Category: Special Programming

Explore the World: Water

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.

exploretheworld

Books & Group Activities

Opening Activity
Building blocks from Kendra.
“Building Blocks”
(Tune of Good Night Ladies)
Hello ________
Hello ________
Hello ________
Come build something with your blocks!

Books

exploretheworld-water

All the Water In the World by George Ella Lyon
Rain by Manya Stojic
Wow! Ocean! by Robert Neubecker

I started off with “All the Water In the World” since it explains the water cycle in a fun, easy, approachable manner. Then I segued into the kids naming places that had water and I wrote them down on a piece of butcher block paper. I pulled out the different ocean animal flannelboards from the summer of 2010 and after doing the “Five Big Whales” flannelboard, I did some math problems with the animals and the kids. Then we read the last two books and talked about the rain and the different animals that live in the ocean.

Once we finished the group portion, it was time to move to the station activities.

Station Activities


Sink or Float?
I got this amazing idea from Amy’s post on the ALSC blog. I filled up our two dish pans with water and had five items (rubber duck, penny, popsicle stick, Lego, and crayon) out for the kids to toss into the water. This is the station that had the best discussions, in my opinion. Lots of caregivers talking about what the objects were made of and why metal sinks and wood floats. The most interesting thing for the kids were the crayons which floated if you dropped them in gently and sank if you plopped them in.

Does It Dissolve?
I got this idea from Hands On As We Grow. I raided the library’s cabinets of craft materials to sink what we dissolve. In the closets, we had sugar, flour, sprinkles, oatmeal, glitter, and drink mix. The kids loved stirring up their concoctions and I saw several of them stirring frantically trying to get the sprinkles to dissolve.


Water Diffusing Art
We had some leftover color diffusing craft kits from a previous summer reading event in our closets. I know that we got them from S&S Worldwide, but they are no longer available. If you’re doing this program on the cheap, you can also use coffee filters! Kids colored with markers and then used a spray bottle to spread the color. They had a great time with this, and always love taking crafts home.

Make It Melt!
This was be far the messiest station. I had an ice cube for each child. On the top were bowls with warm water, cold water, and salt. And I also had a ton of paper towels. The kids were encouraged to try and melt their ice cubes with the different bowl items. Lots of discovery about the effects of salt & warm water!

Take-Home Activities

I had another book display at the front of the room as always:

I also handed out these take-home packets as they left. Inside, there’s a booklist, an activity, and a coloring page. (They love coloring pages!) I grouped the sheets of “Sink of Float?” in this packet in case you all wanted to see that too.

And, here’s a super Pinnable image for you, if you’ve made it this far!

20140317-215912.jpg

I still have three more science programs to write up; keep your eyes out for them!

Kids Art: Flowers!

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project for ages 3-7 (and occasionally a few 2-year-old siblings). The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but I wanted a messy art club for my littles. In the program, I stress a lot about how process is more important than product. Since that’s the goal, I don’t show parents a “sample” completed picture and just explain what the kids are using that day to create. Particularly since we’re almost always painting or getting messy, the goal is for everyone to have a good time!

This was the April edition of Kids Art, which the kids used forks to make flowers! I love the different ways that they went about making their creations. I found out about fork painting from Blog Me Mom — thanks!

20130528-153228.jpg 20130528-153234.jpg 20130528-153217.jpg
20130528-153223.jpg 20130528-153207.jpg 20130528-153200.jpg
20130528-153153.jpg 20130528-153135.jpg 20130528-153113.jpg
20130528-153123.jpg 20130528-153129.jpg 20130528-153033.jpg
20130528-153207.jpg 20130528-153024.jpg 20130528-153018.jpg
20130528-153143.jpg 20130528-150823.jpg 20130528-151423.jpg
20130528-151416.jpg 20130528-150725.jpg 20130528-150711.jpg
20130528-150706.jpg 20130528-150716.jpg 20130528-150721.jpg
20130528-150654.jpg 20130528-150700.jpg 20130528-153001.jpg
20130528-153006.jpg 20130528-153010.jpg 20130528-152954.jpg

Once they were done with their paintings, I read these garden/flower themed books:

kidsart-flower

A Garden of Opposites by Nancy Davis
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
A Closer Look by Mary McCarthy

(I just now realized that we read “Planting a Rainbow” in March Kids Art, too. Whoops! No one said anything if they minded.)

Kids Art: Rainbows!

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project for ages 3-7 (and occasionally a few 2-year-old siblings). The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but I wanted a messy art club for my littles. In the program, I stress a lot about how process is more important than product. Since that’s the goal, I don’t show parents a “sample” completed picture and just explain what the kids are using that day to create. Particularly since we’re almost always painting or getting messy, the goal is for everyone to have a good time!

