Friday, January 30, 2015

We Explore Favorite Artist Laura Vaccaro Seeger

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Laura Vaccaro Seeger and her art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills (cutting, gluing, painting)
    • 20 children and adults in attendance
  • Evaluation
    • 1-30-15
      • Attendance: 17
      • Connections/Feedback: I had several new families, including a mom and grandma with a little girl who tried finger paint for the first time!
      • Notes: This group was younger and so we only did three stories - First the Egg, Lemons, and Black? White! They were very interested but got wiggly quickly so we didn't talk much about the art itself.
Art Project Part 1: Collage (10-10:15)
I had a huge box of handmade paper for them to choose from and the kids did cutting and gluing to make pictures. This isn't directly related to Seeger's art, but she does emphasize textures and brushstrokes. At 10:15ish, I sing the Storytime Song

  • Handmade paper (donated)
  • Recycled cardstock
  • Scissors, glue
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.

  • First the Egg
  • Lemons are not red
  • Black? White! Day? Night!
  • Green
  • Hidden Alphabet

Art Project Part 2: Fingerpaint (10:40-11)
I encouraged them to use thick, swirling strokes like Seeger's art.


  • fingerpaint
  • paper
  • wet wipes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Take home storytime: Penguins

  • 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: 1-28-15
Miss storytime? You can practice many of the early literacy concepts we use in storytime at home! Don't forget to sign up for text alerts so you can make it to the next storytime!

Theme: Penguins!

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

TALK about penguins. Look for fiction and nonfiction stories about penguins in the Animals: Birds neighborhood. Practice narrative stories by retelling the story after you read it. Talk about what penguins look like before you begin your craft.

Get ready to WRITE by cutting out your penguin pieces, decorating them with crayons or markers, gluing them together, and adding cotton balls for a fuzzy penguin tummy. All these activities help with developing fine motor skills needed for writing. Craft is taken from Sweet and Lovely Crafts

SING along with Kathy Reid-Naiman on her winter CD, "Sing the cold winter away" which includes traditional rhymes and fingerplays as well as holiday songs.

PLAY with your penguins!

READ some of these stories about penguins
Turtle's Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev
Penguins, Penguins Everywhere by Bob Barner
Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
Penguins by Liz Pichon
Penguin chick by Betty Tatham
Flight School by Lita Judge

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

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Toddler substitute storytime: Quiet and Loud

  • This is my substitute storytime whenever I have to cover for my school colleague who does babies and toddlers. I don't do it often enough that people will realize I'm just repeating it and it's a nice basic set up.
  • Evaluation
    • 1-26-15
      • I covered for Pattie's evening storytime, Tiny Tots. 14 people came, which is about average, and I actually knew most of them. We played with the puppet theater afterwards.
    • 2-25-14
      • The kids aren't used to a flannelboard, b/c Pattie doesn't use it, so that's a bit chaotic.
  • Little Chicken's Big Day by Katie Davis
  • This little chick by John Lawrence
  • Clap Hands by Lorinda Cauley
  • Can you make a scary face? by Jan Thomas
Craft: Die-cut puppets
  • Die-cut shapes
  • Crayons/markers
  • Popsicle sticks, tape

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Messy Art Club: Sewing

Angry Bird and sling
  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 35
  • Evaluation
    • 1-22-15
      • Attendance: 19
      • Feedback/Connections: This was a very small group but I have a couple people who would really like me to do sewing workshops again and they come to this. I really should get that started again...
      • Notes: I felt like ick and was exhausted from the morning outreach. Nobody really stayed much past five though, thankfully. The stuff the kids glued really isn't permanent, but no way was I dealing with a glue gun.
    • 7-17-14
      • Attendance: 48
      • Notes: I had a lot of felt scraps and wanted to do something with them. I had reservations a little too close to the event about doing something potentially involving sewing with the volume of kids I often have in the summer, but I was supposed to have multiple volunteers so I hoped it would be ok. My volunteers did show up and one turned out to be excellent. All the kids but one were accompanied by adults who enjoyed getting to be a little crafty as well.
  • Recycled cardstock
  • Felt scraps
  • Die cut felt shapes
  • Buttons
  • Yarn
  • Needles, thread, stuffing
  • Glue, staples
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
I have a needle rule - I don't put them out to take, they have to get them from me, an aide or volunteer. They are responsible for holding the needle the ENTIRE time they have it and they are NOT to lay it down somewhere and forget it! Same thing with the good/sharp scissors

