Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for December, 2015

Letter M Storytime

floating magnetsLetter M could also have gone on for quite some time – after all, mice and monkeys and magnets and monsters have all had their own storytimes (although not all since I’ve started blogging).

One of the things that has happened over the course of this fall is that patrons have gotten used to having activities other than crafts at the end of storytime.  This gives us a lot of flexibility, and also allows us to reuse some materials that we have created for other programs.  It makes me a little less excited about doing labor-intensive science storytimes, but it shouldn’t — after all, storytime re-use justifies the time spent creating some of those activities.

We’ve had a fun fall, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the alphabet this spring (although letter N is looking like a thin one so far.)

Want to know more?  Read on!


Engineering Challenge: 3-D Shapes

IMG_2423The Engineering Challenges always work out to be so much easier than the Hands-On Science classes to plan and set up.  We find some cool materials, maybe with a formal challenge and maybe not, and then throw them out there and let the kids build.  I think some of these kids are starved for just general creative building time.  I’m amazed by both the vast energy and creativity they pour into it, and by the lack of ability at some basic skills like tearing tape.  This challenge — see what you can make out of craft sticks, straws, and tape — was so fun that we are going to recreate it for my daughter’s 9th birthday party next month.

Want to know more?  Read on!

Letter L Storytime

lemon-lime-printsLions and ladybugs and llamas, oh my!  I didn’t have any trouble coming up with books for L, but songs and large motor activities were harder.  This was one of those weeks where I was really glad to have brought a big selection of materials because I ended up needing shorter, more interactive books as opposed to longer, more involved stories.

The other presenters chose to do Legos for the activity.  I did fruit printing with lemons and limes, which smelled nice in addition to being fun and colorful.  Once more, I found that both standing and working on a shared project instead of a take-home project worked well.

Want to know more?  Read on!

Letter K Storytime

kite2The alphabet-themed storytimes are chugging along.  We will get about halfway through the alphabet this fall and then finish it up during the winter session.  That leaves spring to try something different.

I wasn’t sure how the letter theme would go, but as we near the halfway point, I have to say I like it.  It gives a nice structure to the program.  The kids have definitely gotten used to the format, and they enjoy the mystery bag and figuring out the letter of the day.  For a few letters, it’s been harder to find active songs, but there’s plenty of material if you’re creative.

This week we talked about kings, kittens, kites, and kisses and we even flew homemade kites (kind of).

Want to know more?  Read on!

Boys and Books: Dodger & Me

rock-paper-scissors-baseballWe’ve had a pretty consistent group of boys this year.  This was a small group, but we had a lot of fun.  It actually worked out well; we played two competitive games, so having two teams was perfect.

Some of the moms who have third and fourth grade girls as well were talking afterwards about how Boys and Books differs from Mother-Daughter Book Club.  They enjoy both programs, but agreed that the girls are more active in the discussions (I think one of them used the word “hyper”) and the boys get more into the activities.

We started Mother-Daughter Book Club two years ago, and Boys and Books a few months later.  Having seen parents request activities that they then don’t show up for, I’ve been consistently impressed with the response to both of these programs.  We’ve now had a request for a second grade book club, which should be coming soon (although it won’t be mine).  I’m still really enjoying the boys.  There are lots of good books for this age group, and lots of fun activities to go with them!

Want to know more?  Read on!

Roads & Bridges Science Storytime

lego-marbleThis was so fun!!  I stole most of the ideas from WonderWorks: Mazes, Trails, Pathways, and Roads, although I ended up doing a very different selection of activities.  One of the things I like about these STEM storytimes is trying to make sure we have a broad selection of activities.  I had a slightly crafty station, Lego building, Thomas trains, sensory bags, and even a large motor obstacle course station.  Many of the kids end up spending most of their time at a favorite station, so I think it’s nice to appeal to as many different kinds of learners as possible.

Want to know more?  Read on!

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