Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year's Eve Noon Party

  • Program Goals
    • We're almost never open the Saturday before New Year's. It just doesn't fall that way. I wanted to try a New Year's Eve Noon party as it looked fun. Of course, we had a dramatic drop in temperatures, numerous crises, and I was exhausted. But it was still fun!
Stations
  • Photo booth
    • Capes, dress-up clothes, paper and sticks to make fake mustaches etc.
    • Candyland and other photo op cardboard cut-outs
    • Digital cameras
  • Dance station
    • tv, chromecast, ipad
    • bubbles, ribbon wands, hula hoops
    • Noisemakers (bought in bulk)
  • Balloon drop
    • Parachute, chairs, tall staff
    • At noon we took the parachute, pre-filled with balloons, and "popped" it
Activities
  • Party hats
    • Markers, tape, staples
  • Star wands
    • Leftover vistafoil (like contact paper), popsicle sticks, confetti
  • Misc. crafts
    • pipe cleaners, pom poms
Resources

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Messy Art Club: Beading

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 25
Project: Beading

How it works: Put out all the supplies. Younger kids are encouraged to thread beads on the pipe cleaners, older kids to use the more intricate beading supplies.

Supplies
  • Beads (pony beads, wooden beads, donated seed beads, etc.)
  • Buttons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Beading supplies
  • Dishes to put beads in
Evaluation

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Life-Size Candyland

The ice cream sea
  • Program Goals 
    • Holiday-neutral program 
    • Bring library users in during December 
    • Fun! 
    • Attendance: 50 
I was tired of our annual Santa's Kitchen program and attendance had been dying off so I decided it was time for something new and exciting. This was a big collaboration. It took the combined efforts of myself, my two teen aides, my two part-time associates, multiple adult volunteers, two tween volunteers, and teen volunteers on the day of the program. I started planning it back in August (and yes, this was really short notice - most planning processes for a program of this scale start at least a year in advance!). I cancelled several large programs we usually do in the fall and a lot of outreach because I was working on this and some other projects.

In addition to the hours of work we put in during the fall, I and an associate stayed several hours after the library closed on Friday for set-up. I and three of my staff came in extra early on Saturday and stayed after the program was finished as well.

I looked at many, many resources online. Pinterest boards for ideas, other libraries who had done the program, and asked staff for ideas as well. These are some of the best resources I found:
I decided to go with six stations for the game and use construction paper for the game board. An artsy volunteer was able to make cardboard cut-outs for the stations. I worked it out to approximately 150 squares or steps. Each station had candy and most had a teen volunteer to help out and oversee. I spent around $150 on candy and also had a lot donated. I also got a local dentist to donate toothbrushes! I used up almost all the paint we had stockpiled and got more donated as well to get everything painted. Other supplies probably came in at about $100. My colleague from the school supplied most of the cardboard.
  • Start in Storyroom - get your spinner, treat bag, and game piece necklace
  • Candy cane forest
    • Candy canes and candy sticks (made with pool noodles and ribbon)
    • Mr. Mint cardboard cut-out
  • Ice cream sea
    • Candy was thrown into the "sea" (plastic kiddie pool with ball pit balls - which we washed!). I hung tulle over the shelves and tables and put out ice cream cone decorations (made from yarn cones, styrofoam balls, and tissue paper)
    • Queen Frostine cardboard cut-out
  • Gingerbread house
    • We had a lot of cardboard (donated by my school colleague from smart boards etc.) and my staff constructed a giant cardboard house and decorated it with styrofoam, colored paper plates, etc. We had a lot of trouble getting it to stay intact - the roof kept sagging and our library is very dry in the winter, so the tape kept coming loose.
    • Gingerbread people cut-outs
  • Lollipop land
    • This was the most time-intensive! My adult volunteers and staff cut out a LOT of giant cardboard circles and sketched in swirls on them. Then my tween volunteers painted them. We stuck them on paper tubes or sticks, inserted them in boxes (weighed down with old books, legos, and crayons) and used hot glue liberally. Then we covered the bases with fabric and felt (just draped it on when we put them out). We had to do this several times as they dried out and fell apart!
    • Princess Lollipop cardboard cut-out
  • Gumdrop mountain
    • This was the stairs to our upper level. My volunteers cut out cardboard gumdrop shapes and we covered them with paint and glitter and leaned them against the wall on the sides.
    • Mr. Jolly cardboard cut-out
  • Candy Kingdom
    • This was in our audiobook room upstairs. It's a contained room. We had really giant cardboard circles (we used a tabletop as a pattern to cut them out) and we painted and glittered those. I hung a whole bunch of crepe streamers at the entryway in different colors to walk through. The giant circles were huge candies placed around the room.
    • This room had crowns for the kids to take and decorate as it was the final "winning" station as well as candy.
    • King Candy cardboard cut-out
As people came into the library they signed up their family and/or friends as a "team" with a staff member. Then they went into our community room (on the right) to do activities and play games while they waited for their turn. When it was their turn, I took them back to our storyroom, gave them a spinner, a brown paper "treat" bag, and the game rules and they started off. When they finished they could go back in the activity room and decorate their bag and/or crown. I only planned to let people play once this time around. My associate was in charge of collecting teen volunteers to cover each station.

Community room activities
This was the other half of the game. I had a lot of crafts and games for people to do while they waited their turn to go around the gameboard.
  • Candyland board game
  • Candy-colored toss game (no, this was NOT beer pong!)
    • We glued sheets of colored paper to poster board and then glued on red plastic cups and added some small clay pots. The balls were pompoms.
  • Make your own lollipop
    • Die-cut cardboard circles
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Tape, markers
  • Make your own magic wands
    • Die-cut cardboard stars
    • Ribbon
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Tape, markers
  • Make your own gingerbread house
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Scratch paper, scissors
    • Glue sticks
    • Tape, permanent markers
  • Rainbow drop painting
    • diffuser paper shapes (basically pre-cut coffee filters)
    • scratch paper
    • water color in ice cube trays (about 1/4 inch of water, a couple drops of paint)
  • Additional craft supplies for random crafting and decorating crowns and bags
    • markers, tape, glue
    • pipe cleaners
    • jewels and sequins
    • glitter glue
    • mini cupcake papers
    • tissue paper
  • Cover tables with plastic sheeting, bring over sink (and towels), have paper towels available

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Messy Art Club: Holiday Ornaments

  • Program Goals
    • Offer an inexpensive holiday program for families
    • Encourage creativity and using different art styles/materials
    • Help build gross and fine motor skills
Fuzzy tree friends
My associate made these cute felt candy cane mice - the kids really enjoyed it, but next time I'd probably cut a few more in advance. I think she got the pattern here.

