Monday, April 21, 2014

Revamping the LEGO Club

Since I started as a Children's Assistant over a year ago, I have tried several times to get our library's LEGO Club to be a successful program, and each time has been a pretty big fail.  We have a TON of LEGOs that were donated by patrons before I started working here, but we've never had a successful LEGO Club program.  I've tried Saturday morning drop-in programs and pre-registration LEGO party programs with little turn-out.  So I decided to give this LEGO Club a little revamping by making some tweaks:

1) I moved the time from Saturday morning to Saturday afternoon
2) I made it a drop-in program from 2PM- 3PM, no registration required.
3) I removed any age restrictions and just asked parents to stay with children under 5 years of age
4) I centered the LEGO club around a building theme. For April I chose Robots!  Each participant built a robot, then put it on the table and filled out a name card to put next to it on display.
5) I advertised on the library's FB page a LOT (as in, people were probably sick of hearing about it, lol)

The results?  AWESOME!  I had 51 people (adults and children) attend last Saturday's LEGO Club and so many people asked me when the next one would be, told me how much fun they had, and most wonderfully CHECKED OUT BOOKS!  I made sure to have plenty of LEGO books out on display in the Story Room for people to check out when they left.

I will definitely be continuing this format for the LEGO Club during our Summer Reading Program and beyond into the fall.  A patron suggested "space" as a theme to tie into Fizz, Boom, Read! and I think that is a fantastic idea!  Here are some of the awesome creations.


Bunnies Storytime!

Two weeks ago we were very fortunate to have a volunteer from the Holden Arboretum come to do a storytime all about trees for the upcoming Arbor Day festivities at the arboretum, so I had an unexpected week off from storytime.  It was a lot of fun to talk, read, and sing all about trees :-)  Last week, of course, was leading up to Easter.  I didn't want to do an Easter storytime just in case I had any families that didn't celebrate (and it turns out I did not, but better safe with some things than sorry I suppose).  But, in light of Easter, I figured it would be a great time to do a bunnies storytime!  Wow, are there a LOT of great children's books about rabbits!  I joked that I could do 5 bunny storytimes and still have more books to read.  But I ended up choosing to share:

Action Rhyme: “Little Rabbit”
I saw a little rabbit go hop, hop, hop. I told that little rabbit to stop, stop, stop
He wiggled his ears and crinkled his nose and wiggled, wiggled, wiggled right down to his toes.
Credit: Modified from
Preschool Education Music & Songs
Felt board: Tired Bunnies  (using colored felt bunnies)
“Come my bunnies, it’s time for bed.” That’s what the mother bunny said.
“But first I’ll count you just to see if you have all come back to me.
Bunny 1, Bunny 2, Bunny 3, oh dear, Bunny 4, Bunny 5, yes, you’re all here.
You’re the sweetest things alive, my bunnies 1,2,3,4,5.”
Fingerplay: “Here is a Bunny”
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up the index and middle fingers from one hand)
and here is his hole in the ground (make hole by cupping other hand)
When a noise he hears, he picks up his ears (extend index and middle fingers)
and hops in his hole in the ground!
(hop fingers into the hole in other hand)
Credit: Early Literature

Feltboard: “There’s Something In My Garden”
There’s something in my garden, now what can it be? There’s something in my garden that I can’t really see. Hear its funny sound…RIBBIT RIBBIT RIBBIT. A frog is what I found! RIBBIT RIBBIT RIBBIT
(SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK, A mouse is what I found! / CAW CAW CAW, A crow is what I found! / THUMP THUMP THUMP, A rabbit is what I found! Use various felt animals from previous storytimes)
SurLaLune Storytime

Song We played instruments and danced to the Bunny Hop! from the Disney Music Block Party CD. So much fun!

Fingerplay: “Little Bunny”
There was a little bunny who lived in the wood. (hold up two fingers)
He wiggled his ears as a good bunny should (wiggle on head)
He hopped by a squirrel. He hopped by a tree. (hop, hop)
He hopped by a duck. And he hopped by me. (hop, hop over fist)
He stared at the squirrel. He stared at the tree. (stare, stare)
He stared at the duck. But he made faces at me! (stare, make faces)
Texas State Library

Craft: Paper Bag Bunny
* Stuff paper bag with 1 or 2 sheets of crumpled scrap paper
* Glue top of the bag closed and glue the ears shut
* Affix pink ears, sticker eyes and pomp om nose with glue stick. Add whiskers and mouth with a crayon

Friday, April 11, 2014

Drip E. Faucet!

At the library last weekend, we hosted a great performer, Drip E. Faucet!  He did a really fun magic and juggling show and families of all ages had a blast.  I really liked that he incorporated library information into the fun of the show, talking about the importance of having a library card and how fundamental it is that we all visit and use our public libraries often.  It was a silly and magically fun time!

Here is a small article in a local newspaper:

And some pictures (not the best, the lighting in our meeting rooms is not great for photo opportunities!) that I took during the show (remember to always get signed photo releases from the parents of volunteers before they leave after they show!):

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shoes on My Feet!

