Sep 30, 2015

Back to School

Had to share my Pete the Cat bulletin board. We always have a calendar with our events, but our calendar needed some sprucing up this month so, I added Pete. Then I saw a post with
school jokes and added the jokes.

Sep 24, 2015

Homeschool Club, 3rd Edition

First day back with the Homeschool Club today, and I had 27 kiddos (huge for our library).

Two years ago, I worked with a local co-op to establish goals and the purpose of the group.

1. Get kids used to public speaking.
2. Give kids opportunities to work in groups (who aren't siblings).
3. Kids work with a different adult.

We have been meeting during the school year once a month for an hour.

What went down:

We started with a getting to know you game: on the way into the meeting room, kids were given toilet paper and told, "Take as much as you think you will need."  That was it, no further instructions. After all the kids had their toilet paper, I took 4 squares myself and started off by touching each square one at a time as I made statements:
1. My name is Kathy.
2. I work at the library.
3. I like to watch mysteries on TV.
4. I like to play volleyball.

One of the older kids had already played the game before, he had taken 6 squares and wanted to go next. After he went, I had the kids guess what the toilet paper was for before we had everyone else go. When some stragglers came in, the kids went wild suggesting the late comers take a lot or a little (got a little loud for a moment).

The kids all cooperated beautifully, even the kid who took 37 squares!

For each kid the first square was to say their name, and I would have the group repeat the name back to me. If they stopped listening, I would just ask them the last thing the kid said, "Did anyone hear what restaurant John likes to visit?" Occasionally I had to prompt kids, what do you like to do outside, what's your favorite color, etc,. This game took A LOT longer than I had anticipated, we were left with about 20  minutes.

I had the Alike, Different sheet ready as a back up activity to the main activity (that we never even got to), so I used it for the back up activity to the ice breaker!
We finished with the same and different game. The kids had to find 5 other kiddos and write something they had in common in the circle, and something that was different outside the bubble. The younger kids had a harder time with this activity (4 & 5 year olds) because they couldn't write/spell or were reluctant to do so, but between myself and some of the older kids, we got their sheets completed for them. This was great for working on initiating a conversation with people, you wouldn't believe how hard this is for kids. I had the opportunity to model for them A LOT! Incentive to finish the sheet: they could go when it was full.

Here's the blank sheet:

Aug 3, 2015

Picture Book Organization- Nature

Nature seemed like a natural category to have, with seasons and weather. I ended up with a few other subcategories. I ended up splitting food and plants up. Pizza isn't really a plant, but it is from nature, so. . . food! Creepy carrots could go in either, but since it wasn't really about growing carrots, and more about eating carrots it ended up in NATURE FOOD REYNOLDS.

These are the subcategories I used for Nature

Camping- we live in a touristy camping area.
Conservation- small, small section, but when Earth Day comes around they are easier to find.
Food-  food we eat, including plants that are being eaten or put in soups or on pizza.
Nature- water cycle, random nature love books, anything that doesn't fit into the other sub-categories.
Plants- Growing and harvesting go here, trees, flowers, and books about gardening.
Seasons- spring, summer, fall and winter are all here.
Weather- rain, wind, storms, tornadoes and other weather related books go in this section.

So where do those pesky apple books go? Seasons, food, plants? That is what I love about this organization system so much, it is flexible. If the book is not going out in seasons, I move it to food, or plants.

Jun 24, 2015

Super Hero Training Academy (Library Version)

Most of my programs are drop in, finish the activities as you wish, hopefully check out some cool books and go home.  Super hero training academy was no exception.When the kids came in they got a check list with all the activities. Their mission? Complete the checklist.
Station One: Generate your superhero name and create a badge.
Patterns from here and here. The names were goofy and involved food. Some kids did not think having a cute name like the Invincible Marshmallow was very cool, so they made up their own.
Station Two: Knock over the villains with Captain America's Shield
This could have been so much bigger. Kids love stacking cups and knocking them down and stacking them again. This idea was on several different websites.
Station Three: My ABSOLUTE favorite.

Krytonite Keeper came from a few different ideas I saw online. One was a lava trail made out of LEGOs and the other was a radioactive orange game our teen librarian did with the teens the day before. The teens had an orange on a spoon and they had to knock off other kid's oranges to win while staying in a circle on the floor. I did not want to do this with the younger kiddos. I also loved the idea of walking across hot lava which was actually LEGO. Krytonite Keeper is "walking across crushed buildings to save Superman from the Kryptonite". This was totally awesome. Barefoot, spray your LEGOs later with some disinfectant spray. I used three tubs of LEGOs from our LEGO Club.
Station Four: Shoot the villain with water guns filled with paint.

Another Pinterest find that I tweaked for super hero training. This would have worked better if the water guns didn't leak all over the place. I filled the guns with a paint/water mixture.One gun had purple paint, one had green.
Station Five: Web Spinning, a crafty project, you can't see it but this table is full of girls.

Station Six: Leap over a building like Superman
I found the idea for the building jumping with another link on Pinterest. I wrapped different sizes of boxes and used label stickers for the windows. The kids came back to this activity over and over.

This program cost $4.22 for the red plates and the Frisbee at the Dollar Store. I used a lot of stuff I had left from other programs (I am a hoarder at work). I had almost 40 people show up (over 20 is excellent for our small library)!

Jun 22, 2015

Penguins and Process Art

Penguin storytime! I love penguins, who doesn't?

The kids really seemed to enjoy the farting penguin. . .
I rarely do cute product oriented art with preschoolers, but I know that parents value cute art projects to stick on their refrigerators, so I came up with this project that I think everyone can enjoy! 

I cut out the black part of the penguin and taped it to black paper and let the kids paint their papers with feathers and white paint. When the paper was peeled off, the kids were left with a penguin. They had a lot of fun with this one, because they got to cover the entire paper if they wanted. Of course some had a hard time with that (think color in the lines), but the end result was a cute project the parents could enjoy as well. This is also a great art lesson about negative space, so parents can feel good about that as well if you even bring it up.

Painting with Feathers
End "cute" project.

We played March of the Penguins between books; as I waddled with the kids, we sang this penguin call and response chant (I found it helpful that parents stay at storytime and were familiar with a call and response chant). We sang it through twice.

I'm a penguin black and white
I can't fly but that's all right.
I've got feathers that's not fur.
I lay eggs like other birds.

"Now we are going to do some counting" (in time with marching)

Penguins, 1, 2 (make dramatic finger counting gestures)
Penguins, 3, 4
Penguins, 5, 6, 7, 8
Penguins, they're great!

I swim real fast to get my meals.
I watch out for leopard seals.
I'm from the south as you may know
Now it's time for me to go.