Friday, June 27, 2014

We Explore Boats

  • 6-27-14: This is the first of my last two We Explore playgroups. I'm cutting back on programs and these are fun, but not necessary. I cut way down on the amount of things we had to make boats out of, didn't try to do the folding paper boats (which didn't work) and everything was outside, since we had a senior movie being shown in the Storyroom.
  • 6-14-13: I didn't finish planning this until right before we did it, so it ended up being kind of haphazard. Basically I put out a bunch of books, a bunch of supplies, and was hoping that people would make boats, decorate them, and take them outside to float. Then they could figure out which ones floated better and try different designs. 35 people came and everyone loved it, but some samples would have been better. The best were the plates the kids covered in foil and then taped on popsicle stick masts and sails.
Supplies
  • 3 plastic kiddie pools filled with water
  • styrofoam plates, popsicle sticks, cardstock (scratch paper), duct tape, scissors
  • bubbles, sidewalk chalk

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mad Scientists Club: Reptile Science

  • 6-26-14: I got the ideas for this from a class I took at the Milwaukee Zoo. It didn't really "gel" in my head, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. However, it went really well. 80+ people showed up. One of the middle schoolers attending knew how to make little geckos out of beads and showed a lot of the kids (and moms) how to do it, and I had another middle school volunteer who helped things run smoothly. One of my aides ran the outdoor portion. A couple kids came up with the idea to "sew" their plates together with pipe cleaners.
Project: Build a Reptile
  • Beads, pipe cleaners
Experiment: Am I a tortoise or a turtle?
  • pools (outside weather permitting) filled with water
  • Make turtles and tortoises -test them in the water
  • Supplies
    • Styrofoam plates
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Cardstock (scrap paper)
    • glass beads (weight)
    • Scissors, packing tape, duct tape
    • Permanent markers
  • Poster - turtles vs. tortoises, whiteboard to add more facts

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Preschool Interactive: Let's Get Wet!

  • 6-26-14: I cancelled last week's storytime because of the big outreach program, so I wasn't sure what attendance would be like this week. I'm seriously thinking about cancelling this program in the fall and concentrating on outreach - I can reach a lot more preschoolers that way. Looking back at 2012...I can't remember the last time I had 30+ people in this storytime. I had about 25, but at least half of them would normally be in school.
  • 7-18-12: It was a really crazy day. I had lots of new people which is good. It's funny, the room is full, more than full and yet 36 doesn't seem like a large number. Although about 24 of those were kids.
Dancing time and name tags: "Fruit Salad Salsa" by Laurie Berkner from Victor Vito

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Summer reading, Mad Scientists Club tomorrow

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Squid and Octopus friends for always by Tao Nyeu

Movement/Flannelboard: Five little seashells
(I have a LOT of shells, so for the last line of this rhyme, the last time we repeated it, I gave all the kids a shell)

Early Literacy Aside: Our next book is full of poems about the sea. We're going to read some of these poems and listen to the sounds of the words, especially the way they rhyme. Rhymes help develop phonological awareness.

Nonfiction: In the sea by David Elliott

Movement/Flannelboard: Animals in the ocean

Short story: Seven little mice go to the beach by Haruo Yamashita

Short story: Duck dunks by Lynne Berry

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Finger paint

Prep: Aprons, fingerpaint, paper, paper towels

Kids paint

Take Home Insert

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Angry Birds party

  • 6-17-14: I changed a few things this year - I took out the cookies and making pompoms and added catapults. The big draw is really the game, so we stuck with that. I had about 60 people attend and it was crazy. Fun, but crazy. I don't think I can handle this another year - some of my staff weren't available and I didn't have the volunteers and it was just exhausting. The fact that I didn't get anything to eat this day might have factored in as well...so, good but needs preparation and staff. And I forgot the window decals AGAIN.
  • 6-18-13: Last year's Star Wars party was a bit of a fiasco (ok, a huge disaster) and I was trying to find ways to improve it when I started seeing excellent suggestions for Angry Birds. This sounded much easier. This whole program was a conglomerate of all the different ideas I collected from other librarians here. Approximately 75 people signed up and I closed registration on Monday. 68 people actually showed up and about 50 of those had registered, so it was good. We somehow ended up with an insane amount of frosting, so I need to remember to tell the store we only need 2 tubs, not 6!! next year and we had cookies left over, but we're doing a birthday program next week, so we stuck them in the freezer. Not many people made pompoms, but several people filled their pigs with them to take home. Meh. The balloons were a huge hit and everyone loved the game. I couldn't have done it without two girls who showed up to volunteer and one of my aides staying late to clean up. People usually leave these things around the 45 minute mark, but we were still going strong at 3:00!
Project: Plastic Bottle Piggies
  • Kids decorated plastic bottles (the necks are the snouts).
  • Supplies
    • Plastic bottles
    • Paper, foam, wiggly eyes
    • Glue dots, markers, scissors, tape
Project: Catapults
  • I borrowed this from our first Mad Scientists Club
  • Kids make catapults and use them to launch cotton balls into the air
  • Supplies
    • popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, rubber bands
    • glue dots, tape (packing tape, duct tape)
    • bottle caps, cotton balls
Game: Backwards Angry Birds
  • The Rules
  • Supplies
    • Balloons, sharpies
    • Lots of recycled boxes and tubes
    • pig puppet
Other
  • Book table