Supplies
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Candy canes
  • Google eyes
  • Mouse pattern
  • Permanent markers
Project: Puzzle ornaments
Using up the puzzle pieces! You can paint these, but I'm not up for it by this time of the year usually. Again, I'd hot glue more ornaments in advance.

Supplies
  • puzzle pieces
  • glue, glitter, glitter glue
  • hot glue gun (supervised)
Project: Ceramic ornaments
I got a deal on these, otherwise to get enough for potentially 50-60 people is too expensive. 

Supplies
  • Ceramic ornaments (60?) (Discount School Supply)
  • Acrylic paint, brushes, aprons, paper plates, wax paper (to dry them on)
Project: Plastic ornaments
You need a lot of these and they are cheap plastic, so get extra! The big bubbles are the best, but people like the other shapes so I try to get some of them as well. Make sure you get the ones that pop open, otherwise kids will just fill them with sequins and nobody has that many sequins.

Supplies
  • Colorations Clear Ornaments (Discount School Supply)
  • Sequins, ribbon, glitter glue
  • glitter, containers to shake it in
  • glue, scissors, tablecloths
Project: Paper chains
If you don't have fancy paper, regular paper and markers works just fine.

Supplies
  • Paper, markers, scissors, tape
Project: Glitter Pinecones
The important thing with this is to have enough big tubs to shake the glitter over and to remind people to tie their strings on FIRST.

Supplies
  • Pinecones, yarn or ribbon
  • Glitter, glue, large plastic tubs

Project: 3-D paper ornaments
You fold the die cuts in half, glue the halves together. You do need symmetrical shapes. You need at least four, but you can add more and make it fancier. It works best if you glue the yarn or ribbon down the middle while/before you add shapes.

Supplies:
  • die cut shapes (Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men)
  • hole punches, markers, scissors
Evaluation

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monstrous Mess

  • Program Goals
    • Fun, messy art program for kids who are off school
    • Sub for toddler storytime (provider is n/a)
    • Non-Halloween activities for families
I planned to run this approximately from 10am to noon. Toddler storytime usually meets at 10am and 11am. Since there was no school, I had both my aides available. I also pulled in additional staff to cover the youth services desk in the morning. The focus was on paint and messy art for the morning and some sensory activities.

Painting activities
  • Painting pumpkins - leftover pumpkins from a program, tempera paint, brushes
  • Fingerpaint - fingerpaint, paper
  • Scratch art - pre-made cardstock with crayons, kids cover it in black paint and draw designs with popsicle sticks. Additional crayons and cardstock to make your own.
  • Watercolors and biocolor - diffusion paper in various shapes, brushes
Sensory activities
  • 1 swimming pool with a pumpkin cut open to be investigated
  • 1 swimming pool with water and dish soap and plastic food from the kitchen
Other
  • Sink, paper towels, cloth towels
  • Plastic tablecloths on the tables (and on the floor below)
  • Aprons
I also put out monster and art books, our donation pig, and had my aides take pictures

Evaluation

  • 10-31-17
    • Attendance: 62 (estimate)
    • Notes: I will only do this again if it falls on the right day - no school AND a Tuesday. But everyone had a lot of fun and there was paint everywhere! If I do it again I need to schedule the aides a little longer for more clean-up time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

We Explore Favorite Artist Beth Krommes

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Beth Krommes and her art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 10
Art Project Part 1: Scratch art (10-10:15)
If I had an older group I would have had them make their own, but during the school year this group is smaller. At 10:15ish, I sing the Storytime Song

Supplies
  • scratch art paper
  • scratch art tools
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I get all the kids more or less sitting down and ask a parent or two to pass out the snack during the first story. Depending on the age of the kids, we'll talk about different aspects of the art, anything from identifying colors and shapes to asking questions about the author's process and materials.

Books
  • The house in the night by Susan Swanson
  • Blue on blue by Dianne White
  • Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root
  • Butterfly eyes by Joyce Sidman
  • Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman
Art Project Part 2: Paint (10:40-11)
This was fingerpaint, but they had popsicle sticks to make patterns. Each kid got to pick three colors and two popsicle sticks, one to spread and one to draw patterns.

Supplies
  • fingerpaint
  • paper
  • popsicle sticks
  • paper towels
Evaluation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Messy Art Club: Embossing


  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 35
Project: Embossing foil pendants

I got this idea from Make and Takes. We pretty much did it exactly as it said and it was very popular.

Supplies
  • Foil
  • Pasteboard strips and cards (donated by artist)
  • Wooden styluses (originally bought to us with scratch-art and worked great for this)
  • Permanent markers
  • Ribbon
  • Tape, Scissors, scratch paper (to put under while coloring)
Evaluation

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mad Scientists Club: Force and Motion


  • Program Goals 
    • Experiment with the science of force and motion 
    • Encourage kids to problem solve and be creative 
    • Attendance: 35 
Project: Catapults

I made some signs with instructions and pictures from several online sources, one for a super easy catapult and one for a more difficult model. I laminated these and put them out on the tables for people to refer to. I also put a warning sign that only adults could use the hot glue gun!

Supplies
  • Popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, rubber bands 
  • Bottle caps, cotton balls, small pompoms 
  • Glue dots, hot glue gun, glue, tape, duct tape 

Project: Mini-Marshmallow Shooters
I had a variety of cups and sizes of balloons that kids could experiment with. It really only works well with really hard plastic cups, but we did fine experimenting with other cups and paper tubes. This would also work with pompoms, you don't have to use marshmallows. I got this from Amy Koester.

Supplies 
  • Plastic and paper cups (different sizes)
  • Balloons (different sizes) (you need BIG balloons)
  • mini marshmallows and/or pompoms

Experiment: Racing cars/Marble Run
I was inspired by this program and this program as well as some of the experiments in Motion by Ellen Lawrence to make an experiment where the kids could try different kinds of friction and gravity. I set up some suggestions/rules and the kids did car races.

Supplies
  • Paper towel tubes, some long boxes 
  • Matchbox cars left over from summer reading prizes 
  • Scraps to test friction - felt/fabric, foam, paper, tissue paper, foil 
  • Scissors, packing tape, duct tape 
Experiment: Hot Air/Cold Air

I got this from Read Sing Play. The kids put a balloon over the mouth of an empty bottle. Put in very cold and then very hot water and the balloon inflates.

