Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fancy Nancy Christmas Party

I've hosted numerous Fancy Nancy Parties during my three years at my current library system. Click here to read about them. But as popular as Fancy Nancy is, the parties get a little monotonous. This year, I decided to do something different and have a Fancy Nancy Christmas Party. Here's what I did:

We started off by signing "Jingle Bells" accompanied by Dean Martin and jingle bell wristlets. After that I read Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas.

We took another music break. This tine it was "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helm. I let the girls choose our second book. The choices were The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett, The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood, and Red Sled by Lita Judge. They chose The Night Before Christmas.

After that we played a game: Snowball Toss. I have the girls paper wads, practice golf balls, and wiffle balls to toss into a basket. If I ever do this again, I'll also include cotton balls.

We moved on to the craft portion of the event. I had two crafts for the girls to make: Christmas Cards and Jingle Bell Bead Ornaments.

For the cards, the girls glued a tree cut from scrapbook paper on a blank card.

The bead ornament is an idea I adapted from something I saw at a local elementary school last year. Secure a jingle bell on a pipe cleaner. Sting beads on, leaving enough pipe cleaner to make a loop at the top. Once it's complete, you can curl it around your fingers to give it a spiral shape.

After the crafts, we did a little indoor ice skating courtesy of some wax paper. This library branch's meeting room is tiny, so we ice skated in the main part of the library.

We did photos posed in front of a wrapped door with the girls holding a frame. I adapted this from something I saw on Pinterest.

We ended with snacks (cookies, holiday m&m's, and kool-aid). As the girls left, they picked up a packet with three sheets from the Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas event kit: a coloring sheet, a December activity calendar, and instructions of how to replicate Fancy Nancy's tree topper.

I was pleased with how this event turned out. We had 10 girls in attendance which was a good turnout given that we were limited to 20. I look forward to trying this event out next year at my other branches.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Flannel Friday: Shark & Fish

I originally made this set (shark & 5 fish) because I was inspired by Jane's post. Then as I was planning a shark themed storytime I realized I didn't have that many great book options.

I decided to make a few additional pieces (seaweed, seashell, and rock) to retell "The Three Little Fishies and the Big, Bad Shark." I used the script from the 2009 CSLP summer reading manual and just used the bits that sounded like the Three little pigs. I used the patterns from the manual to make the fish and the shark. I free-handed the shark's mouth. I used clipart for the seaweed, seashell, and rock.

Kristen, Kristie, & Sue have the round up this week.

Important Links:
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Our Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Anna (@opinionsbyanna).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Molly: An American Girl Party

My second ever American Girl even focused on Molly McIntire, a patriotic girl growing up during World War II. After I had selected Molly as the focus I found out that American Girl will be retiring her at the end of this year.

I started off the event by sharing some information from Welcome to Molly's World, 1944: Growing Up in World War Two America (Victory Style, Playtime in Wartime, Play Ball, & Movies).

After that we played a game suggested by the Molly Event Kit, Catch the Thief. This game reminded me of Doggy and the Bone. The girls really enjoyed it.

Before moving onto the craft portion of the event, I showed the girls the various displays I had set up around the room.

American Girl Books 
Books Set during World War II & Children's Books from the 1940s

Board Games & Card Games from the 1940s
Movies from the 1940s

I had two crafts for the girls to make: paint chip bookmarks and handmade greeting cards. I took my cue from Molly's Craft Book. It talked about children making useful things and using what they had.

While they were crafting we listened to some 1940s music, primarily Glenn Miller.

After the crafts, we had refreshments. Since going to the movies was one of the highlights of Molly's week, I decided to serve theater style refreshments. We had popcorn and candy. For the candy, I tried to only serve those created before or during the 1940s.

Before the girls left, I had them vote for the top three historical American Girls they would like to have an event on next. Kit, Caroline, Felicity, and Julie came in on top. I'll be doing Kit in the spring and I want to do Kaya next November to tie in with Native American Heritage Month.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rabbit's Snow Dance by James & Joseph Bruchac

An impatient rabbit plus one snow dance equals disaster for the same rabbit.

What I thought: Very enjoyable! This would be a great story to share with older elementary students (say second grade). I've heard a version of this story (i.e., how rabbit lost his long tail), but it was a Cherokee version. I love the illustrations. Rabbit and all his expressions are very well done.