I really LOVED this storytime theme, but mostly because I adore Eric Litwin and Laurie Berkner and I included Pete the Cat and Boots! in our storytime agenda!  It was really a lot of fun!  Books I read this week were:

I sang Pete the Cat LOUDLY and encouraged everyone to join in and of course they did :-)

For my "flannelboard" activites this week I used one traditional felt board, "5 Shoes in the Shoestore" and one not-so-traditional "felt board" using cards.  It went over really well and I am going to have to find other ways to tell stories using picture cards in the future!

Feltboard: Shoe Store
Five pairs of shoes in the shoe store, Mom bought the red ones and now there are four.
Four pairs of shoes, as clean as can be. Dad bought the green ones and now there are three.
Three pairs of shoes, shiny and new. Sister bought the gray ones and now there are two.
Two pairs of shoes, just waiting for fun. Brother bought the blue ones and now there is one.
One pair of shoes as pink as can be, and wouldn’t you know it, that pair is for ME!

Flannel Board: Case of the missing shoe:
I’ve lost my other blue shoe and I ask the kids to help me find it!
Maybe it’s in the washing machine? Nope, those are my shoe of green.
I bet the shoe is under my bed. Nope, that’s only my shoe of red.
Is it behind this box of Jello? Nope, those are my shoes of yellow.
Did I leave it by my brand new light? Nope, those are my shoes of white.
I know, it’s in my school back pack! Nope, that’s only my shoe of black.
Is it behind my bowl of porridge? Nope, those are my shoes of orange.
Is it under this old stuffed clown? Nope, that is my shoe of brown.
Oh where oh where could my blue shoe be? Oh, it was under this book! Silly me!

Movement Song: “Boots” Best of Laurie Berkner Band * play instruments or just stomp around to the song. Use signs of different boots to hold up as the song changes.
Action Rhyme: This is What My Feet Can Do!
This is what my feet can do, feet can do, feet can do. This is what my feet can do, can you do it too?
Let your feet go hop, hop, hop; hop, hop, hop; hop, hop, hop.
Let your feet go hop, hop, hop all around the room.
Make your feet go jump, jump, jump; jump, jump, jump; jump, jump, jump.
Make your feet go jump, jump, jump all around the room.
Can your feet go stomp, stomp, stomp; stomp, stomp, stomp; stomp stomp stomp?
Can your feet go stomp, stomp, stomp all around the room?
Can your feet go tiptoeing, tiptoeing, tiptoeing? Can your feet go tiptoeing all around the room.
Now your feet can sit right down, sit right down, sit right down. Now your feet can sit right down,
Quietly, please. Credit:
Song:  Hat, Coat, Pants & Shoes
Sung with the actions of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Go faster and faster and have fun!
And our craft this week was a lace-up cardstock shoe.  The kids colored the shoe, added sticky gems for some pizazz, and then their adult helped them lace the shoe and tie the strings.  Very fun!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Houses & Homes Storytime

For the first week of spring storytime I did Homes & Houses as my theme. I wasn't sure how it would go over with the younger kids, but it went surprisingly well! I only read two books this week and used more extension activities, which worked out great.  The books I shared this week were:
For my storytube I used a variation of "5 Little Houses" that was really cute:
Story Tube:Five Little Houses”
One little house, all alone it stood.
Then another one was built, there grows the neighborhood.
Two little houses, all alone they stood.
Then another one was built, there grows the neighborhood.
Three little houses, all alone they stood.
Then another one was built, there grows the neighborhood.
Four little houses, all alone they stood.
Then another one was built, there grows the neighborhood.
Five little houses, all together they stood.
On a beautiful street in a happy neighborhood!

For my flannel board this week I did my version of "In Which House is Mouse?" It always goes over very well, and I use felt animals from other flannel boards I've made in the past.  I typically go around and pick a child to tell me which color house we should look in first, and then we all say, "Knock, knock, knock! Mouse, are you in the purple house?" This week, as luck would have it, in all three of my storytimes Mouse wasn't found until the last house!  But if he happens to be found earlier we just proceed looking for other friends instead :-)

Other extension activities I used this week included:
Fingerplay: “Houses”
Here is a nest for robin (cup both hands) Here is a hive for bee (fists together)
Here is a hole for bunny (make a circle) And here is a house for ME! (make a roof)
Fingerplay:  “Here is a House”
Here is a house built up high (hands over head to make a roof)
With two big chimneys reaching for the sky (raise arms up high)
Here is a window (draw a square) Here is a door (pretend to open a door)
If we look inside (peek through fingers) There’s a mouse on the floor! (scamper fingers away)
Movement Song: In and Out the Doors (sung to "Go In and Out the Window")
Step in and out the front door. (take a step forward, then back) Step in and out the front door.
Step in and out the front door.
Then make a doorbell sound. (say "ding dong")
Jump in and out the back door. (jump forward, then back) Jump in and out the back door.
Jump in and out the back door.
Bend down and touch the ground. (touch ground with hand)
Slide in and out the side door. (slide to one side, then other) Slide in and out the side door.
Slide in and out the side door.
And then turn all around. (turn around)
Step in and out the front door. Jump in and out the back door. Slide in and out the side door.
Then sit yourself right down.
(sit down)
Our craft this week was simple but very fun, a paper bag house.  We used magazine paper to stuff our houses, then colored accents and glued on the roof, chimney, windows and door.