Supplies
  • Plastic water bottles 
  • Balloons 
  • Pitchers 
  • Hot and cold water 
Experiment: Wind Play

I also got this from Read Sing Play. It's just a fan and straws and you practice blowing things - how far can you blow, which blows faster the fan or the straw, etc.

Supplies
  • Fan (large and small) 
  • Straws 
  • Streamers (ribbon, crepe) 
  • Miscellaneous things to test 
Ideas to try
  • cranes 
  • six simple machines 
  • alka-selzer rockets 
  • pumpkins out of baby socks, water balloon launcher, trebuchet to launch, measure distances 

Evaluation of Previous Programs 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

We Explore Favorite Artist Lois Ehlert

  • Program Goals:
    • Introduce Lois Ehlert and her art
    • Practice motor development (cutting, gluing), using rulers and scissors
Art Project Part 1: Cutting (10-10:15)
Parents label the child's space with a name tag and then I encourage them to cut out lots of different shapes. I also had several matching games with our new magnetic chalkboard for the kids to try out if they got bored cutting. At 10:15ish, I sing the Storytime Song
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I get all the kids more or less sitting down and ask a parent or two to pass out the snack during the first story. Depending on the age of the kids, we'll talk about different aspects of the art, anything from identifying colors and shapes to asking questions about the author's process and materials.
  • Books
    • Planting a Rainbow (big book) (talk about colors)
    • RRRalph (talk about found objects in collage)
    • Fish Eyes (talk about counting)
    • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (sing, talk about letters)
    • Oodles of animals (talk about shapes)
  • Snack
    • Apples and sweet peppers
    • Napkins
Art Project Part 2: Collage (10:40-11)
I asked the parents to help me distribute the rest of the materials needed for creating the collages. The kids used the shapes they'd cut and the found objects (one tub for each table) to create pictures.
  • Supplies
    • Found objects (yarn, buttons, seeds, etc.)
    • Glue, white construction paper
Evaluation

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mad Scientists Club: Science Tricks

The exploding rockets are never not fun.
  • Program Goals
    • Explore different types of science
    • Encourage children to ask questions
    • Have fun with science
    • Attendance: 35
Experiment: Defying gravity with forks
  • Supplies
    • forks, cups
    • toothpicks
    • matches
    • cup of water (to extinguish matches)
  • Sources
Experiment: Static electricity
  • Supplies
    • Balloons
    • Styrofoam plates
    • Styrofoam balls
    • Towel pieces
  • Source
Experiment: Alka-Selzer rockets
  • Supplies
    • alka-seltzer (had a previous supply in the basement)
    • film canisters (purchased on Amazon)
    • water
Experiment: Speeding stick
  • Supplies
    • popsicle sticks
    • dish soap
    • tub of water
  • Source
    • Cool science tricks by Daniel Tatarsky
Experiment: Balloon kebabs
  • Supplies
    • balloons
    • skewers
    • oil
  • Source
    • It's not magic it's science by Hope Buttitta
Ice fishing
  • Supplies
    • ice cubes and dishes
    • salt
    • string
    • water
  • Source
    • Magic tricks with science by Samantha Bell

Other materials
  • prisms
  • cardboard tubes
  • straws
  • bubble solution

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We Explore Favorite Artist Katherine Tillotson

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Katherine Tillotson and her art
    • Encourage building motor skills
    • Encourage experimenting with artistic techniques
    • Attendance: 20
Art Project Part 1: Watercolors (10-10:15)
I premixed watercolors and had thick paper for them to paint on (because they like to soak it!)
  • Supplies
    • Aprons
    • paint cups
    • watercolor paints
    • paper
Storytime/Snacktime (10:15-10:40)
Sing the Storytime Song to call people to the rug. This is a new one, so I tried several different titles to see how it would go. I finished with It's Picture day today!
  • Books
    • It's picture day today by Megan McDonald
    • All the water in the world by George Ella Lyon
    • Night train by Caroline Stutson
    • Shoe dog by Megan McDonald
    • All ears all eyes by Richard Jackson
  • Also available
    • Penguin and little blue by Megan McDonald
    • Nice try tooth fairy by Mary Olson
    • When the library lights go out by Megan McDonald
  • Snack
    • Graham crackers
    • Napkins
Art Project Part 2: Collage (10:45-11)
Tillotson primarily uses watercolors, but she does include collage techniques especially in It's picture day today! so I used this for the second part of the art.
  • Supplies
    • Paper scrap tub
    • Buttons, sparkles, feathers
    • Paper
    • Scissors, glue sticks
Evaluation

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Messy Art Club: Puppetry

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 35
Project: Felt puppets
  • Purchased kits from Discount School Supply
Project: Sock puppets
  • Recycled and purchased socks
General puppet supplies
  • styrofoam plates, dixie cups, small paper plates
  • paper tubes, popsicle sticks (different sizes)
  • googly eyes, buttons
  • stickers, sparkles
  • rods (purchased from craft store and walmart)
  • yarn, felt
  • handmade paper (donated)
  • permanent markers, fabric markers, regular markers
General Tools
  • Scissors, staplers
  • Hot glue, glue dots, white glue (cardboard for hot glue)
  • Duct tape, packing tape, regular tape

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Reading Explorer: 500 Books Before Middle School

I originally started Reading Explorer in the fall of 2015. It was basically an extension of 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten with sheets to color in and stickers. Each sheet was a different habitat and kids moved their names along the habitats. I got quite a few kids participating, but they tended to lose interest and I never liked the poor artwork on my logs.

This summer I completely revamped the program. I used a lot of elements from my defunct winter reading program to make it both more challenging - this program is really directed at high-level and voracious readers - and to encourage readers to explore the library and different genres and subjects.

The kids pick up a folder with an instruction sheet and the first set of challenges. My volunteers made a bunch of laminated magnifying glasses to put up on the shelf-end with the participants' names on the handles. They can add stickers as they complete challenge sheets. Each 100 books (4 sheets) they will get to pick a "badge" i.e. a button from our button maker. When they finish they get a free book.

Instruction sheet

Link to Challenges
Right now there are 13 challenges. Each one has suggestions for what genres or subjects to read, a discussion question, a link to a blog or website with reading suggestions, and lists of books for younger and older readers. I did get a bit rushed near the end, so I'll probably update these at some point.


This is the original format of the program.

