Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gingerbread Man storytime

  • Program Goals
    • Offer a neutral holiday program
    • Offer a program on no 4K day
    • Introduce children to different versions of a folktale
  • Evaluation
    • 12-16-15
      • Attendance: 15
      • Notes: I'm writing this up a month after the fact. I don't know that I'll do it next year.
    • 12-17-14
      • Attendance: 25
      • Connections/feedback: A couple regular attendees and some new families showed up. They really loved the scavenger hunt. 
      • Notes: I don't normally offer a program after the big Santa's Kitchen ending program the previous Saturday, but this year I wanted to keep up having programs on the no 4K Wednesday. I adapted my We Explore format for this and it was a casual, fun storytime. However, this was stressful in conjunction with my end of year projects. I don't know that I would do it again. The flip books weren't really used b/c they didn't get put together correctly.
I end with Catch that Cookie and then the kids can go find the decorated (paper) gingerbread people around the children's area. They can also make their own. Some teens decorated a bunch of paper gingerbread people and I had a staff person hide them around the library during storytime.

  • Gingerbread boy by Beatrice Rodriguez
  • Pancake boy by Lorinda Cauley
  • Senorita Gordita
  • Catch that cookie by Hallie Durand
Vocabulary and early literacy skills
  • Folktale
  • Gingerbread Man and variations (cultural knowledge)
  • Pancake, Gingerbread
  • Different animal names
  • Recognizing the tale and changes made to it
  • Large gingerbread man die cuts
  • Markers, glitter

Monday, November 30, 2015

Paws to Read: Winter Reading Program 2015/2016

  • Program Goals
    • Offer an all-ages winter reading program
    • Offer a program over winter break
    • Keep kids reading through the slower months
    • Participation: 40

Who can participate? All ages, toddlers to teens

How does it work? Kids take as many reading challenges off the bulletin board as they want. When they're completed, they put them in the box by my desk. Each Friday I draw names (which are posted on the bulletin board and Facebook) and those kids get to pick from the prize box.

We have a casual "party" at the end - usually just some crafting and a few extra prizes.

You can find the reading challenges here - both in pdf and a zipped file.

Friday, October 23, 2015

We Explore Favorite Artist Edward Gibbs

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Edward Gibbs and his art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 20
Art Project Part 1: I Spy art (10-10:15)
Kids draw pictures with pencils and pens around circles.

  • 9x18 construction paper with holes cut
  • pencils, pens
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I call people to storytime with the Storytime Song, then have the parents pass out the snack.

Art Project Part 2: Painting (10:40-11)
We painted the pictures we'd drawn.

  • paint, brushes
  • aprons, paper towels

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Star Wars Celebration

  • Program Goals
    • Add a big program in October
    • Bring people into the library
    • Requests from patrons and staff
  • Evaluation
    • Attendance: 60
    • Feedback/Connections: People did remember the program from three years ago *wince* but this one went a lot better. It was low-key and everyone had fun.
    • Notes: I meant to have a movie playing - one of the Star Wars Lego spoofs, but I forgot to check to see if our license covered it. Two buckets of duct tape next time!
If you know me at all, you know I'm really not a "big program" person. I hate all the angst and stress of spending time and money and never knowing whether or not enough people to justify it will show up. My preference is for lots of little programs. However, I do try to do some big programs and I wanted to offer more Saturday programs this year, so we went with Star Wars. I was kind of nervous about it since I had a disastrous Star Wars program three years ago, but I hoped with additional help and more realistic activities it wouldn't be too bad.