(Illus. Jeff Newman. Dial, 2012)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Teddy Bear Picnic

In November I hosted a Teddy Bear Picnic at one of my library branches. The impetus of this program was the library's mascot (a huge stuffed bear named Walter) acquiring a picnic basket. The library assistant who looks after Walter asked me if we could have such an event. I though it was a great idea!

The kids were invited to bring a stuffed bear friend with them to the program. We started things off with the movement rhyme "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear." I modified it to include several fun actions. We read Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson. Then did a flannel board activity involving a bear, some bees, a beehive, and lots of bandages. (I'll be blogging about this soon for Flannel Friday.)

Then I read Don't Worry, Douglas! by David Melling and we went on a "Cool Bear Hunt" courtesy of Dr. Jean. The next book I shared was If You Were a Panda Bear by Wendell & Florence Minor. We then danced to the action song "Rockabye Your Bear" by The Wiggles. We did Blue Ted Said on the flannel board.

I read Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier. We played a find the honey pot game with the flannel board (a honey pot hiding behind one of five bears). The last book I shared was About a Bear by Holly Surplice.

After the storytime portion of the event, we played two games: food toss into a picnic basket (I used my crocheted food props: peanut, cheese, donut, and carrot.) and Pin the Bee on the Bear.

After the games, we moved onto the craft portion of the program. I discovered this sleeping bear craft from Storytime Katie's blog via Pinterest. It looked simple enough to duplicate so I did.

We had a snack of goldfish crackers, cookies, and kool-aid. As the kids left, I invited them to browse ourt bear book display and take a packet of coloring sheets I printed from Elizabeth Dulemba's Coloring Page Tuesdays.

This event was very successful (we had 17 children attend--a fantastic attendance for that particular branch) and I look forward to using it at my other branches.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Reader by Amy Hest

The adventure of one boy and his dog--sleds, snow, and books.

What I thought: Such a nice story. I'm a sucker for any book about the joys of reading. The illustrations are lovely. The snow looks so real.

Storytime Themes: Winter, Books, Dogs

(Illus. Lauren Castillo. Amazon Children's Publishing, 2012)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bunnies on Ice by Johanna Wright

One young bunny declares she is a champion ice skater. But even champions have to wait on the weather.

What I thought: Such  delightful book for winter! Johanna Wright's newest book is as lovely as her others, The Secret Circus and Bandits. I love the black lines and how the texture of the canvas shows throught. My favorite illustration is the bunny twirling. I also like the mushrooms that show up in several illustrations.

Storytime Themes: Winter, Ice Skating, Animals in Winter

(Neal Porter, 2013)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Flannel Friday Round-Up for November 22, 2013

Here's the round up for November 22. Lots of great contributions...Thanksgiving ideas, animals, teeth, and a song to mention a few.

Kathryn shares an interactive non flannel prop for a cookie themed storytime.

Emily shares her first ever Flannel Friday post: We're Looking for an Animal That Starts With... It's a hiding game similar to Little Mouse, Little Mouse, but you can use it with various animals.

Christine brings us a felt set for The Wheels on the Bus.

Meg shares a ladybug with numbered spots.

Anne brings a Native American themed set for Three Sisters.

Katie F. shares a Google Drive presentation she created for The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont.

SLC Book Boy share Five Turkeys just in time for Thanksgiving.

Jenna brings us a felt version of Henny Penny.

Lisa shares a felt set for Mouse's First Snow by Laura Thompson.

L. Thacker brings us a Which Fish? felt set.

Tara is on a roll this week with 2 posts. The first is for several Thanksgiving themed felt sets. The second is filled with teeth flannel board ideas.

I'm sharing my crocheted cat magnets this week.

Kay has the round up next week.

Important Links:
Flannel Friday Blog
Flannel Friday on Pinterest
Flannel Friday on Facebook
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #FlannelFriday.
Our Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Anna (@opinionsbyanna).

Friday, November 22, 2013

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Cats

These are crocheted cat magnets to use with my small magnet board. I made up the pattern myself. The body is one piece, the head is one piece, and then you sew them together. Here's a link to the pattern. I normally use these when I do my Dr. Seuss storytime, hence the wonderfully bright colors.

And here is an original rhyme to go with the cats:

This Little CatThis little cat likes to run
This little cat likes to nap
This little cat likes to play
This little cat likes to sneak & stalk
This little cat likes to MEOW
[Bridget R. Wilson]

I have the round up this week.

