Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Reading Week 8

This week I had 22 events with a total attendance of 339. 

Here's a breakdown of the week:
  • 5 community story times
  • 4 community school age events
  • 2 day camp story time
  • 8 day camp school age events
  • 2 movies
  • 1 special event (Alice in Wonderland Event)
This week the story time theme was Digging Machines. Loved reading the new book Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail by James Horvath.  The school age event theme was Digging Up Trouble with Tricksters. I enjoyed sharing trickster tales from both America and other countries. The activities suggested by Beyond the Book Storytimes Blog (tricky photographs, tricky nature, and tricky words) were fabulous. Librarian friends on Twitter suggested a few tricky games: Duck, Duck, Goose and Trickster Says. The 2nd Alice in Wonderland Event had a low attendance. I'm beginning to wish that I had just used it as one of  my weekly themes.

Next week, I also have 22 events that include my last Alice in Wonderland Event for ages 7-12 and the last visits from the day camps. Reading logs are due next week and events end. The 10th week is presentation of certificates & prize bags as well as the grand prize drawing.

#FlannelFriday: Lunch by Denise Fleming

While making the pieces for "Gopher in the Garden," I realized I only needed to make a few extra pieces to have a set to go with Lunch by Denise Fleming. I used Microsoft Office Clipart as patterns for the fruits and veggies and a coloring sheet for the mouse. I used this set during my Digging in the Vegetable Garden preschool story time this summer.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Reading Week 7

This week I had 22 events with a total attendance of 456. 

Here's a breakdown of the week:
  • 5 community story times
  • 4 community school age events
  • 1 day camp story time
  • 6 day camp school age events
  • 2 movies
  • 1 special event (Alice in Wonderland Event)
  • 1 teen event (movie night)
  • 2 performances by a comedian/juggler/magician
This week the story time theme was Digging Animals. The school age event theme was More Animals Underground. We focused on sand diggers (crabs and sea turtles) and again I used a game suggested by the CSLP manual. The Alice in Wonderland Event and the teen movie night both had low attendance, but everyone had fun.

Next week, I also have 22 events that includes my 2nd Alice in Wonderland Event for ages 7-12.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Angry Birds™ Live Event

The first inspiration for this event came when I saw National Geographic Angry Birds: 50 True Stories of the Fed Up, Feathered, and Furious by Mel White in a Scholastic Book Fair at one of my branches. I decided then and there to have an Angry Birds event that would pair nonfiction with the ever popular game.


 After that I started finding other librarians' Angry Birds™ programs including Bryce Don't Play, The Show Me Librarian, Teen Librarian Toolbox, PUBYAC, & Future Librarian Superhero.

Several of my ideas also came from Pinterest. Check out my Angry Birds Event Pinterest board for more inspiration.

To start the program, I asked the kids why the birds are so angry. Of course they told me because the pigs had stolen their eggs and planned to eat them. We then went on an egg hunt in the children's section. Finder of the most eggs received an Angry BirdsColoring and Activity Book.

After the egg hunt, I shared from the National Geographic book: the different levels, the Angry Birds, and a few real angry birds (Northern Cardinal, Canada Goose, and Blue Jay).

After sharing the book, it was time to play a life size version of the game. I had been saving flat pieces of cardboard for months and had a plethora of paper towel roll tubes from past crafts. We used wadded up sheets of green paper as pigs. Our projectiles were rubber ducks, small bouncy balls, Ping-Pong balls, and practice golf balls.

Depending on the number of kids, they either formed teams or worked individually. I borrowed the idea of levels from Bryce over at Bryce Don't Play. I challenged the kids to build 5 different structures. The first was one level high, the second two, and so on. After successfully building and destroying the five levels, they received the ultimate challenge: to build and destroy the largest structure possible.

Once everyone finished the game, we used an activity sheet from Expressive Monkey to draw our own Angry Birds. I also had photo props for the kids to ham around with (beaks & eyebrows). I found the patterns on The Party Animal Blog.

To end the event, we had snacks (Angry Bird fruit snacks, Angry Bird Cheese Nips, and Kool-Aid), I gave out packets of Angry Bird Coloring sheets, and the kids could check out books from a Nonfiction bird book display.

I did this event twice this spring. A total of 32 kids and 26 adults attended. I'll definitely be using this event again in the future.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cinderella Around the World Event

Ever since I saw the idea for a Cinderella Around the World Event in the 2011 CSLP Manual (One World, Many Stories), I knew I wanted to host such an event. But 2011 was my first year doing a summer reading program and I just did the weekly events without any extra events.