Scavenger Hunt
  • Our adult services librarian was in charge of this. He did a really big Star Wars party at his previous library and helped a lot with ideas and so on. I just left it all in his hands.
Tie Fighter Target Practice
  • I also put the adult services librarian in charge of this. He had pictures of fighters cut out and attached to the walls and hanging from the ceiling and the kids made paper airplanes and practiced throwing them at the pictures.
  • Supplies
    • Paper, scissors
Droid Factory
  • My associate, Jess, was in charge of this. We put all the crafty stuff in the Storyroom and told the kids to enjoy themselves.
  • Supplies
    • A vast supply of recycled half-gallon water jugs
    • Glue, tape, stickers, glitter, magnets, scissors
    • Whatever else Jess found in the storage closet
Light Saber Central
  • One of the major mistakes I made three years ago was making the light sabers too sturdy. Never again! I had a year's worth of paper tubes for the kids to make light sabers out of. One staff member pointed out "they'll break as soon as they hit anything" and I replied "THAT'S THE IDEA". I went home with bruises last time.
  • Supplies
    • Paper tubes
    • Tape, markers
Save the Galaxy!
  • I was going to call it Death Star Games....actually, it's basically the same thing as my Backwards Angry Birds game. I had lots of balloons for the kids to turn into mini Death Stars and/or Storm Troopers, cardboard boxes to build a thing, and pool noodles for whacking. My aide was in charge of the game - the kids signed up as teams, blew up and decorated their balloons, created a construction, whacked it until it fell down, and then it was another team's turn. I did not want to expend $$ on everyone getting their own pool noodle.
  • Supplies
    • Pool noodles (cut in half)
    • Balloons
    • Markers
    • Cardboard
    • Clipboard, paper, pen, camera to take pictures of teams.

Friday, September 18, 2015

We Explore Favorite Artist Herve Tullet

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Herve Tullet and his art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 20
  • Evaluation
    • 9-18-15
      • Attendance: 19
      • Feedback/Connections: Two new families who happened to be there and the rest were regulars. A generally younger group.
      • Notes: Tullet always resonates with the kids, although I think this group was a little young to appreciate Help!
Art Project Part 1: Dot play (10-10:15)

  • Die cut circles and Os
  • Construction paper
  • Tape, markers
I encouraged the kids to think of the different ways they could use circles and draw on/around them.

Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I call people to storytime with the Storytime Song, then have the parents pass out the snack. We did Press Here, Help! This book needs a title and Mix it up. We talked a lot about what makes a book in Help! but I'm not sure the kids got it.

Art Project Part 2: Painting (10:40-11)

  • Fingerpaint
  • Paper plates
I let each kid pick 3 colors and gave them a plate with colors and a plate for mixing.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Birdwatching/Art Station

I thought the birdwatching station was a great idea. I still plan to keep it, and hope to expand it to include a hummingbird feeder and possibly attract something other than sparrows, but it turned out that all people really wanted was coloring pages. Since I started it in May 2014, only about 5 kids have written in the log. 
So, I revamped it! We still have a birdwatching station, with log. But I also extended it to add an art station.
I made the birdwatching station just the display shelf, log, and signage. I brought a table over to be the art station, put up a sign, and printed a variety of coloring sheets, both "story starter" kind of things and actual coloring sheets, mostly animals. Hopefully people will not just pick up the whole stack and walk away...

The old birdwatching station

Friday, August 28, 2015

Activity Table: Fall Into Reading

In the absence of my associate, I am being forced to come up with my own ideas! This sort of grew out of trying to find things for bored kids to do. I am not going to say how long the table was empty before I finally put it up...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Activity Table: Summer Memories

This is the activity station for August. I had a volunteer cut out and staple together the little memory books. So far the kids have mostly been interested in drawing on the table and taking the books home to work on, but that's cool too. The form for the books is here.

Friday, July 17, 2015

We Explore Favorite Artist Steve Jenkins

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Steve Jenkins and his art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 20
  • Evaluation
    • 7-17-15
    • Attendance: 17
    • Feedback/Connections: Saw a couple families I hadn't seen in a while. Kids really connected with the storytime at this one and they checked out a lot of Jenkins' books.
    • Notes: Paint doesn't really fit with this artist, but I needed a second part and I had paint on the brain I guess.
Art Project Part 1: Collage (10-10:15)

  • Handmade paper
  • Plain paper
  • scissors, glue
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I call people to storytime with the Storytime Song, then have the parents pass out the snack. We only did two books, Actual Size and What can you do with a tail like this? because we spent so much time discussing them. The kids absolutely loved coming up to compare themselves to the animals in the first and I have a flannelboard/guessing game for the second book.