Reading Explorer Label
Complete Reading Explorer Log (This is a big file - if you want the original publisher file, let me know)






Friday, August 4, 2017

Read and Grow: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

We've had increasing interest in this program; I had more kids ages 0-3 doing Read and Grow than involved in summer reading this year. So I took the first week after summer reading finish to revise and update the program.

How it works
Parents can pick up a folder from the box at any time. When they have read 100 books together, they get a caterpillar to add to the reading chart. At 500 books they get a pot and seeds. At 1,000 books they get a free book and their picture on a butterfly. Throughout the program they pick up stickers for their logs.

Supplies and insertions:
  • Folders (bought in bulk at back to school sales)
  • Sticky labels (printed at a local print shop and I have a lifetime supply because I couldn't find them and had more printed!)
  • Instructions
  • Read and Grow logs (now with caterpillars!)
  • Bookmarks with reading suggestions
  • Stickers are collected from a variety of sources, but the most popular are the foam stickers I get from Amazon (Purple Ladybug Novelty)
  • Books collection from donations, review copies, and Scholastic Book Fairs
People often ask if it's ok to re-read books, what if they forget to write them down, etc. It's all good! I don't have time or the inclination to police the finer points and I don't really care. The big thing is that families are reading.

Marketing flyers - 8x11 poster and 11x17 tv flyer. I periodically update these with new book covers.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Library on the Go: Park/Head Start and Evaluation


Summer school finished last week and I had to decide whether I was going to run this program in August or not. August tends to be really slow in my town, not much going on, although the kids don't go back to school until after Labor Day.

I had asked the pool manager if I could set up at the pool and I figured I'd try that at least once. I set up at 9 and it was pretty dead. They have an adult exercise class then so there were just a couple kids wandering over to the park or waiting for the pool to open. Once it opened to the public at 10 there were a lot more people but I was in the wrong area to connect with them - they come around the other side.

At 11 I noticed a lot of kids up at the Lion's Den (this is the picnic area that can be rented) and I went up to investigate. I found all my Headstart friends! We had missed each other in the communication of who was where when! So I hauled everything up there, checked out over 30 books, had more than 30 kids making crafts and chatting, some day camp kids wandered over as well. However, this isn't repeatable - the Lion's Den is usually booked for parties and the people who can afford a pool pass aren't really the group I'm looking for anyways. I decided to call it a successful start to the program and I have plans to take LotG to the next Headstart play group in September and make the materials available to classrooms during the school year. About 70 books are still in circulation but I expect most of those will eventually make their way back to me.

Notes for the future

  • Summer school, especially now that they're offering free lunch and afternoon classes, is the best venue for June/July. I need to remember to take water and a folding chair!
  • I have some potential venues for August next year - the only county shelter that takes families and is about 10 miles out of town. A partially disused camp/vacation site that is in close proximity to the townships and students who live out of town. Trying to do something with the low-income housing sites in town didn't work out and I'm kind of leary of trying again.
  • Things I need to add/change for next year - I need a handout that explains what the books are. I had a nice bookmark with all the dates and places on it, but when those changed it wasn't useful anymore! I need it to be in Spanish as well as English.
  • A minor point, but I need to make sure when I check the books out on the outreach card they have a due date of never.
Overall, I think this was very successful. I checked out over 140 books, signed up about 45 kids for summer reading, and usually had 20-30 kids doing crafts and chatting about books at each visit. I won't count up the number of non-returned books until the end of August (and still expect some to come back through school later) but I did lose 4 books to water damage.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Big Splash


First time we used our new gardens. Lots of pools and I added dirt. The kids weren't into it - I think they were scared of getting dirty. I used balloons I bought online and they were so tough they didn't break! The kids loved it - they were carrying them home (and through the library). About 30 people came.
  • Program Goals
    • End of summer party
    • Quick and easy program
    • Attendance: 35
Supplies
  • Paint
    • fingerpaint, paint tubs, paint brushes, paper
    • tablecloths, wipes, paper towels, cleaning spray
  • Outdoor activities
    • hose, sprinkler, pools, tubs
    • Balloons, bubble wands, bubble solution, balls for the pools
    • Popsicles, cooler, scissors
Evaluation
  • 7-30-16
    • Attendance: 16
    • Notes: Summer reading didn't end today and this summer has been slow so I ran this with my two aides. They did all the set up and clean up (and threw most of the water balloons at each other, I think...)
  • 8-1-15
    • Attendance: 65
    • Feedback/Connections: Parents, especially of little ones, really love this program. It's very laid back and casual and the gentle sprinkler and small pools are perfect for this age group with the paint as an afterwards/rainy weather activity
    • Notes: I always underestimate the amount of staff I need for this. Note to self -need FOUR staff - one to handle summer reading, one to supervise outside, one to supervise inside, and one to move around between the three spots. Also, next year I need something to fill water balloons more quickly and easily!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Library on the Go: Last visit for Summer School Session 2


I just started in the cafeteria at about 11:45. Kids started arriving around 11:50. I did accidentally block the buses, so I need to park elsewhere or come earlier!

The last day of summer school so it was pretty empty, but I got a few new kids.

About 20 kids participated - they really like the wooden stuff to decorate. I checked out 17 books (except one I can't read my own handwriting for the barcode).

Next week I'll start at the park for August. My aide is entering all the books in a spreadsheet so I can use them for school and I'm revamping all my craft supplies.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Maker Workshop: Brushbots

I am really behind on my program updates. I got the robots from a different source this year (which I don't remember) and thankfully they had the little flat batteries. Only about 5 people came, the weather was not good.
  • Program Goals
    • Teach kids new skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
Supplies
  • Brushbot kits (15) (purchased from easybotics.com)
  • AAA batteries
  • stickers
Resources and Display Titles
I did not put anything out.

Promo:
Kids will have the opportunity to create a mini robot and learn some basic electronic skills along the way! Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. There is no age restriction, but you must have the following skills to attend:

Required skills:
  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Can safely use required materials with minimal supervision (sharp pliers, wire, batteries)
Introduction
I reminded everyone of the "tools vs toys" rule and then they got started. I printed out instructions and suggestions for games etc. from the website.

Evaluation
  • 7-22-16
    • Attendance: 12
    • Notes: I felt very "meh" about this one, but it turned out really well. The kids loved it and we had extras (which was good b/c a couple motors died). Next year I'll buy the brushbot kits from Maker Shed when they're in stock and pre-strip the wires.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Library on the Go: Summer School Session 2


This day was a little longer. I started with three storytimes for the pre-kindergarten classes and my aide brought in the Library on the Go stuff around 11ish and then I came down and joined her around 11:30. The second session is smaller anyways but it has shrunk a bit more because of people being gone - I still got a good turnout of kids interested in the craft (plastic suncatchers, decorated with permanent markers) and a decent number of books checked out.