8-1-13: I had my aides help cut out the interfacing this year as I ran out of time to do it at home. I didn't have graph paper - forgot to bring it from home. We've been having smaller groups this year, so I didn't bother with the handout. There will always be some people who say "oh, we came to that last year, why are you doing it again?" but that's balanced by the "oh, we came to that last year, we loved it, we're so glad you're doing it again!" people. About 30 people came, which was fewer than last year, but that's ok. At this point I want small groups!
  • 8-2-12: The instruction sheet worked a little better - people took a few home and I still went hoarse going over and over the instructions, but it wasn't as bad as it's been before. This was fun, but time-consuming to prepare! A lot of people had to wait in line for us to iron and we had to rearrange most of the quilts so all the interfacing was covered. Fun, but it might be a while before I try it again. 38 quilts were made, so about 50 people came I think. Note - do not expect your iron to be in good condition afterwards, as some interfacing will get on it. The one I used we also use for crayon melting.
Project: No-Sew Quilts

How it works: I cut all the fabric and interfacing at home with my rotary cutter. It took quite a while. Kids chose 16 squares, cut and arranged them, then layered muslin, fusible webbing/interfacing, and the squares. I also had paper for them to make paper quilts while they waited and the for the younger kids. The graph paper and tracing paper was for them to lay out their arrangement.

  • 50 1 ft. squares of muslin
  • 50 1 ft. squares of fusible webbing
  • 800+ 3 inch squares
  • Pencils, rulers, graph paper, scissors, iron
  • Construction paper and glue
Handout (given out at door with muslin and interfacing)

Our project today: Making quilts!

What do we do?
  • Get a muslin and interfacing square (handed out at door)
  • Pick out 16 small squares of fabric
  • Use the tracing paper, pencils, and rules to design your quilt
  • Cut your fabric as needed (remember, measure twice, cut once!)
  • Layer your muslin, interfacing, and colored squares in that order
  • Take to the ironing table - the iron will melt the interfacing and bond the muslin and colored squares together
  • If you'd like to make more quilts, there is paper and glue to make paper quilts!
Ways to make your quilt even cooler, especially if you have some sewing skills:
  • Zigzag stitch over the edges of each square
  • Stitch binding tape over the edges to outline your design
  • Add a frame!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We Explore Nature: Snow

  • Program goals
    • Encourage families to explore outside
    • Learn about snow
    • Develop early literacy skills
    • Attendance: 25
Project 1: Snowflakes (10-10:15)
Kids cut out snowflakes. Youngest can simply fold and snip, older kids can do fancier things.

  • white paper (different types, tracing paper, etc.)
  • scissors
  • ribbon and tape (to hang up snowflakes)
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
Collect everyone with the Storytime Song, ask parents to pass out snack.

  • Kitten's Winter by Eugenie Fernandes
  • Rabbit's snow dance by Joseph Bruchac
  • Story of snow by Mark Cassino
  • It's snowing by Gail Gibbons
  • Seasons by Anne Crausaz
  • Winter trees by Carole Gerber
  • Rainy Sunny Blowy Snowy by Jane Brocket
Vocabulary: Snow, seasons, snowflake, condensation, crystal, atmosphere, temperature

Project 2: Magic puffing snow (10:40-11)
I got this recipe from Fun at home with kids. We didn't use food coloring.

  • baking soda
  • baby shampoo
  • citric acid powder
  • aprons, sink, large tubs, ziplock bags