Art Project Part 2: Painting (10:40-11)

  • Washable paint in no-spill cups
  • 9x12 paper
  • Paintbrushes, aprons, and lots and lots of wipes

Friday, July 10, 2015

We Explore Nature: Growing things

  • Program Goals
    • Offer a summer storytime for a wide range of ages
    • Encourage outdoor experience and involvement in the gardens
    • Attendance: 20
Storytime: 10-10:30
I started with shakers and Laurie Berkner's "Fruit Salad Salsa" then we read The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes, Do you know which ones will grow? by Susan Shea, played "Garden vs. Not Garden", did "Little Brown Seed" and read Lola plants a garden by Anna McQuinn.

Craft time: 10:30-11:30
I had a volunteer (i.e. my mom who was on vacation ha ha) cut the bottoms off a whole bunch of the gallon water jugs I collected. Pattie brought in cord, duct tape, and foam stickers and I contributed pipe cleaners, beads, and tools. The kids made them into wind chimes.

Picnic/Outdoor time: 11-12
Yeah, this isn't happening. The gardens are NOT child friendly! My aide and I spent over an hour weeding in the heat and with mosquitos. My aide also punched holes in the bottom of the tomato pots which I neglected to do. Then one little girl came out and helped me water. The good news is our foundation is interested in making a community children's garden and so next year we expect great things!


Friday, June 12, 2015

We Explore Nature: Planting

  • Program Goals
    • Offer a summer storytime for a wide range of ages
    • Encourage outdoor experience and involvement in the gardens
    • Attendance: 20
Storytime: 10-10:30
I started with shakers and Laurie Berkner's "Fruit Salad Salsa" then we read Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn Galbraith (edited for the younger audience) then we did "The Enormous Carrot" which was super popular and finished with Looking Closely in the Garden by Frank Serafini.

Craft time: 10:30-11:30
Pattie did stepping stones. Messy, but fun

Picnic/Outdoor time: 11-12
People were supposed to go outdoors, help us plant the gardens, and eat under the tree. It was raining and this didn't happen.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Activity Table: Create a superhero mask!

A volunteer die cut butterfly masks (I have a custom die cut) and then Jess trimmed a lot of them down into different shapes and hole punched them. Quite a few kids have made masks already! We used up some cardstock that's printed on one side and I've been recycling forever, so that was good too.

Take Home Storytime: Babies

  • 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 Summer 2015
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: Baby Animals

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

TALK about babies. Do you have a baby at your house? Do you know someone with a baby? What do babies do that is the same and different as big kids? How about baby animals?

Get ready to WRITE by drawing patterns on your scratch art boards with your popsicle stick

SING together. If your children are older, see if they recall some of the songs and lullabies you sang when they were small. Try out some new songs by checking out our children's music cds or looking for song books in the FUN/MUSIC neighborhood.

PLAY a rhyming game; this will help build phonological awareness. You can play rhyming games when you're walking outside, visiting the grocery store, or around the house. Name an object and help your child find a word that rhymes!

READ some of these stories about babies (find more in the OURSELVES/FAMILY and ANIMALS neighborhoods)

Lucky ducklings by Eva Moore
Dolphin baby by Nicola Davies
One special day by Lola Schaefer
What happens next by Nicola Davies

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, 723-2678 ext. 14

Friday, May 29, 2015

Middle School Madness: Guess the Superhero

 After I finished reorganizing the teen area, we now have a shelf area devoted to our stealth programs. We kept the coloring pages, because they were so popular. Jess added a "Guess the superhero" game this week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Reading 2015 Edition

My associate Jess with her Hero Headquarters display at the
The youth services desk
After much research, discussion, argument, gathering of statistics, etc. I finally have our new summer reading program ready. I wanted something that got rid of all the plastic crap, that didn't take up so much time administering, and that made it impossible for anyone to fall into the "library police" trap of having a ton of rules for kids and parents to follow. I also wanted to get away from counting reading (books or time) while still encouraging kids to read daily. The staff primarily wanted some kind of regular small prizes so they didn't get yelled at by parents. This is what we ended up with. Will it work? Only time will tell...

One of the major changes was that people can sign up starting after Memorial Day. Summer reading doesn't specifically start until June 6, but all the people coming in after my school visits will be able to get calendars. We're also going back to registration, for all ages, which will be done by staff on a simple online spreadsheet via Google Drive.