I've found that mostly the older kids (middle school) go for the craft and then the younger ones slide over to the books. Especially if I give out fun bags, they all want to check out! I have leftover Finding Dory bags from a colleague which have attracted a lot of kids. Some just borrow the books and go read at their lunch table.

About 30 kids overall participated; 9 new kids for summer reading (this is the last week I'll do summer reading, since it ends next week); about 5 kids picked up calendars; 32 books checked out.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Maker Workshop: Crochet


  • Program Goals
    • Teach kids new skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
Supplies
  • Crochet hooks (20)
  • Sugar 'n' Cream yarn (20)
  • Chromecast
Our adult services librarian suggested the Chromecast so I could show utube videos on the tv (after my aides cast aspersions on my teaching ability). I bought the yarn and hooks at Walmart - probably about $30 for the all of them.

This is the first time I've tried this maker workshop. 10 kids came. A couple picked it up right away, one was really too young and mostly just sat there (I did show her how to finger knit) and one was left-handed which I was not prepared for. She was very gracious despite my fumbling attempts to help her and did end up with a little chain. The others, once they pushed through the initial frustration, all ended up with chains and one really got into it, refusing to tie hers off at the end as she wanted to keep going. The really tricky part is always the tension and if you don't have the manual dexterity to hold the yarn loosely, it's very frustrating. I think it went pretty well though and everyone had a good time.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Library on the Go: Summer School, session 2

There was a week off after the first session of summer school and we returned this week for summer school session 2. This is a smaller session, so I wasn't expecting as many people. Plus, school was closed yesterday due to extensive flooding and electrical issues (we found out about the second b/c the alarm kept going off. It was very distracting.)

It was just as hot. We had a couple kids for the 11-12 hour, one who had been waiting for us so they could return their books and check out two more! I had the laptop instead of the ipad and OF COURSE it was messed up too - wouldn't work in offline mode, kept flipping the screen, etc. Offline doesn't matter at the school b/c I can just use the guest wifi but I'll need it in August! I'm almost definitely lined up for taking Library on the Go to the pool.

This week's project was popsicle stick bracelets. We had a bunch left over from a previous project and I had those plus colored masking tape, duct tape, permanent markers, and stickers. Some of the kids got very creative - I saw one wearing hers as a choker - and others were thrilled to find misc. treasures in the box that I forgot were in there.

I forgot a folding chair and my water bottle, two things that I told myself I wouldn't forget! All of the books were in my trunk during the flooding and I belatedly discovered that the trunk was sopping wet. Only 3 books were damaged though. We signed up about 5 kids for summer reading, checked out about 32 books (I think a couple kids might have forgotten to check out...) and about 30 kids participated. My favorite was the boy whose friend dragged him over to look at the books. He picked out Princess Pink and the land of Fake Believe and promptly sat down and was absorbed in it.

I need to keep working on getting the laptop functional, remember to bring a chair and water, and make a bookmark explaining what the program is. It's too noisy to explain! My previous bookmark had dates that ended up being changed and I didn't get around to making another.

Messy Art Club: Outdoor Painting

Program Goals

  • Explore different painting techniques
  • Outdoor program b/c the room wasn't available
  • Bring in a variety of ages
We froze a variety of paint in ice cube trays and popsicle makers. Conclusion - thick, gooey fingerpaint in ice cube trays is the only thing that really works.

I also purchased a sheet of foam at Jo-Ann's and we used the die cut to make shapes. I had a bunch of large fingerpaint shapes from Discount School Supply. I strung ribbons across the trees and had clips to hang up the paintings.

Supplies
  • Foam (die cut shapes)
  • Frozen paint with popsicle stick handles
  • fingerpaint paper in shapes
  • plastic trays, plastic pools (to wash off in), hand towels
Evaluation
It was super hot. About 30 people came. I am re-evaluating the after school clubs for next year - I'm going to try switching them to a different day and I will probably not have them next summer. I really need a better method of hanging the paintings to dry outside.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Library on the Go: Back at summer school

SUCCESS!! I started at summer school around 11am and this time I brought along my aide (and her follower, a 4th grader). We unloaded and set up. It was cooler and I got a slow but steady trickle of people. Shortly after 12, we picked up the tables and walked them down to the cafeteria (much to the bewilderment of some of the school staff, but they mostly all know me so it didn't matter) and I FOUND THE KIDS. Well over a hundred of them are taking advantage of lunch and, since if you stay for lunch you can't use the buses, most of them were not in a big hurry to leave. We were swamped!

I checked out 48 books, signed up 29 kids for summer reading, and around 50 kids stopped by to talk, take a craft (I tore through the magnet kits, color-me keychains, and Finding Dory bags my colleague had donated) and look at the books.

I registered kids who visit the library to check out movies and games but have never participated in summer reading because their parents don't speak English and the language barrier is too great. I signed up kids who attend our rural elementary school and I only see them briefly as part of a class perhaps once a year. I signed up kids who have never visited the library at all. I told them over and over that everything was FREE!

In a follow-up of success, one of the children I signed up and their caregiver, who I had explained the program too, both came to the library for the first time to return their LotG books and the child got their first library card and checked out library books!

The ipad is still giving me grief - I'm going to use a laptop next time.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Library on the Go: Week 2, low income housing complex

This was a total failure. I tried, I really, really did try, prior to getting this started to get in touch with the Housing Authority. I left phone messages, dropped off materials, but I never really got any response. Then I found out last week that the complex I chose, which has a lot of library patrons in it and a high percentage of kids with blocked cards, was potentially being rezoned, or whatever you'd call it, so it's no longer low income. In the end, I decided just to cross my fingers and go for it. The worst that could happen is either nobody showed up or they told me to leave.

Well, nobody showed up. I unpacked everything, and sat, alone. I saw one elderly lady with a walker meander across the parking lot and a moving van. It was basically dead. Either there were no kids there, they couldn't see me, or something. I decided I needed to make some changes, fast. I drove around town a little, looking at where kids had congregated (no, that was not at all creepy! uh, maybe...) and talked to our parent educator who is closely tied in with social services and the school district. I decided to expand my summer school outreach to both the lobby AND the free lunch (new this year) in the cafeteria through July. In August I will hopefully be able to set up in the park by the pool (this may or may not work out). Next year I might try a camp spot outside of town that a teacher recommended.