For March, the kids colored coffee filters with markers and then sprayed them with water to make rainbows! I modified this a Pinterest pin, originally written at Meaningful Mama.

20130528-175441.jpg 20130528-175503.jpg 20130528-175507.jpg
20130528-175511.jpg 20130528-175515.jpg 20130528-175519.jpg
20130528-175617.jpg 20130528-175528.jpg 20130528-175533.jpg
20130528-175537.jpg 20130528-175541.jpg 20130528-175546.jpg
20130528-175552.jpg 20130528-175557.jpg 20130528-175602.jpg
20130528-175606.jpg 20130528-175609.jpg 20130528-175614.jpg

And the books that we shared while their creations dried:

kidsarts-rainbows

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Raindrops: A Shower of Colors by Chieu Anh Urban
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

Kids Art: Hearts!

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project for ages 3-7 (and occasionally a few 2-year-old siblings). The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but I wanted a messy art club for my littles. In the program, I stress a lot about how process is more important than product. Since that’s the goal, I don’t show parents a “sample” completed picture and just explain what the kids are using that day to create. Particularly since we’re almost always painting or getting messy, the goal is for everyone to have a good time!

Way back in February, I did Kids Art the day before Valentine’s Day and we worked on two different painting projects, both from Pinterest.

For the first half of paint time, the kids painted with toilet paper rolls that I had bent to create heart stamps. I got this idea from this pin, and the original post links back to Hands On As We Grow.

20130417-144748.jpg 20130417-144757.jpg 20130417-144803.jpg
20130417-144814.jpg 20130417-144820.jpg 20130417-144809.jpg
20130417-144834.jpg 20130417-144828.jpg 20130417-144838.jpg

The kids really enjoyed this, and to keep it Valentine’s Day themed, I only brought out pink and red paint at this point. (Also, black washable markers for them to write their names. You can see that the markers sometimes became a part of the project, too.)

For the second project, I brought out way more colors and Q-tips for the kids to use as paint brushes. This was inspired by this pin, and was originally from Practical Paleo.

20130417-144843.jpg 20130417-144848.jpg 20130417-144852.jpg
20130417-144900.jpg 20130417-144904.jpg 20130417-144856.jpg
20130417-144911.jpg 20130417-144916.jpg 20130417-144922.jpg
20130417-144927.jpg 20130417-144931.jpg 20130417-144936.jpg

I did provide a heart template on their paper since I knew that getting them to freehand their own hearts might be problematic. I love how this turned into a lesson on color mixing!

While their paintings dried, we read some Valentine’s Day books:

kidsart-heart

A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy
The Perfect Hug by Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbot
10 Valentine Friends by Janet Schulman

It was a wonderful day and the kids were thrilled to take their paintings home. I hope it ended up as Valentines or displayed on the fridge!

Kids Art: Balls!

Back in September, my first fall session of Kids Art was all about balls!

First, we got our painting on by marble painting! Each kid has a turkey pan that we lined with paper on the bottom. They plunked marbles into paint and then dropped them into the pan. Then, they rolled the marble around by shaking the pan. It was great, NOISY, fun.

Their amazing art gallery!

After they were done with marble painting, we read “A Ball for Daisy” by Chris Raschka, “This is My Ball” by Amanda Hudson, and “Watch Me Throw the Ball” by Mo Willems.

And after our stories, I got the kids up and we did two giant ball paintings, using a wading pool. I cropped the photo for privacy reasons, but imagine delighted smiles and wide eyes, and lots of noise.

Back to School!

The Plan

Books

Foxy by Emma Dodd
Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson
Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
Wow! School! by Robert Neubecker

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Flannelboard: “The Wheels on the Bus”

Fingerplay: “Way Up High in the Apple Tree”
Way up high in the apple tree
I saw two apples looking at me
I shook that tree as hard as I could
And down came the apples
And mmm, they were good!

Song: “Come to School” (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
We like to come to school
We like to come to school
Our school is such a happy place
We like to come to school

Craft

This was one of my favorite crafts of all time! It was super cute, very easy to make, and it served a purpose! Some of my parents were planning on using this to store love notes for the first day! The craft and template came from Danielle’s Place.

How It Went

I did a special storytime in the morning, apart from the summer session, for the preschoolers that would be moving on to big-kid school this year. It was my hope that I’d be able to help alleviate some concerns through stories, let parents talk about which teachers their kids would have to find some ST friends that had the same class, and for me to say goodbye to them as my ST kids.

It was a great time for all. By the end of the storytime, I had all of the kids geared up and ready for kindergarten. I had picked books that talked about all the new and neat things they would see, so the kids were chanting “WOW FRIENDS, WOW TEACHER” and “I’m rocking in my school shoes” all the way out of the room.

