Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 12th--Easter

Holidays are pretty easy. I try to do stories celebrating all aspects of the holiday in question. The books I chose this time include subjects such as the Easter Bunny, decorating eggs, egg hunts, and the Christian celebration of Easter.

Easter by Miriam Nerlove (with the Christian story)
The Littlest Bunny in North Dakota by Lily Jacobs
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood

The Littlest Bunny in North Dakota is part of a series of books that are made for most states. A complete list of Littlest Bunny books can be found HERE. See if your state/province is listed.

The Easter Cat is one of my favorite Easter books. The kids thought it was very funny.

For our craft we painted eggs. No, not real eggs (sadly). I had some coloring pictures that the kids got to paint. We used clothespins and pompoms for the brushes, but it was really unnecessary. It would have been easier to just use real paintbrushes.

March 22nd--Agriculture Week!

We live in a farming community. Ag week is huge here. And with the approach of spring, it's the perfect time to do an Agriculture centered story hour.

It was very difficult to choose books for this story time, as there are quite a few. I chose these three:

  • The Rusty Trusty Tractor by Joy Cowley
  • Harvesters by S.M. Maimone
  • Plant the Seed by Christie Matheson
Other books I considered are:
  • Oh say can you Seed by Bonnie Worth
  • National Geographic's Plants by Kathryn Williams
  • Planters by E. Weingarten
  • 4-Track Tractor by Samantha Bell
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
The craft I chose is more of a project. We planted beans! It was a lot of fun. While there was some grumbling because "I don't like beans!" The kids had fun planting. I told them they didn't have to eat the beans, just water them every day and watch the plat grow. We talked about the parts of the plant, what a seed needs to grow, and specifically how to plant and grow beans. 

Planting Beans
  • 2 cups (You will need to be able to punch a hole in one)
  • Bean seeds
  • Dirt (we used Miracle Grow)
  • Spray bottle(optional)
  • Stickers/paint/markers
  • Punch a hole in the bottom of one cup (This is so that any extra water will drain and not drown the bean)
  • Decorate the cup without a hole. We used stickers
  • Fill the cup with a hole with dirt (leave about 2 inches from the top)
  • Drop the bean seed in and cover with 1/4 inch of dirt
  • Spray the cup a couple of times with the spray bottle of water. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is always fun for me. I love listening to the kids talk about how they're going to try and catch a leprechaun. That's why I chose to read How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace. There was so much laughter during the book. After reading it I asked how each child would set their traps. There were some creative ideas! One kid told me he was planning on disguising himself as a table and putting some candy on his head.

Here is a list of books I read and books I considered reading:

  • How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
  • St. Patrick's Day by Anne Rockwell
  • Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting (Where I got the idea for the craft)
  • How to trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess
  • Fiona's Luck by Theresa Bateman
  • Fiona's Lace by Patricia Polacco
Even though I only used the first three books for story time, I displayed the rest for the kids to take home and read/look at on their own.

Craft: Shamrock Necklaces

  • 5 shamrocks (we did 4 green and one white)
  • 18 beads
  • string/twine/yarn (we used twine)

 I love doing crafts that don't involve glue! Although this craft did involve a lot of cutting out. We made shamrock necklaces. There's really no wrong way to make a necklace, so I just told the kids to do 3 beads in between each shamrock. I suggested putting beads on to make it look like a rainbow, and most of the kids thought it was a good idea. Some did their own patterns.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22nd Story Hour: Dragons

I have been waiting and waiting and WAITING to do a story hour on dragons. There are so many good dragon books out there. The ones I used are

  • Lovabye Dragon by Barbara Joossee
  • When a Dragon Moves in by Jodi Moore
  • Dragons Love Tacos By Adam Rubin
  • Me and my Dragon by David Biedrzycki 

I got the craft from THIS blog, and the kids LOVED it.

Dragons are so popular. Kids will go nuts over them. There are so many awesome books about dragons out there.
One really awesome thing about this craft is it's easy to make. It's just some folding and gluing. And of course kids love the wiggly eyes.

Lessons Learned from today's story hour:
1: Dragons love tacos
2: Kids LOVE dragons
3: Kids love making puppets

I've done one other story time where we made puppets. The results of that one were the same as this one: The kids went wild with their puppets.

Here's an excerpt of the aftermath:
Kid 1: Rawr: Give me some tacos!
Kid 2: Rararar! Not until you build me a sand castle!
*both attack each other in the face with their puppets*

Next time: I haven't decided if I want to do St. Patrick's Day or some other theme. I guess you'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8: Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day (almost). Here is what we did on February 8th for Valentine's Day:

  • Ruby Valentine and the Sweet Surprise 
  • Love is all around North Dakota by Wendy Silvano (we live in ND, but there are other state versions of this book)
  • Love Monster by Rachel Bright
  • Froggy's First Kiss by Jonathan London 
My favorite part of story time is the kids' reaction to the stories. 
Love Monster was all around the kids' favorite book. The first page reads "This is a monster (hello Monster)." All the kids said "hello monster" with me. A few pages on, the book reads "poor monster" and of course the kids had to say poor monster. 
I read Froggy's First Kiss and of course every kid said "EWWWWW!" when Frogalina kisses Froggy. They loved it. 
Craft: Heart Window Clings

  • Washi Tape (Valentine's Day themed or other)
  • Heart cut-outs 
  • Glue

  • Each child will need two heart cut-outs and some washi tape.
  • decorate one heart with the tape
  • once the hole is covered, glue the second heart over the first, so that the sticky side is down.
  • Stick your completed craft to a window!

I had the kids make their heart on a ziplock bag, that way they could take the bag, peel the heart off, and stick it right on the window.

And of course we had to have a treat after story time, so I got these heart shaped suckers from our local Candy store (buy locally if you can!) and added a little extra to them with foam graphics I got at Hobby Lobby.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Story Hour: Animals in Winter

I'm always looking for themes for story hour. Sometimes I find a really awesome theme, but can't find books to go with it. Other times, I find the perfect book(s), but can't find or create a craft to go along. That was my problem with Animals in Winter. The books I picked were

  • Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams
  • One Snowy Rescue by Christina M. Butler
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett

I love all these  books. They are perfect for a non-Christmas themed Winter story time. But it took me ages to come up with a craft. Finally, one of my regular patrons, who sometimes helps me cut out shapes for the story time crafts, suggested animal masks. It was perfect! 
For the craft, you will need
  • foam sheets
  • Sticky-back foam (unless you'd rather use glue)
  • hole puncher
  • 8" strips of ribbon
  • Mask templates, found HERE (or create your own!)
  • Exacto knife

I looked around Pinterest for some ideas and found some really great templates, but I chose to do a bear mask, the template for which I had to create myself. However, after cutting out all the necessary parts for the bear and actually having story hour, I found that the original bear template was nowhere to be found, and for that I apologize. 
Basically all I did was freehand half a bear, fold the paper in 
half, and cut it out. I did the same for the snout. 

How to create foam masks: 
  • If you are using sticky back foam, cut the mask bases out of regular foam, and the rest out of the sticky-back foam.
  • Use and Exacto knife to cut out the eyes
  • Use a hole puncher to punch holes for the ribbon

The kids can do the rest, which is basically just sticking the masks together and tying on the ribbon. Ta-da! Animal masks the kids will love.

Back in the Game

I took a small (almost 1 year) break to have a baby and adjust to my new position as library director. It was a busy year. On top of being a mom and new boss, my children's librarian left to go work at the school library (no hard feelings, she loves it there), so I've been doing the children's librarian duties as well. But I thought now that I'm used to all three positions, I should get back to blogging.

I'll be focusing most of my future posts on story time and the summer reading program, but you may see a post every now and then about being a director or about the crafts and things I create with my free time.

If you want to see what I've been up to lately, you can check out my Pinterest pages or my library Facebook Page, located on the right-hand side of the screen.
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