Finally in the spring of this year, I was able to plan and host my own Cinderella Around the World Event. This event was for girls ages 7-12. I had 10 girls and 8 adults including me attend.

I began with a Mix & Match Cinderella on the flannel board. Thanks again to Melissa Depper for sharing her idea with me. This was an easy, visual way to explore the many versions of Cinderella from around the world. The age of the girls attended skewed a little younger than I was expecting. As such, they only wanted to use the pieces they were familiar with (pots & pans, fairy godmother, glass slipper, and pumpkin coach).

After that I read Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman and shared the poem "Cinderella's Double Life" from Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by mArilyn Singer.

We then moved on the craft portion of the program. I recycled a few ideas from my previous Fancy Nancy parties. The girls made necklaces and fancy ponytail holders so we would be ready for the ball. They also colored/decorated their very own glass slippers.

Then they did tangram puzzles. This was a nod to the Chinese Cinderella and from the book Teaching with Cinderella Stories from Around the World by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck.

We played Pin the Jewel on the Crown and the girls posed with some photo props (wand, clock, and crown). We had refreshments and gave gave away door prizes (Disney Princesses jigsaw puzzles).


I had a display of Cinderella Versions and Variants (with book list) and country books.

A few activities we didn't have time for were a Cinderella Mad-Lib I found on PUBYAC and the ball gown wrap (Use toilet paper and/or crepe paper to make someone a ball gown.)
I'd like to do another event similar to this, but open it up to other fairy tales. I hope you enjoyed my reflection. If you have any ideas to share, please leave them in the comments. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Reading Week 6

This week I had 21 events with a total attendance of 416.  Day camp groups were back in session this week.

Here's a breakdown of the week:
  • 5 community story times
  • 4 community school age events
  • 1 day camp story time
  • 9 day camp school age events
  • 2 movies
This week the story time theme was Underground Insects. I really liked reading One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes. The kids really liked marching around the room with "The Ants Go Marching" playing. The school age event theme was Insects Underground. The games suggested by the CSLP manual (Ant Toss & Longest Worm Relay) were a hit. I substituted black rocks for plastic ants.

Next week, I have 22 events. These include my 1st Alice in Wonderland Event for ages 7-12, a teen movie night, and 2 performances by a comedian/juggler.

#FlannelFriday: Five Dinosaurs

Patterns came from Mel's Desk. I used the rhyme in the Dig Into Reading manual "Five Enormous Dinosaurs." Before using the rhyme, I had the kids identify the dinosaurs and their colors.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spring Teen Events

At one of my branches, I host a preteen/teen event every month. It works best for me to include ages 11-17 at this branch. Here's what I did this spring:

In February, we had a Fairy Tale Movie Night in honor of the Grimm Brothers' birthdays (one in January & one in February). I always provide movie options and let the teens vote. Choices for this event included Tangled, A Cinderella Story, Enchanted, Inkheart, Ella Enchanted, Shrek, Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton), Mulan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid, and Sydney White. I also had a book display of fairy tale retellings and poetry.

March is National Craft Month and as such, I always like to do something crafty. This year we had a National Craft Month Extravaganza and made paint chip bookmarks and pixel art with candy. Both ideas came from Pinterest.

I always like to do something to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. This year, I planned a Puzzles and Poems event. We worked jigsaw puzzles and created found poetry using 2 different methods: book spine poems and blackout poetry.

I wanted to do an easy yet enjoyable event in May as I would be in the midst of finalizing summer reading plans. I went with a game night and we played Apples to Apples. Everyone had a great time including me!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Kirsten, An American Girl Event

This event was for girls only ages 7-12. It had to be rescheduled because of inclement weather. I rescheduled it for the week after Spring Break. This wasn't a great time. Only 2 girls attended, but they had a blast.

First, I introduced them to Kirsten using the cover of her first book Meet Kirsten and selections from Welcome to Kirsten's World (toys, chores, school, games, and settler fashion). I brought a sunbonnet to show them and a recently retired staff member came dressed in frontier fashion.

We made button strings for our craft. We played Kitten in the Corner. This was a great game perfect for playing indoors. I know I'll be using it again.

I had a table set up with a string games display. I showed the girls how to make a cup and saucer and the Eiffel Tower. Jacob's Ladder was a little harder for them to learn.

We ended the event with refreshments, gingersnaps and lemonade.

I had a display of American Girl books as well as Kirsten read-alikes (pioneer and frontier life).

I have better success with attendance at this branch in the Fall so I'll definitely be planning another American Girl Event then. I may use Molly or Kit.

Because of the small turnout, I skipped several activities: the icebreaker activity, mini mystery, and I have a basket game. The first two are from the Kirsten Event Kit. The third is from The American Girls Party Book.