At the end, I had giant hugs from a lot of kids that have been in storytime since I started way back in 2010. (Which isn’t *that* long ago, but it feels like a lifetime to them!) It was a wonderful send-off and I hope they started school with confidence!

Kids Art: Nightscapes

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime crafts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

The Plan

Books

Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! Listen to the City by Robert Burleigh
Subway by Anastasia Suen
Wow! City! by Robert Neubecker

Craft

I found this craft originally on Pinterest. The original post came from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle and it was an amazing craft that went over so well with my parents.

How It Went

I had the kids start with finger-painting the swirls in the sky. This took the majority of the time, and once everyone was pretty much done, I had them sit down for our stories. I opted not to do any extension activities since I had a much older crowd of mostly six-year-olds. “Wow City” was the biggest hit, and we spent a lot of time looking at the pictures to find items that look like Chicago. When our stories were read, we moved back to the table and started gluing our scrap paper. Some of the kids had too much paint to dry this quickly, but no one minded getting more paint on their hands!

Kids Art: Space

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime crafts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

This summer, Kids Art is back after a long hiatus! This program is definitely an important one for my community and I’m pleased that we have the space to offer it again. This month, I themed it to space and we painted planets on paper plates.

The Plan

Books

Blast Off! by Malachy Doyle
Space Boy by Leo Landry
Zoom, Rocket, Zoom by Margaret Mayo

Craft

This was a very last minute idea. I had no idea what to do for my craft, because I try to incorporate painting without it being dreadfully messy. Anyway, I figured we could make some planets since it would be a very easy contained craft by limiting the art space to a paper plate.

How It Went

“Space Boy” was the favorite book, and each kid got to make three planets before it was time to call it quits. First, we painted and then we did the books to give their planets some time to dry before going home. Overall, it was a very successful program and we’ve had very positive feedback from parents via our Facebook page!

Kids Art: Dr. Seuss

For the program, I started off by reading my very favorite Dr. Seuss book, which is the classic “Green Eggs and Ham.” Ideally, I would have like to have feed them green eggs and ham, but we’re only allowed pre-packaged food or food that we prepare in the library. The kids really enjoyed chanting the refrain along with me, and I still think it is one of the few Dr. Seuss books that work in a storytime setting.

After the book, the kids went to the table and began painting the hats of the Dr. Seuss craft that I had found at Brilliant Beginnings Preschool, via Pinterest.

The kids had a great time painting their hats. I used clothespins with sponges cut into small squares as our paintbrushes. This (mostly) cut down on the mess.

While we waited for our hats to dry before assembling, we met back up on the storytime rug to play two games: Build-a-Lorax flannelboard and One Fish Two Fish fishing. (I bought a set of One Fish Two Fish cut-outs at Michaels, laminated them, and attached magnets. We already have a fishing set, so this was a super simple insta-game that the kids went CRAZY for.)

And then, we returned to assemble our Cat in the Hats. The hats were almost completely dry and the moms around just blotted the paint that was still too wet. This was a fun way for the littlest kids to participate in our “Celebrate Seuss” week, and I had a lot of positive responses (especially to the craft) that ensures that I’ll likely do this program again someday!

Starry Night Stories!

This was a special evening storytime program that I did over the summer. Attendance was pretty good (15 kids), so I have plans for doing a once-a-month evening storytime when the weather turns nice again.

Anyways, there are SO MANY great bedtime books that I would almost never run out of material! This time, I started with some of the books we own in our in-house storytime collection for convenience.

The Plan

Books

Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? by Barney Saltzburg
Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Ten Teddy Bears”

Fingerplay: “Going to Bed”
This little child is going to bed (point to self)
Down on the pillow he lays his head (rest head on hands)
He wraps himself in a blanket tight (hug yourself)
And this is the way he sleeps all night (snore)
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

Action Rhyme: “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear”
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, find your nose
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your toes
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your knees
Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit down please
Credit: Childhood

Song: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
Credit: Childhood

Craft

This was a craft kit that I got through Oriental Trading. I loved this kit because it was entirely peel-and-stick which made it a no hassle craft! (I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to do a craft at Evening Storytime, but since I found such a simple one, I went ahead and did it.)

How It Went

What I really liked about evening storytime (and why I’ve decided to do it once-a-month this summer) is that I got a whole different crowd of kids and parents. I was serving patrons that for whatever reason were not served by morning or afternoon storytime! Since we’ve tried evening programming in the school year (and it flops), I’ll give it another go this summer! As for the program itself, the kids were very quiet and attentive during storytime but they really let loose during craft and we had a great time. I was the only participant to actually show up in pajamas though!