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Archive for October, 2014

Halloween Family Storytime

ghost-huntWe usually plan one or two family Halloween storytimes outside of our usual storytime schedule, on evenings and/or weekends.  We encourage kids to come dressed up, and we focus specifically on Halloween stories, songs, and crafts.  We bill it as ages 3 and up.  I did one of these events the Tuesday evening before Halloween.  There were about 35 kids, and while I definitely had some 2s, there were few (if any) toddlers or babies.

One thing I noticed was how laid back and participatory the group was.  I tried to make it an extra-specially-participatory event — even more than normal — and it was great to see the adults going along with me.  When I asked them to clap or sing, they did it.  I kind of think it was the Halloween-ness that loosened people up.  Once you come in with your kids dressed like the Statue of Liberty (true) or a carrot (also true), you’re just more willing to let go and have fun.  Right?

Want to know more?  Read on!


Orange Storytime


Overall, it was kind of a strange morning, but good.  It started with a madhouse of a Babytime – 30 babies, when I usually get closer to 20.  Sometimes a big group is hard because not everyone fits in the circle, and then the guys in the back zone out or get chatty. This group managed to fit everyone in and stay focused, which was amazing.

Then I had only 13 kiddos at Storytime, when, again, 20-something is more normal.  Sometimes small groups are hard because one non-attentive kid gets everyone riled up, or they get shy about participating.  Again, though, they were a really nice group.  So – strange, but good.  (Clearly, in my perfect world, all story programs would be non-registered but still somehow end up with 18 babies for Babytime and 24 preschoolers for Storytime.)

We chose the Orange and Black storytimes to fall close to Halloween so that we could do a healthy mix of Halloween stories both weeks, without committing to full-on Halloween madness.  (We also do two Halloween-specific storytimes geared at families with working parents, one on the weekend and one on a weekday evening.)  I did include pumpkins and Halloween, but also goldfish and – orange aardvarks?  Really?

Want to know more?  Read on!

Hands-On Science: Magnets (Gr K-2)

floating magnetsThe little guys had their chance at Hands-On Science: Magnets yesterday.  I made the changes we talked about last time, and it went really well.  We had 16 kids, mostly kindergarteners, with me and two volunteers.  The centers definitely kept them busy, and 45 minutes was just about right – they were engaged the whole time, but I’m not sure we would have gone on much longer.  Preschool magnets is coming in November!

Purple Storytime

color-mixThe color storytimes continue.  This week was Purple.  I’m not super-crazy about purple, and I couldn’t think of a ton of good purple things, so I used this in part as an opportunity to talk about color mixing.  Herve Tullet’s new interactive book, Mix It Up, was really fun, and I followed it up with a color-mixing activity where the kids could create their own colors.  Tech Services gave me these sheets of cardboard ages ago — they came in the bottom of some kind of boxes — and I knew I’d be able to use them some day.  They turned out to make great color mixing palettes.  This is why youth librarians never throw anything away!

Want to know more?  Read on!


Boys and Books: Squids Will Be Squids

squids-will-be-squidsAfter last month’s Boys & Books, when we built new floors for the 13-Story Tree House out of Legos, I thought the kids might be a little bit bored with paper-and-pencil type activities.  But, really, what else can you do with Squids Will Be Squids besides write your own silly fables? And you know what?  It was fine.  Everyone got a chance to write a little and read a little and create a little and get a little silly.  There was no large motor activity, no competition, and no Legos, but there was a lot of fun, and a good chance for boys to interact with their parents.  So I’ll chalk it up as a win.

Want to know more?  Read on!

Red Storytime

apple-printThe color storytimes continue.  This week we focused on Red.  It was a tandem week, which means two storytellers per storytime. We try to do these periodically.  It’s good training for staff, fun for patrons, and gives us the chance to try some stories that just work better with two tellers.  Since it’s also fall, we did a lot with apples – cutting open an apple to reveal the star inside never gets old!

Want to know more?  Read on!

Heroes of Olympus Book Party

blood-of-olympusThis has been a great season for tween programming.  We’ve been targeting our 5th to 8th graders, and have had a few very successful programs lately.  Last month, there was a Take-Apart Night where one of our YS staff teamed with members of our Maintenance team to help kids dissect defunct library equipment.  As you might imagine, a great time was had by all.

Later this month, we’re bringing in a makeup artist to run a Halloween makeup class for tweens.  The 20 spots filled in 2 days.  It’s not uncommon for our preschool or elementary programs to fill quickly, but I think this was a first for the middle school / junior high crowd – we had to add a second session!

This week, we celebrated the release of The Blood of Olympus with a Heroes of Olympus Book Party.  This event was a mix of large motor, writing, and craft activities.  We opened it to kids in 4th through 8th grades, and had a nice crowd of 4th through 7th graders.  In fact, we had 108% attendance – 24 kids signed up, and 26 came for the program!  Two of us planned and ran the program, and it was a fair amount of work, but it ended up being super successful.

Want to know more?  Read on!


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