I apologize for the lack of pictures. I didn't get to take any of the set up.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Reading Week 5

This week I had 8 events with a total attendance of 138.  No day camp groups this week, one day is a holiday, and I gave myself another day off.

Here's a breakdown of the week:
  • 4 community story times
  • 3 community school age events
  • 1 movie
This week the story time theme was Underground Animals. Loved using the felt board this week. I did "Gopher in the Garden" and Five Little Bunnies. The school age event theme was Animals Underground.  The egg stack game suggested by the manual was fun, but a few times the paper towels were too strong and didn't ever break!

Next week, I have 21 events...just the usual. My 1st special event for July doesn't happen until July 16. It's an Alice in Wonderland Event for ages 7-12. The agenda on my wiki is rough. I'm still planning the event. .

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mad Hatter Tea Party

I held my first Mad Hatter Tea Party last spring before I had given much thought to 2013's teen summer reading theme of "Beneath the Surface." It was only after the event that I realized it would be perfect for 2013. I guess I can consider the one in 2012 a test run for my second Mad Hatter Tea Party.

Inspiration for this event came from the following: Abby the Librarian’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Plan, Amy’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Plan, Post from PUBYAC, another post from PUBYAC, "March Hare" chapter from Lithgow Party Paloozas!, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland party plan from Storybook Parties by Penny Warner & Liya Lev Oertel

This is one of the events that needs about two hours for decorating and set-up. During the summer, I'm lucky if I can manage an hour. Luckily the teens didn't seem to mind that we were running a little late. Two of my regular girls helped me prep the food while my volunteer Cathy completed the decorating.

The tables were covered with colorful plastic tablecloths. The table decorations were clear glass punch cups filled with flat marbles, ceramic items served as centerpieces (rabbit, teapot, clock, mushrooms). We also scattered two decks of playing cards down the table. The caterpillar and the Cheshire cat made appearances for photo ops.

Costumes were welcome but not required. We had Tweedledee, Tweedledum, the White Rabbit, and the dormouse. I came as the Cheshire Cat. Everyone was dressed up after the craft.

The first thing we did was eat! The menu this year was Tea/finger sandwiches (Pimiento cheese & Cucumber), Brownie bites, Lemon bars, Blueberry Scones with lemon curd, Fruit & dip (strawberries & grapes), Annie’s Cheddar bunnies, Chessmen cookies, Individually wrapped chocolates (presented in a tea cup & saucer with an “Eat Me” sign), and iced green tea (Lipton’s Orange, Passionfruit, & Jasmine).

After that we made Mad Hatter Hats. The instructions came from The Imaginary Librarian's blog. I'm glad I printed them ages ago because her blog has since disappeared. While they made their hats, I read them selections from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. After making the hats, we took photos of all the kids posing around the room with their new hats.

After that we did the dormouse hunt. Basically, you hide a small stuffed mouse under a teacup. Mix it in with others and have the teens find the dormouse.

Then it was time for the scavenger hunt. This was the first scavenger hunt I ever planned/wrote. If anyone has tips to share please do! Here it is:

  • Find the Cheshire Cat, the one without, not within, and you’ll have you’re first clue. (I read this one to them in the meeting room. There was a Cheshire Cat in the meeting room, but the clue directs them to the one in the mural in the children's section.)
  • The Queen of Hearts is quite angry. Perhaps a drink of water would cool her off? (This clue leads them to the water fountain.)
  • If you wanted to rescue the oysters from the Walrus here in the library, where would you find them? (This clue leads them to the fish tank.)
  • Tweedledee and Tweedledum love nonsensical poetry. Find a nonsense poem and you’re sure to find the next clue. Hint: check the online catalog. (This clue leads them to a book of poetry by Edward Lear in the j-non section.)
  • Alice meets a Sheep in a Shop in Through the Looking Glass. Your next clue is with the sheep. Hint: check the online catalog. (This clue leads them to Sheep in a Shop by Nancy Shaw in the easy section.)
  • Let’s paint the roses red! But first to find a rose bush! (This clue leads them outside to a rosebush.)
  • Find the White Rabbit in a place you normally wouldn't find a rabbit and you'll get a prize. (We gave them hot/cold clues as they walked around the library outside. A picture of the White Rabbit was in a tree. The prize was bubbles for our next activity.) 
After the scavenger hunt we blew bubbles in honor of the Caterpillar. Then we moved back inside for our Who Said That Trivia & Riddles. A correct answer gets them a piece of candy.  

A few things we didn't have time for were playing card towers, card toss into a hat, and a caucus race.

