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Boys & Books: Ghost (5th-8th grade)

I’ve been having trouble scaring up boys of all ages for our parent-child book clubs lately.  Tonight, I had 6 families signed up, which was amazing (especially for the older boys).  Only 3 showed up, which is sort of my minimum for a decent discussion, but we had a lot of fun.  All of the boys attended as 3rd and 4th graders, and it was fun listening to them (and their parents) reminiscing about favorite past activities.  We had a great discussion and the games went over well.

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Storytime: Birthdays

Who doesn’t love birthdays?  The cake, the presents, the balloons, the shaving cream…  Wait, what?  This was a fun storytime – there are lots of good birthday books and songs – but the craft totally kicked it up a notch.  Homemade puffy paint for the win!  

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Boys and Books: Dying to Meet You

approved3Our 3rd and 4th grade parent-child book club read Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise in October.  I was having trouble deciding on an activity, and then at the last minute I decided to have them use a green screen app to put their pictures in front of a haunted house.  Super fun!

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Storytime: Colors

color-mixing1 There are so many good color books it’s hard to choose – we have done whole seasons focused on one color per week.  We started off by talking about favorite colors, and then shared some familiar books and songs, plus one book that was new to everyone.  We finished up with a color mixing activity.

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Storytime: Clothes and Costumes

After having sort of a “meh” storytime last week, it was nice to come in and rock this one.  These were stories and songs that I have used before, with just a few tweaks, so it wasn’t super new (to me), but the kids loved it all anyway, even the stories they already knew.  It’s been hard for me lately to find a good balance of reusing things that I know will be successful while still stretching and growing and trying new things.  This storytime leaned to the old and familiar, but it was super fun.

One thing that was new to me was the craft.  This week we experimented with fabric and felt, and also did some cutting and gluing.  The kids definitely enjoyed the process (and some got into the product as well.)

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Storytime: Houses and Homes

little-mouseWe continued our community themes with Houses and Homes.  This was the first one where a non-traditional craft was an easy activity choice.  We built houses for assorted plastic figurines using a variety of building toys.  Lots of fun!

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Storytime: Pets

I continued the “getting to know you” storytime sequence last week with Family (which I guess I forgot to post about) and this week with Pets.  Most of the kids who had pets in the group had dogs,  but there was one cat owner.  I ended up reading a dog story and a cat story, with a bigger variety of animals represented in the songs and the craft.

One of the things I’ve found more challenging in moving from the Alphabet themes of the past few years to more traditional themes is that I’m having trouble finding appropriate process crafts.  With concrete themes, I keep coming up with ideas that are more concrete products.  This week, I decided to have us create our own pet store with different kinds of pets.  I put out white butcher paper on the tables and put different materials on each table – dot paints and markers; feathers, googly eyes, glue, and crayons; and pom poms, googly eyes, glue, and crayons.  I thought the kids would move around between the tables to use the different materials.  What really happened was that some of them pulled up chairs, which led others to pull up chairs, which led them all to stay just where they started.  There was a little bit of movement of materials from table to table, but not much, so most of the kids just ended up with the materials they started with.  At the dot paint table, many of the adults drew animals, which the kids then colored in with the dot paints.  At the other two tables, there was some pretty creative animal-making, but then the kids ended up wanting to take their creations home.  So I took out scissors and construction paper so they could cut out their animals and carry them home.

Want to know more?  Read on!

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