Mad Scientists Club: Geology

  • Program Goals
    • Practice following instructions/directions
    • Practice the scientific method/inquiry
    • Attendance: 35
Experiment: Smashing rocks
We had safety glasses, hammers, and a selection of rocks. We smashed them. It was endlessly fascinating and the kids lined up for their turn over and over again.

Project: Making fossils
Jess collected a wide variety of things for the kids to use - the most popular were shells and some rubber snakes.
  • Supplies
    • air-dry clay (purchased on Amazon)
    • misc. things to make shapes with
    • popsicle sticks
    • foil
Project: Sand strata
I had a bunch of pictures of geological strata in rocks and sand formations and a couple kids got into it, but mostly they were more interested in making art with the sand. Which was fine.
  • Supplies
    • colored sand (purchased from Discount School Supply)
    • construction paper
    • glue
    • funnels, spoons, and trays for excess sand
    • pictures of geological formations
Evaluation

Friday, June 16, 2017

Maker Workshop: Sewing

Program Goals
  • Teach kids new skills
  • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
Supplies
  • Needles, needle threaders, pins
  • Multiple pairs of sewing scissors
  • Embroidery thread, buttons, beads
  • Stuffing, tracing paper, pencils
  • Felt
Resources and Display Titles (by Jane Bull)
  • Crafty Creatures
  • Stitch by Stitch
  • Get Set, Sew
  • Make it
  • Made by Me
  • Crafty Dolls
  • Let's Sew
Promo:
We will be sewing a crafty creature and learning some basic sewing skills along the way. Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. There is no age restriction, but you must have the following skills to attend:

Required skills:

  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Can safely use sewing implements with minimal supervision (needles and sharp scissors)
  • Ability to thread a needle (needle threaders will be provided) and knot the end.
Introduction
  • On the chalkboard
    • Tools NOT toys - lecture about needle safety (all needles must be accounted for etc.)
    • Choose a project; what skills do you need? what materials do you need?
    • plan + pin THEN cut + sew
    • Mistakes are OK
    • Sewing is all about patience, planning, and focus
Evaluation

Four year old kindergarten field trip: Pete the Cat

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce kids to the library as a fun place
Tour of the children's area
  • Take kids the long way into and out of the library so it's not a "full" tour but they can see things to pique their interest and bring them back. Can also put pennies in the wishing well afterwards if time allows
Activities
  • Groovy buttons
    • Die-cut circles with holes punched
    • Ribbon
    • Markers
    • Kids decorate their buttons and string them
  • Art book covers
    • Pre-printed book covers "Pete the Cat and His ____ by ____
    • Markers
  • Create art books
    • Construction paper
    • Watercolor pencils
    • Water cups and brushes
    • Stapler
    • Kids draw pictures and brush over them with water, then we staple all the pictures together to make books (use their Pete the Cat art book covers)
Storytime
    • Pete the Cat: I love my white Shoes
    • Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons
    • Pete the Cat rocking in my school shoes
    • Pete the Cat and his magic sunglasses
    • Pete the Cat and the cool cat boogie
More detailed directions and scheduling for summer school field trip

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Library on the Go: First visit

OMG HOT.

Ok, now that's out of the way. My first trip was more or less a success, but I definitely hit a few snags. I had advertised myself as being there from 10:30 to 11:30. I arrived around 10 and it was pretty dead until past 11, when parents started wandering in to pick up kids. Then there was a wild rush of kids running out to meet parents and get on the bus. I distributed tops, but most kids didn't have time to color them. About 25 kids and parents stopped by the tables to talk to me, some of them new people, some regular library patrons. I checked out 37 books and signed up about 10 kids for summer reading.

Things to change next time:

  • OMG HOT. Bring a water bottle
  • The ipad hates me. The app for using google sheets doesn't work well and you have to double-tap in each, separate cell. This is difficult when kids are hanging all over my very light, folding tables and sometimes it takes multiple tries. I need a better system.
  • Start later. There's no point in sitting there sweating for an hour.

Field Trip: Explore Elkhorn

  • Program Goals 
    • Introduce kids to the library, from the past to the present 
Tour
  • Start upstairs, in the oldest part of the library.
    • Mary Bray - first librarian
    • Library is over 100 years old
    • Look at the ceiling of the genealogy room
    • Look at the microfilm machine
    • Stop by the cabinet of old books and talk about how the things the library has changes (used to just have old books, now we have computers, toys, etc.)
  • Look at the first addition (upstairs)
    • Find the spots where the outer wall become the inner wall (bricks on ramp) and look at the inner windows
  • Visit basement (optional)
    • Used to be children’s area
    • Floods (this is very exciting)
    • Go out steps through garden
  • Visit the newest part of the building
    • Talk about how the children’s area has changed over the years
    • Talk about the different kinds of materials we have now
    • Visit tech services and talk about how the library catalogs and processes materials.
Past, Present, and Future library books
  • 9x18 sheets of construction paper folded in half
  • On the front “The Library Today”, inside “The Library Tomorrow”, on the back “The Library Yesterday”
  • Kids write or draw about what they’ve seen and imagine for the library
If there’s still time, or while some kids finish their project, explore the children’s area and play.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We Explore Favorite Artist Eric Carle


  • Program Goals:
    • Introduce Eric Carle and his art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills (ripping, painting)
    • 20 children and adults in attendance
Art Project Part 1: Painting (10-10:15)
As the kids come in, they get aprons and start painting. I remind everyone to write their names at their spots, not to paint too thickly and pass out paper towels to blot the paintings. I just used a couple colors. Then we blotted them with paper towels and left them to dry. This takes about 15 minutes. I start gathering the kids to the rug for storytime after 15 minutes, but latecomers continue painting.
 
Supplies
  • Paint (red, blue, green) 
  • 8x11 white construction paper 
  • paint brushes, paper towels, aprons 
Storytime/Snacktime (10:15-10:40)
I start with the Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet and book. After this interactive story, I ask the adults to hand out the snack and we read more Eric Carle books. Depending on the audience, I talk about animal sounds, counting, coloring techniques, imagination, texture, etc.

Books
  • Very Hungry Caterpillar (puppet program) 
  • The Very Busy Spider 
  • 1, 2, 3 To the zoo 
  • The artist who painted a blue horse 
  • Hello Red Fox (school age)
Supplies
  • teddy grahams or animal crackers
  • sliced apples
  • Dixie cups and napkins 
Art Project Part 2: Collage (10:40-11)
Everyone went back to their paintings and cut them up, then glued them onto the paper to make collages. More paper towels may be needed for things that are not quite dry.