Last year, we made edible teacups, did the dormouse hunt, had a caucus race, played ninepins, ran an I'm Late sack race, and answered trivia.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Peter Rabbit Party

I love Peter Rabbit and all the other books Beatrix Potter wrote. I've read them all. In 2010 & 2011 I did a Beatrix Potter Reading Project and read her 23 tales. It was great fun. The first time I shared The Tale of Peter Rabbit in a story time was in 2011 during my United Kingdom themed story time. Despite my love for Peter Rabbit, the book itself does have a few problems from a children's librarian point-of-view. It's a rather long book to share with a group of younger children. It's also small. I overcame the first problem by sharing it with plenty of engagement questions and reading the story with animation. I have my own bigger version of Peter Rabbit. I enlarged it using a superb color copier.

When I found out that this year's summer reading program theme was Dig Into Reading, I knew I had to have a Peter Rabbit Party. It fits the theme on several levels. Rabbits burrow underground and the party allows the kids to dig into Beatrix Potter's Books.

This event is for ages 3-9 and will last about 1.5 hours. I did this event at all four of my library branches with a total attendance of 91. Here's what I did.

As the kids arrived, I invited them to bowl. This is a nod to Squirrel Nutkin and his playing ninepins in his book. After everyone arrives, we dance. I let the kids pick which song. Then we're ready for story time.

I started the story portion of the program by showing the children a picture of Beatrix Potter when she was five years old (from Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear). Then I asked them if they knew Peter Rabbit's story. There's a new Peter Rabbit show on Nick Jr. so most of them said yes.

Now it's time for the flannel board activity. I tell the kids that Miss Potter didn't just write about rabbits. She wrote about all kinds of animals. I place the 11 animals from my Beatrix Potter's Animals set on the board one at a time. I ask the kids to identify the animals. Then I mention the stories that have those animals. The only animal they have trouble identifying is the badger.

After that we do a few rhymes with my mice finger puppets. Then I share a few rhymes from Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes. Then I read The Tale of Peter Rabbit. After reading it, I mention that Peter also appears in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. He makes a cameo appearance in The Tale of Ginger and Pickles. Peter Rabbit has a new story as well. The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit written by Emma Thompson and illustrated by Eleanor Taylor. Its publication marked the 110 anniversary of the publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Now it's time for a few games. First up is the Peter Rabbit Flower Pot Hunt. A small stuffed rabbit is hidden under 1 of 6 clay flower pots. The kids guess which one.

The second game is a Mr. Jeremy Fisher ring toss game. I have 5 frogs (large bath toys) and 5 rings. Each child gets a turn.

The third game is Peter, Peter, Where's the Gate? Similar to doggy and the bone, one child is Peter and sits in a chair. A gate made of craft sticks is underneath the chair. The rabbit closes his/her eyes. The other children chant "Peter, Peter, Where's the Gate?" several times. One of the children takes the gate. We all put our hands behind our backs. Peter has to guess who has the gate. we continue in this fashion until everyone has had a turn.

Our last game is a lily pad leap across the room. The idea for this game came from here. Basically, you make lily pads out of green construction paper and the kids have to cross the room using only the lily pads.

Now it's time for the craft portion of the program. We made rabbit ears using a template from DLTK. Then we made bunny noses and whiskers. I found the idea on Pinterest and here's a link to blog post.

After all that listening, playing, and crafting, everyone one is ready for some refreshments. I served everything in small plastic flower pots. We had cheddar bunnies (Annie's), bunny grahams (Annie's), bunny tails (marshmallows), carrot cake truffles, and carrot top juice (lemon-lime kool-aid).

Before the kids leave, I give them a packet of coloring sheets from the official Peter Rabbit website and a book list of tales divided into animal categories. I also have a Beatrix Potter book display.

Now I'd like to talk a bit about the evolution of this program. Initially I wanted to share The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, and Beatrix by Jeanette Winter. I would project The Tale of Peter Rabbit, use the CD for The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, and read Beatrix. During my 1st Peter Rabbit Party, I realized all these books were long. I shared the first two as planned, but even that was too long for the group I had. Projecting Peter Rabbit wasn't much of a success. The children couldn't focus and projection distorted the color of the illustrations. At my second party, I added the flannel board activity and just read The Tale of Peter Rabbit. During my last 2 parties, I added in the finger puppets and Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes. A game I had planned but we never did was Jemima Puddle-duck's egg hunt (simply hiding plastic eggs around the children's section to find).

At one of my branches, I have a fantastic friend and volunteer, Cathy, who always decorates for my events. I mention the theme and she runs with it.