Important Links:
Flannel Friday Blog
Flannel Friday on Pinterest
Flannel Friday on Facebook
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #FlannelFriday.
Our Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Anna (@opinionsbyanna).

Friday, November 8, 2013

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving Flannel Friday Round Up!

As you can see, these are crocheted turkey backside magnets. I used this pattern and use my turkeys with a variety of "5 Little Turkeys" rhymes.

Tracey has the round up this week.

Important Links:
Flannel Friday Blog
Flannel Friday on Pinterest
Flannel Friday on Facebook
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the hashtag #FlannelFriday.
Our Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother is Anna (@opinionsbyanna).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Teen Event: Life Size Clue

For Teen Read Week (TRW) I planned and hosted a Life Size Clue event for the teens at one of my library branches. I was lucky enough to receive one of the ten TRW grants through YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to fund this event.

The TRW theme this year was "Seek the Unknown." That paired with several of my regular teens' interest in crime and mystery TV shows, prompted me to plan the Life Size Clue event. I found inspiration online from GreenBean TeenQueen, Abby the Librarian, Wandering Through Words, eHow, and Wikipedia.

Following the advice of several librarians who had put on this event in the past, I only included six of the nine rooms (kitchen, dining room, conservatory, lounge, billiard room, & library) on the game board in my life size version. With the help of my intern and work study student, we put down the game board in a little over an hour. I printed up the room signs and indicated any secret passages on them. The players' starting squares were indicated by colored paper. Both these and the room signs were taped down with masking tape.

For the weapons, we used a toy knife, a toy gun, a glass candlestick holder from the Dollar Tree, a small wrench from my car's toolkit, an aluminum foil covered paper towel tube for the lead pipe, and rope from a plant hanger.

For the player props, we found bandanas that suited their names except for Mr. Green. That prop was oversized green glasses from the Dollar Tree.

Before we began playing, we fed the teens pizza, goldfish crackers, cookies, and soda.

After eating they picked teams. We had 12 attend so we had six teams of two. One person was the game piece. The other kept track of the cards, the dice, and the case sheet.

In the middle of the game board (the hall on the actual game board), we had the murder scene, the confidential case file and a bloody handkerchief...proof that Mr. Boddy was indeed murdered.

We followed the board game rules. We managed to play three and a half times in two hours. Winners got to choose a prize (DVDs, duct tape, candy bars).

I used part of the grant funds to add new mystery titles to the YA collection. These were displayed in the meeting room along with a book list.

I also did a blind date with a book display to further encourage teens to "Seek the Unknown."

Before leaving the teens all filled out a short survey for me. I asked questions about their enjoyment of the program, how likely they would be to come to another event, when was the best time for them to attend programs, and for any program suggestions.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mouse & Friends Party

In October, I hosted a Mouse & Friends Party at two of my library branches. The party was all about Laura Numeroff's If You Give...book series.

The event started off with storytime. I read If You Give a Pig a Party because it introduces all the characters, those with books and without (Mouse, Moose, Pig, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Fox, and Snake). Then we played with my If You Give... felt set.

After that I read If You Give a Moose a Muffin. I chose this title as it's good for the fall season. After reading that book, we wrote our own circular stories using a template I found online. The template wasn't perfect, but we had fun with it.

Then it was time for a group game or two. I had three options for the kids to choose from.

If You Give...Bingo (used the word list from my felt set and Print-Bingo.com to create randomized order. I added clipart using Microsoft Word)

Musical Desserts (just like a cake walk, but using cookie, muffin, pancake, cupcake, & donut)

"Dog, Dog, Where's Your Donut?" (like Doggy, doggy, Where's your bone?)

After the group games, we did a craft: moose paper bag puppets. I found the idea here.

Following the craft, I releases the kids to the following stations:

Cookie Dice Game (find the idea here)

Moosey-Winks (find the idea here)

The Great Cookie Chase (an activity sheet from the MouseCookieBooks website)

We enjoyed refreshments. The kids could check out books from a Laura Numeroff & Other Circular Stories Book Display.

I sent the kids home with a packet of activity sheets from the MouseCookieBooks website (Decorate Your Own Cupcake, Make Your Own Donut, Dog's Memory Challenge, Help Pig Add Some Color to Her Party, and What's a Party Without Cake?)