Apr 10, 2014

Frozen Display Minus the Snow

I wanted to do a display that centered around Frozen, because even though we are sick to death of snow in northern Wisconsin, the kids are in looooove with this film. This month I did a half romantical/ half sisterly love display and stuck a Frozen quote on it with a slight variation!
Last month's juvenile display was a tribute to non-fiction. I was going to put orange fingerprints all over everything, but I ran out of time. . .  

Mar 20, 2014

1000 Books is Blooming!

I just added the 150th Library to the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Map. It is so exciting to see all the passion about early literacy across the country. Congratulations to all on their programs!
I am not sure why some of the pegs are pink and some are blue, if anyone would care to enlighten me :)

Mar 12, 2014

If you Give the Children a Mad Lib

Homeschool Club last month rocked!

I ordered twenty copies of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff so each pair of kids could share a book. I went over the different parts of the books with the kids and it was great. There were several different editions of the book, so book jackets, end papers and covers were different on some allowing the children to use the new words for different parts of the book to explain the differences. After we talked about the different parts, we choral read the story together. It was so much fun to hear twenty little voices reading the book together (a nerdy librarian heaven). We talked about the illustrations and how they gave picture clues to what was happening with the words of the story.

I found a mad lib on the blog Play Dr Mom that took out the nouns and verbs and some adjectives to make it a fun Mad Lib. Each home school student got a sticker with "noun", "verb", or whatever words were missing. This was a great opportunity to go over the definitions of those types of words. After a student contributed, they handed me their sticker. This allowed for everyone to have their own unique word. The older kids were pretty patient waiting for the younger kids to come up with their words. After I had all of the words, I read aloud the result as I wrote it out on slips of paper.

Each child then got a slip of paper with a sentence from the story, a piece of scratch art paper and a little wooden stick to scratch their illustrations with. I reminded them about what we had talked about with illustrations. There were more children than strips of paper, so I had one of the older children make the title page and some of the others made up their own funny parts of the story and we added them in. It is super easy because you just put, "and then . . . " it doesn't have to make sense because the mad lib in general was silly.

The results were put in a binder. I had numbered the slips ahead of time and was able to put them back in order as I got each finished page from the children.

It was a fun packed hour and the book is in a binder on display in our children's area!

Jan 23, 2014

Valentine's Minute to Win It

I had originally set out to have a regular non-themed Minute to Win it, but when I was looking around Pinterest for some ideas to get started for my party, I found a Valentine’s Minute to Win It post by Sassy Sites and loved the idea. I used several of the games they had used: the Heart a Stack, a game they called Heart Pick Up but I renamed it Heart Transplant (because I love a good play on words for kids),  Cookie Face (which I have done in the past) and Candy Corn stick up. I found another cookie game called Unicorn Horn at the Teaching Reef . I looked online for stopwatches and found a real Minute To Win It timer on YouTube. This was awesome! The kids LOVED helping countdown to the start and the finish!
Heart a Stack
We started out with Heart a Stack. I gave each kid 15 conversation hearts and a plate. The kids had one minute to stack their hearts and at the end I counted how many were left standing. Many of them were finished stacking in less than a minute (but I kept the number at 15 hearts, I didn't want them to get sick later).
Heart Transplant
The kids did Heart Transplant 1 in which the kids had to transfer the hearts from the table to their plate using chopsticks (we used Valentine’s pencils that they got to keep). Then I passed out straws for Heart Transplant 2 and the kids had to use the straw to suck up the heart and move it to the plate. Both heart transplants were scored by the number of hearts they had transferred from the table to the plate in one minute.
Cupid's Arrow



 We re-used the straw for their FAVORITE game called Cupid’s Arrow that I had found somewhere on line (I have no idea where) and tweaked a bit so they could shoot their “arrows” through hanging heart shapes. There was one kid to hold the heart so it didn't turn, one who was the cupid and the next two in line were the judges counting the arrows that went through the heart. It worked out great because I had four kids counting! The number of arrows was added to the tally.
Unicorn Horn
Next the kids played Unicorn Horn with cookies. I had three people holding a plate of ten cookies. Then three kids had a minute to stack as many as they could on their forehead. This time I let them count their highest tower to add to their score. The highest unicorn horn was 9 cookies high! (we reused the cookies for each kid and I let them pick out 2 fresh cookies to eat, but they had to save one for the next game). The next game was Cookie Face this was a do or die game. They put a cookie on their forehead and had to get it into their mouth without using their hands. They got a new cookie to eat if theirs had dropped on the ground.
Candy Corn Stick Up
They also played Candy Corn Stick Up, which was sort of lame. They all had to line up 20 Valentine colored candy corns around their paper plates in a circle. We did one last challenge, the Love Chain. This one was who could make the longest paper chain in a minute.
Love Chain
A lot of the kids were getting picked up at this point (I had more activities planned) so I gave them all a couple of the left over cookies and tabulated up scores. The top three kids got a one dollar little box of Valentine's chocolates and they all had pencils to take home (not to mention the cookies and candy). There was a tie for third so I used one of the challenges we hadn’t gotten to as a tie breaker. The Broken Heart – it was just a puzzle I made (cutting out four pieces of paper on top of each other so they were all the same).
Broken Heart
I tried to reuse stuff in different challenges as much as possible to keep the flow moving and the cost down. I ended up spending $30 dollars on supplies at Walmart for this party (I probably didn't have to buy the pencils, the Q-tips or the straws, but I found pink Q-tips and red and purple straws and just HAD to get them!) Overall I had 22 kids and one adult that I shanghaied into helping out attend this program!