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Preschool Interactive: Ocean

  • 6-11-14: First preschool storytime back this summer. It was pouring rain. I forgot to write out the words for Five little Seashells so we didn't use it, but I didn't need it anyways, especially since I added a flannelboard component to Animals in the Ocean at the last minute. I had 5 kids actually listening but a lot of others wandering in and out. [replaced Old Robert and the sea-silly cats by Barbara Joosse]
  • 9-26-12: Ocean Sunlight turned out to be a little long, but almost 10 kids stayed in the room for it, and I shortened it a little at the end. With so many younger kids drifting in and out, and especially since I TELL people they can take a break and come back for the craft, I have got to get over feeling guilty when they do! One mom told me I needed to be nicer to myself about not remembering names. Thank you very nice mom! Whose, er, name I can't remember. But her daughter is SYDNEY not Bailey. I also cut Nanook, b/c we were all getting wiggly and ready to make art with holes in it!
Dancing time and name tags: "Fruit Salad Salsa" by Laurie Berkner from Victor Vito (with shakers)

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Welcome back to storytime! Don't forget to sign up for summer reading at the children's desk with Ms. Emily if you haven't already. Next week there will be no official storytime, instead we will be running a special field trip for Safety Town, the summer school kindergarten program. You are welcome to come and join in with the tours, storytimes, and activities with the kids.

Opening name song: The more we get together

In our first story, we're going to listen for rhyming words. Rhyming helps us hear the smaller sounds in words and practice getting ready to read!

Long story: Circus Ship by Chris van Dusen

Movement/Flannelboard: Five little seashells

Nonfiction: Ocean Sunlight by Molly Bang

Movement/Flannelboard: Animals in the ocean

Short story: Nanook and Pryce by Ned Crowley

Short story: I spy under the sea by Edward Gibbs

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Drawing with holes from Playing by the Book

Prep: Cut various sizes of holes in ledger sized paper. Put out markers and crayons

Kids draw frames, pictures, etc.

Take Home Insert

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Very Fairy Flower Party

  • 6-10-14: I could probably have done Ella Bella Ballerina for a few more years (or decades) but I was feeling fairy-ish so I thought a flower fairy party would be fun. Of course, by the weekend before the party only about 10 people had signed up and I was of two minds "nobody is going to come I didn't advertise it enough people are tired of the parties AUGHHHH" or "people will sign up at the last minute or come anyways it's no big deal". So, about 50 people came which was good. It was a little quieter than previous parties, but I am trying to get used to the idea that bigger is NOT always better. Everyone had fun and we took tons of cool pictures. I don't think Flower Fairies is as tied to a book as some previous parties so I'm thinking of something a little different for next year. People didn't really get into the hats, which was a pity, but I had a LOT of options so it didn't really matter. Baking the cupcakes was a huge pain - I've been cutting down on the food in programs steadily and this is one of the last ones to go I think. I don't even LIKE to bake. Next year either someone else will be in charge of food or I'll buy them premade.
Projects
  • Butterfly Masks
  • Fairy Wings
  • Flower wreaths/crowns and/or necklaces/bracelets
  • Flower hats
  • Flower wands
Craft Supplies
  • Twisteez wire
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Fabric flowers (they came all stuck together which was a pain)
  • Paper flowers (cardstock, purchased pre-cut decorations)
  • Pre-cut wings from Discount School Supply
  • Die-cut butterfly masks
  • Die cut flowers (large, construction paper and cardboard, with two holes bored using a compass)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tissue paper
  • bobby pins
General Supplies
  • Jewels, sequins, glitter glue
  • Beads
  • Ribbon
  • Washi and masking tape
  • Markers
  • Glue, glue dots, tape
  • Scissors
Food
  • mini pink cupcakes (2 boxes)
  • pink frosting (2 containers)
  • pink plates, napkins, popsicle sticks
Other
  • Book tale with Flower Fairy books
  • giant flower pom pom decorations and streamers
  • mini flower fairy decorations