In response to the STEAM movement (and with great thanks to such great inspiration & encouragement from colleagues: Amy, Abby, and Kendra), this past fall I started a STEAM storytime series at the library. This is primarily aimed at preschoolers and their families, registration open to ages 3-7 in our library.
Books & Group Activities
Building blocks from Kendra.
(Tune of Good Night Ladies)
Come build something with your blocks!
Life-Size Zoo by Teruyuki Komiya
Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy
Size: Many Ways to Measure by Michele Koomen
I put out a dozen of our puppets and had the kids practice measure and compare the sizes of the animals. Some of the kids lined them up in size order, others wrote down their measurements on scrap pieces of paper. I should have had a worksheet made and printed, but I didn’t think about it until I was at the program. (And yes, I visited IKEA and had each of my family members take a measuring tape at every station that we passed. To be fair, we wound up purchasing over $5,000 of furniture between the three households! It should be no surprise that I needed more bookcases.)
At this station, I challenged the kids to be able to get the scale to balance using different materials. One of my kids spent the whole time here, playing with popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners and various other supplies, creating a balanced scaled over and over again.
Kids can challenge one another to build the highest tower using no more than twenty blocks. Since it was mostly preschoolers at this event, I found that a lot of them just stacked the same sized blocks one on top of another instead of hunting for bigger blocks or creating a base or anything. So, it was a meh station in my opinion since it didn’t accomplish what I wanted it to — but they love Legos!
How Do You Measure Up?
At this station, kids measured themselves on the wall with the help of a parent or librarian to see how they measured up to animals. I was totally inspired by our local zoo — they have tons of interactive displays where kids can see how they measure up to animals. I didn’t get quite as creative as Brookfield, I just put an animal picture bar on the side and marked where the animals would be. The kids walked around the programming room, introducing themselves to other kids: “I’m baby dolphin sized!” This was by far my favorite station.
3-D Rainbow Art
I really wanted an art station that required the kids to do the measuring to create. I found this amazing rainbow craft at Free Kids Crafts and knew that this is what we’d be doing. The kids measured and cut each strip (you can see my example strips in the picture), put them in order and stapled each end.
As always, I had a book display and a take-home packet for my families. I also let them take home the measuring tapes that I had left-over since my plan was just to recycle the extras.
And for you guys, a Pinterest friendly picture: