Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for June, 2014

Outdoor Storytime: Tigers

oh-noOur library has a summer series of stories in the parks.  Although there have been several already by other staff members, today was my first outdoor storytime of the season.  The weather was iffy – it rained overnight and the ground was soaked, and it is clearly planning to rain again some time today, but I just went ahead and did it outdoors.  At least it didn’t start raining during the storytime.

I am not totally comfortable with outdoor storytimes.  I love the idea, but in reality you’re competing with the playground and the street noise, and everyone spreads out so much that it’s hard to show the book or project loud enough for them to hear you.  Today I got interrupted by a street sweeper and a train (too bad it wasn’t vehicle storytime!)  I had about 25 kids; some were too young to participate, and some were old enough that they didn’t want to, so my participatory crowd was pretty small.  I soldiered through, even when one toddler left for the playground in the middle of the last story, prompting a mass exodus of toddlers.  I have used all of these stories in storytimes before, with much better success, so I’m going to chalk today up to the outdoors-ness, and try to think about how I might do next week’s outdoor storytime differently to minimize the distractions.

Want to know more?  Read on!


Preschool Explorers: Dinosaurs

dino-fossil This was the second of three Preschool Explorers programs I’m doing this summer for 3-5 year olds with an adult.  I’m starting with a  story and song and then providing a range of activities for kids to explore at their own pace.  I could actually have done a whole summer of just dinosaurs and not run out of activities, so I had to choose from among many, many fun options.  I ended up with a dinosaur dig, play dough fossil making, erupting volcanoes, dinosaur sticker scenes, and a big roll out sheet to see how you compare in size to several different types of dinosaurs.

One of the things that really ended up working well was having different kinds of activities to appeal to different kinds of kids – there were sand kids and play dough kids and sticker kids and marker kids, and they all found many things to do, but one thing to really get into.  (Everyone, as it turns out, is a volcano kid.)

Want to know more?  Read on!

Preschool Explorers: Colors

color-mixingI posted my plans for the color program a few weeks ago, but now I’ve filled in some of the details.  It was a blast, although I was totally exhausted by the time I’d cleaned up.  Next week is dinosaurs, and then water.  I can’t wait!

Want to know more?  Read on!

Boys and Books: How to Eat Fried Worms

fried-wormsI kicked off my summer programming with a 3rd-4th grade boys’ book group.  We did not eat any worms, but we did talk about the book, play “would you rather”, make dirt cups, and watch part of the movie.  All the boys had a good time.  One of the moms remarked afterwards how nice it was that all the boys spoke up at the book group – apparently, they are not all participators in the classroom.  It was a great way to start a summer!

Want to know more?  Read on!

Coming Soon: Preschool Explorers (Take 2)

dino-digHonestly, there are so many cool dino activities that I could do a week’s worth and not run out.  I’m having trouble reining myself in for a 45-minute program.  So if anyone attended my five-year-old’s birthday party and sees some repeat activities, just know that I’m going with tried-and-true here.  I’ll let you know how it went in a couple of weeks, but for now, here’s Preschool Explorers: Dinos (in planning mode).

Coming Soon: Preschool Explorers

color-viewersI don’t usually post programs until after I’ve done them, but I think I’ll make an exception for this series, in case anyone is planning science storytimes this summer for the Fizz Boom Read theme.

I’m sure I stole this idea from someone else, but Preschool Explorers is a 45-minute preschool program with a few stories and songs and then a number of art and science activities for kids to do with a caregiver.  Unlike our typical school year storytimes, I am limiting to 18 participants, ages 3-5, and kids must come with an adult.  I will post as I plan and then update after the event.

Colors – June 19

Dinosaurs – June 26

Water – July 10


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