, I had 2 staff assisting (one to run the ironing table, one to fetch and carry), I did not require registration, I had people bring their own t-shirts, I put all the materials on tables at the end with instructional signs, like Messy Art Club, and covered all the tables. I also remembered to dust the shelf tops to put the t-shirts on.
  • Fabric Crayons
    • Paper, pencils, tracing paper, permanent markers, stencils, flannelboard books
    • Iron, newspaper, towels
    • Instruction sheets
  • Fabric markers
  • Fabric paint
  • Extra t-shirts
  • Other
    • Tablecloths, wipes, paper towels
Programs from previous years

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Messy Art Club: Painting Eggs

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 60
  • Evaluation
    • 3-26-15
      • Attendance: 63
      • Feedback/Connections: Several new families, woo!
      • Notes: I always forget how much time it takes to set up b/c you have to cover all the tables in table cloths. And then it's hot and heavy for a while until everyone disappears. It might be an idea to have another craft, so the room doesn't empty out, but it's pretty exhausting as is.
    • 4-17-14
      • Attendance: 65
      • Feedback/Connections
      • Notes: I cut file labels in half length-wise to use as tags and got long boxes out of the basement for egg dryers. We had enough eggs for all the kids to have 2 each and still enough for next year! I just need to remember next year to start with four egg drying boxes and have them all on the table.
    • 3-14-13
      • Attendance: 60
      • Notes: I bought a LOT of eggs this year and hoped that we would have the numbers to justify the expense. The egg cartons weren't perfect - lots of people didn't stick their skewers all the way through, so the eggs tended to swing around. I forgot that I meant to give people sticky tags to mark their eggs.
    • 2012:
      • Notes: The skewers worked really well, but I need to remember to bring the egg cartons over to stick them in to dry at the beginning of the program, not the end. Ran out of eggs very fast. Need to enforce 1 per child. No, those are not "leftovers" those are for next year - or for the kids who come at the end of the program!
Project: Painting eggs

  • Styrofoam eggs purchased from S&S Worldwide (240 for $80)
  • skewers, acrylic paint, brushes
  • water cups, aprons, tablecloths, wipes
  • drying boxes, pencils, file labels for egg tags

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Preschool Interactive: Rain Showers

  • Program Goals
    • Model early literacy skills through stories and art
    • Offer a program at a new time (early afternoon) to meet the needs of 4K students
    • Learn about weather
    • Attendance: 15
  • Evaluation
    • 3-25-15
      • Attendance: 6
      • Feedback/Connections
      • Notes: Basically nobody came. One kid at 5 minutes past starting time who wasn't in a mood for stories so I just started her on the craft, then was joined later by another, and much later by a third. I don't think the afternoon time is going to work out ultimately.
    • 4-24-13
      • Attendance: 18 people (not counting the visiting preschoolers)
      • Feedback/Connections: I think some of them were annoyed that I had the school there, but it was only 11 kids and they were very well-behaved. 
      • Notes While it's not practical for our space to have 70 people at storytime, it's not practical for my time to consistently have less than 20 and I may have to consider other options next year if our numbers continue to drop. Too many 3s and 4s are going to school now for a morning storytime for this age group to be successful.
    • 5-2-12: I still felt sick, but this went really well. We talked about the weather (thunder and lightning) and the hatching chicks. 
Dancing time and name tags: "Boots" by Laurie Berkner from Victor Vito
Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Movement: Rain on the green grass

Early Literacy Aside: This story is about the different places animals live. There are often new words in nonfiction/true books that help build vocabulary.

Nonfiction: When rain falls by Melissa Stewart

Movement: Little Brown Seed/Five little Flowers

Short stories:

  • Waiting out the storm by Joann Macken
  • Boom! Boom! Boom! by Jamie Swenson
  • Rain by Linda Ashman

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Bleeding art tissue paper painting

Prep: Die cut cardboard boats (leftovers from another project), paper plates, bleeding art tissue, paint brushes, water

Kids paint water/rain scenes on and around the boats

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Take Home Storytime: It's Raining!

  • Program Goals
    • Pass on early literacy message and encourage families to continue early literacy at home
    • Encourage circulation and storytime attendance
    • Reach families who are unable to attend storytime
  • Notes for the future
    • Last used 3-21-15
Miss storytime? You can practice many of the early literacy concepts we use in storytime at home! Don't forget to sign up for text alerts so you can make it to the next storytime!

Theme: It's raining!

Use the five early literacy practices; talking, singing, reading, playing and writing with these books and projects!

TALK about the weather. Ask children to observe what they see and help them with words to describe it; cloudy, sunny, rainy, stormy, windy, snowy. Talking with your children is a great way to build vocabulary!

Get ready to WRITE by painting your frog. Lay the bleeding art tissue paper on the frog and "paint" it with water. The painting motions will develop fine motor skills needed for writing later on!

SING along about the rain! Some cds including great rain songs are Caspar Babypants' "This is Fun" and Raffi's "Rise and Shine".

PLAY with your frog! After you've painted him, make him a background - where do frogs like to live? Can you draw a pond for him?

READ some of these stories about rain (find more in the NATURE/WEATHER neighborhood)

Waiting out the storm by Joann Macken
When rain falls by Melissa Stewart
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
Thunder-Boomer by Shutta Crum
My side of the car by Jules Feiffer
Rain Stomper by Addie Boswell

For more library events, new books, and more, check out our website at, join us on Facebook, or talk to a librarian. Please let me know if you have suggestions or questions!

Jennifer Wharton, Youth Services Librarian, 262-723-2678 ext. 14

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lego Club

I keep meaning to write up what I do for Lego Club and finally, here it is. You can find the instructions and layout here. Generally we have a T at one end of the room. The top holds all the cheap shoeboxes full of Legos, the long table sticking out has new books, pencils (NEVER pens), paper, calendars, and the piggy bank. The rest of the room is filled with tables.

People can drop in any time between 3:30 and 5:30 and attendance ranges from 35 during the school year or bad weather to 90 in the summer. They use the shoebox tops as trays, go down the "all you can create buffet" to choose Legos, or dig in the giant tub, and then build. Everyone knows that if it's on the T it's fair game, if it's on a table in the rest of the room you have to ask (some of us are still practicing this though)

Legos were providing through some very large donations of collections that were found in basements and supplemented with small donations and Pig Money.

During Lego Club I take pictures, admire creations, talk to parents about upcoming programs and whatever is on their minds, settle fights, keep an eye on kids who don't have adult supervision, and sort the Legos by color. When they are finished building, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to the full 2 hours, they write their name and whatever else they want to write on a piece of paper and put their creation in the library. 

These pictures were taken when we only had the half the community room to use, but they are so perfectly representative of what I aim to achieve at Lego Club (I swear I did not pose anyone, except the group with the race track) that I am going to use them.

Girls love Legos too. These met for the first time today,
as far as I know. They are both 4 or 5.

S, a kindergartener, at his first Lego Club, watching to see how the other boys do it.
One of the things I really encourage kids to do is work together,
especially with kids of different ages and abilities. This group
includes kids from just turned 3 to 9, girls, kids who are still working on their
English skills and siblings who put aside the normal sibling
squabbles to work with their new friends. So far as I know,
none had met each other before.

Working together!