Rubber Ducky Readers
  • Ages 0-3
  • June log (receive a bath squirt when they turn it in in July)
  • July log (receive a board book when they turn it in in August)
  • Adapted from Marge Loch-Wouters' Rubber Ducky Club
  • Funded by Kohls cares for kids and United Way in 2013/2014
  • I would like to make some changes in this program - primarily I'd like to get rid of my very wordy logs and just use the handy early literacy calendars provided by WLA. However, I printed a LOT of logs while I had the $$ so we will be doing this for a few more years. I didn't have to purchase any additional prizes this year as I still had squirts and books left over.
Hard to see, but more stars...

Every Hero Has a Story
  • Ages 3-12
  • Receive a prize when they sign up
    • The competition has begun.
      West Side and Tibbets are
      obviously the schools with
      visiting classes...
    • Prizes donated by a local artist - primarily buttons with popular characters, animals, and also necklaces, bookmarks, etc. She and her staff made over 1,000 items for us!
  • Summer reading calendar
    • They cross off each day they read - no rules on how long or what they read
    • Every five days crossed off they get a sticker (they can add it to the superhero hideout in the children's area, but we're not pushing it)
    • They bring their calendar back in August for a packet of passes (6+) and a free book (as long as they have at least one day crossed off, they get the prize)
    • Every week they visit the library they get a coupon for a treat (so far I have pizza and I'm waiting on ice cream. if we run out there will be tootsie rolls or something)
  • Adapted from a gazillion sources, including suggestions from our adult services librarian who did something similar when she worked in children's services at another library.
Teen Summer Reading Club
  • 6th grade and up
  • Put their checkout receipts or drawing slip into a box. Every week I will draw names to win small prizes, all under $5.
    • Teen prize board. Teens names will be posted on the list
      and on facebook, then they pull off the prize they want. They are
      all numbered, matching the numbered prizes in my office.
    • Prizes right now include candy, fine forgiveness coupons, small gift cards, and books I've saved.
  • Adapted from a discussion on Facebook - I think Teen Librarians, although I don't remember who the original program came from. They had much bigger prizes, but pointed out that we could just do things that fit our budget...
Instructions for staff (not quite done)

Note - if you are borrowing my summer reading materials, which I am happy to lend, please remember that the "every hero" logos and artwork are copyright by CSLP, so if your library doesn't purchase that you will need to change them out.

Donated from a local school. The door opens! We're
going to hang the superhero capes from our toy
bags inside, so the kids can go in and Ta-Da! change
into superheroes a la Superman

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Under the Sea

Every year we have a huge party in April. It's a collaboration with my colleague from the school district's Parent Connections organization (who does most of my baby and toddler storytime) and the three four year old kindergartens in the area. This year we did an Under the Sea theme. I told my associate to decorate the library over spring break and we'd leave everything up for the month. 
Jellyfish on the ceiling, created by Jess

Under the sea decor by Jess

The desk under the sea!

Close up of a rainbow fish (not THE rainbow fish, b/c ugh)

Just crabbing around

More seaweed

Fish floating through seaweed at the windows

facepaint and tattoo stations ready

Flippers leading to...

this! I wanted to use our old magazine shelf and
asked Jess to come up with something that would
promote beginning chapter books.

Getting ready

craft tables

The giant cardboard creations were done by one of our
circulation clerks, with help from her family. The mermaid
was a HUGE hit.

Their jellyfish also got a lot of love and awe.

Thank you board for our donors, created by Pattie

kinetic sand

Treasure box

cornmeal "sand"

Pattie made a board of all the things there are to do

Treasure box open

"sand" and shells to look at

Shells to dig for and keep as prizes

Diver from the sheriff's department

digging for shells

Investigating the treasure box

Petsmart table with live betta fish

The fish game - kids made a "fishing pole" at the craft tables,
fished for a flannel sea creature, then decorated it at the craft tables

some kind of sea creature from a local bank

one of our 4K teachers face paints

another 4K teacher (and library board member)

a line for the tattoo and face painting tables

decorating the catch from the fishing pool
playing with kinetic sand

lunch - starfish-shaped chicken nuggets, grapes, bananas, and goldfish crackers

a break for some quiet reading

the treasure box was VERY popular, even if they didn't get to keep the treasures