Supplies
  • 8x12 white construction paper 
  • Scissors, Glue 
  • paper towels 
Display: Eric Carle books

Evaluation

Friday, June 9, 2017

Maker Workshop: Clay

  • Program Goals
    • Teach kids new skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
Supplies
  • Sculpey multipacks (5 - had quite a bit left over)
  • paring knives, needles, toothpicks, rolling pins, mini cookie cutters
  • foil, paper plates
  • optional - earrings and other jewelry findings
Resources and Display Titles
Promo:
Kids will have the opportunity to create a variety of clay projects and learn some simple sculpting skills along the way. Kids will be taking their creations home to bake. Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. There is no age restriction, but you must have the following skills to attend:

Required skills:
  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Can safely use sharp implements with minimal supervision (paring knife)
Introduction
  • I reminded everyone of the "tools not toys" rule.
  • I told them to plan ahead, demonstrated a couple techniques (mixing the clay) and then circulated and answered questions.
Evaluation

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Library on the Go: The Plan

I've been thinking about how I reach kids over the summer. Do my school visits really make a difference? Would those kids come to the library anyways? How do I reach all the kids whose families don't normally visit the library, who have blocked library cards, who are worried about getting fines or paying for lost materials? Our town proper doesn't have a transportation barrier - you can walk across town in about 30 minutes - but we have outlying townships where kids have no way of getting into town.

So, my solution is to start my own bookmobile/summer outreach. I'm calling it Library on the Go. I got funding from a Dollar General summer reading grant and purchased a large amount of books. I will be visiting one of our low-income housing complexes and summer school (which is at the middle school) alternately over the summer. Kids will have the opportunity to sign up for summer reading (to participate they will still need to visit the library itself) and also to enjoy storytime and crafts.

I chose books that were all under $3.50 and paperbacks. I picked a lot of National Geographic easy readers, Scholastic Branches, I Can Read, and popular series like Ballpark Mysteries, Puppy Place, and I Survived. For this inaugural launch, I picked only easy readers and beginning chapters and only books I already had in the library. I also did not choose any tv tie-ins this time around. Our cataloger put in brief records and barcoded each book. My associate made a logo. Those are the only processing the books received. We put them in our professional collection so other patrons can't place holds on them.

For circulation, I will be scanning the barcodes into a spreadsheet. Each kid can have 2 LotG books. If they return them the next time I come, or drop them off at the library, they can have 1-2 more books. If they don't return them, there are no overdue fines and whatever is still "checked out" at the end of the summer I will write off. I also hope to lend these books to classrooms during the school year. I'm loading all the books into dishpans from Walmart which will be easy to transport and using an ipad and portable scanner.

Storytime Books
  • Princess in black by Shannon Hale
  • Bad Kitty gets a bath by Nick Bruel
  • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
  • Not quite narwhal by Jessica Sima
  • I don't want to be a frog by Dev Petty
  • Lucy & Company by Marianne Dubuc
Craft Projects
  • Tongue depressor bracelets (saved from a previous program)
  • Nature balls (fill xmas ornaments with natural items)
  • Suncatchers (purchased)
  • Sun shadow art (purchased)
  • Stuffed key chain ornaments (purchased)
  • Paint shapes/biocolor (purchased)
  • Wooden tops (purchased)
Additional supplies
  • stickers, colored tape
  • paint, permanent markers

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer Reading Outreach Book Lists

I've really struggled with what, exactly, to do for summer reading previews at the schools. Usually, I do a spiel and then booktalk. The kids like it, the librarians and teachers like it, but I wonder if any kids actually remember anything? Sometimes I get kids coming in asking for the books, which is awesome, but I've been doing this for almost 9 years now and I'm kind of...bored with it. This year I didn't do the usual thing - we sponsored an author visit and I didn't have the usual set up, so I guess now is the time to see if it makes a difference. I'm planning more outreach during the summer and would like to transition to doing individual classes if possible. Or something.

All of these - and more - I've put onto small cards which I'll hand out at outreach programs. They each have a suggested grade level, cover pic, and quick description. We'll see how that goes.


Picture Books (*nonfiction)
  • Be quiet! by Ryan Higgins
  • Great now we've got barbarians
  • Prince Ribbit
  • *Give bees a chance
  • *Anything but ordinary Addie
Easy Readers (*nonfiction)
  • Duck and porcupine
  • Good for nothing button
  • *Ham-Ham-Hamsters
  • *You should meet...
Beginning Chapters (*nonfiction)
  • Ella and Owen
  • Inspector Flytrap
  • Tales of Sasha
  • *Blast Back!
Middle Grade Fiction
  • Amina's voice
  • Cody and the fountain of happiness
  • Mary Bowser and the civil war spy ring
  • Forever or a long long time by Carter
  • Ghost by Reynolds
  • Hamstersaurus Rex
  • Army brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab
  • How to outrun a crocodile when your shoes are untied
Middle Grade Fantasy
  • Fairy wings by E. D. Baker
  • Girl who could not dream
  • Journey across the hidden islands
Middle Grade Graphics (*nonfiction)
  • Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
  • Cici a fairy's tale
  • Real friends by Shannon Hale
  • Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson
  • Amazing Crafty Cat
  • Time museum by Matthew Loux
  • *Science Comics: Bats
Middle Grade Nonfiction (Narrative)
  • Sea otter heroes
  • Beastly brains
  • Lesser spotted animals
  • Behind the Legend: Loch Ness Monster by Erin Peabody
Maker Books
  • Modeling clay with 3 basic shapes
  • Let's Sew
  • Creative kids complete photo guide to crochet

Summer Reading 2017

poster in progress
This year's program continues the theme of simple, easy, and flexible. Thanks to my associate, Jess, who tweaks and creates most of our graphic design and layouts! (If it looks good it's her, if it doesn't it's mine).

Registration
  • Summer reading registration for ages 0-18 begins May 30. They can register in person at the library or online (online registration is just a google form that links to the calendar to print). I record name, age, and school. Grades 6 and up I am tracking library card numbers, just to make sure they all have valid library cards.
  • All ages up to 16 receive a fine amnesty coupon. All ages, 0-18, can get a registration prize (provided by a local artist) if desired. They're mostly bookmarks, pins, buttons, so not suitable for babies.
Reading Logs
  • Ages 0-3 have an activity/reading calendar for June. They get a prize at the end of June (rubber ducky and fizzy bath tablets) and a July activity/reading calendar. At the end of July they get a free book.
  • Grades kindergarten through fifth grade have an activity reading calendar for June. They get a pack of passes, provided by the consortium, at the end of June and a July activity/reading calendar. At the end of July they get a free book.
    • K-5th June calendar
    • K-5th July calendar
    • Passes (while supplies last)
      • Chipotle free kid's meal
      • Pizza Hut (coming)
      • MKE WAVE
      • Milwaukee Public Museum (issues with printing)
      • Country Springs Water Park bogo
      • Old World Wisconsin bogo
      • Milwaukee Bucks bogo (coming)
Weekly Incentives and Program Ethos
Our "prizes" are tied to visiting the library, not reading or other activities. Kids are not required to "complete" their calendars, read every single day, or do every activity. I've evolved this program over the years and it meets all of my summer reading goals which I've created to fit our individual library and community's needs.
  • Program that challenges voracious readers but does not discourage or penalize reluctant or struggling readers
    • The calendar system allows kids and families to set their own reading goals
  • Program that is simple and easy to use for busy families and does not involve a lot of paperwork and library-policing.
    • Some people sign off on their kids' calendars. If they want to do that it's fine, but I do not want to have to question kids like guilty suspects as to whether they read or not.
  • Program that emphasizes reading, not prizes or "stuff" you get
  • Program that encourages library visits, not just racking up reading minutes (or hours) or, again, "stuff".
Each week that the kids visit the library they can get an activity bag. One bag per week. If they miss a week they don't get two bags the next week. I updated and reformatted all the activity bag inserts, which you can see here. Of course, I'd already printed most of them, but now they're ready for next year. I purchased most of the materials for these either from Amazon or Discount School Supply.
  • Week 1: Floating ball
  • Week 2: Balloon rockets
  • Week 3: Texture book
  • Week 4: Beading bag
  • Week 5: Exploding sticks
  • Week 6: Scratch art
  • Week 7: Magnet fishing
  • Week 8: Marshmallow builders
The kids can get stickers for every day - or week - that they read. I'm pretty casual about how many they pick. I've gotten really tired of constantly policing the kids. I have stickers from the dollar store, Walmart, etc. but I also got some great foam stickers from Amazon.
Teens (6th grade and up)
  • Teens register and can pick a sign up prize if desired. Every week they turn in a check out receipt, they get to pick a colored marble which denotes a prize. Prizes are a box of small misc. things, mini candy bars, big candy bars, and books. They can get one prize per week. At the end of summer we'll go through all the collected receipts and choose three grand prize winners for gift cards.
Resources

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Outreach Storytime: Let's Grow!

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage library visits
    • Introduce early literacy to teachers and students
    • Build relationships with students and teachers
  • Toddlers (*Nonfiction)
    • Plant the tiny seed by Christie Matheson
    • Watermelon seed by Greg Pizzoli
    • *What will grow by Jennifer Ward
    • *Fantastic flowers by Susan Stockdale
    • Go Go Grapes by April Pulley Sayre
  • Preschool and Kindergarten (*Nonfiction)
    • *Up in the garden and down in the dirt by Kate Messner
    • *Plants can't sit still by Rebecca Hirsch
    • Do you know which ones will grow by Susan Shea
  • Long Stories (*Nonfiction)
    • *Planting the wild garden by Kathryn Galbraith
    • *Yucky worms by Vivan French
    • On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole
  • Flannelboard/Movement/Activity

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mad Scientists Club: Balloon Science

  • Program Goals
    • Practice following instructions/directions
    • Practice the scientific method
    • Attendance: 35
Experiment: Static Electricity
All you need for this is balloons and kids. The kids rub the balloons on their heads, the carpet, or anything else and then see what they stick to.

Experiment: Blowing up balloons with chemistry
The baking soda and vinegar one is easiest - put the baking soda in the balloon and the vinegar/water mixture in the bottle. The sugar and yeast (a couple spoonfuls of each) needs to be shaken and can take about 30 minutes to expand.
  • Supplies
    • Baking soda, vinegar
    • Sugar, yeast
    • Water bottles w/caps, balloons
    • Funnels, tablecloths, wipes, paper towels
Experiment: Spinning Penny
I got this from Steve Spangler Science. Basically you put a penny (or other small object) in a balloon, blow it up, and make it spin. It's all about centrifugal force!
  • Supplies
    • Pennies or other similar sized objects
    • Balloons
Experiment: Balloon parachutes
I really wanted to do some experiments with helium, but left it too late to acquire any. Then my aide pointed out we could just buy some helium balloons. I let the kids experiment with balloon parachutes. I had the kids create balloon baskets with paper and tape, attach them to the balloon with string, and then take turns experimenting by dropping them off the ladder with various items in the basket to see how fast they'd fall.
  • Supplies
    • Balloons, string, paper, tape
    • Objects to weigh down "basket"
    • Ladder

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dr. Seuss Celebration

  • Program Goals
    • Popular program theme
    • Afternoon program for all ages
    • It's traditional
    • Attendance: 35
Set-up
  • For Messy Art program, place tables around the outside of the room for the various crafts. One table by the door holds the Dr. Seuss books.
  • For themed (Saturday) program, tables at the front of the room for cupcakes, movies at the back (circle of chairs around tv), tables at right angles to the walls on the right, tables parallel to walls on the left.
Activity Stations
  • Cat in the Hat: Create a striped Dr. Seuss hat
    • Supplies
      • Paper plates, red and white paper, ribbon/yarn
      • scissors, tape, staplers, hole punch
  • Seuss libs: Fill in the Seuss madlibs
    • Supplies
      • Worksheets with Seuss madlibs
      • Blank paper, markers, pencils
  • Seussimals
    • Supplies
      • Pipe cleaners, Pom poms, beads, buttons
      • glue dots
  • Seuss Masks: Be a Dr. Seuss feathered creature
    • Supplies
      • Paper plate masks (pre-cut)
      • Feathers, markers, yarn/ribbon
      • Glue, scissors
  • McElligott's pool: Decorate and "catch" fish
    • Paper fish (die cut or pre-cut)
    • Handmade paper scraps
    • Yarn/ribbon, popsicle sticks
    • Glue, scissors
Decorations:
  • Movie set up playing Dr. Seuss movies
  • Cupcakes:
    • cupcakes (7 mixes or 100 total), frosting (4-6 tubs), food dye (8 bottles)
    • plates, napkins, (disposable) bowls, popsicle sticks, big spoons for scooping
Evaluation