Our library got a very generous grant dedicated to STEAM programming (LSTA Grant). We got SO MANY great things to use in programs. Magnets, toys, paint, etc. So I figured, why not host a monthly Little Makers STEAM program at my library! It’s geared for ages 3-5, but siblings come too and they all love it. This month my theme was COLORS. I love that it’s so easy to plan. I start by doing Hello Bubbles, this is such a great ice breaker for those reluctant kids. And you MUST use Gymboree bubbles, there is no other option. Then we find Little Mouse, then I read a book based on theme. For colors I read Monsters Love Colors because it was perfect to introduce the primary colors. Then I had the kids gather around me at the front and they watch as I mixed colors with food dye. Of course I made sure I asked them lots of questions while this was happening. Then I set up stations around the room for them to visit! To them, it’s just a super fun play time, but they are learning SO MUCH. Here is the outline I use:
As you can see, I have a lot of Lakeshore toys listed on here. This isn’t even a quarter of what we were able to purchase with our funds. I’m so glad I decided to do this program and I hope you are able to do something similar at your library!
Can I just say…WOW. My wonderful coworker (Maura) and I had NO CLUE this new program would be such a big hit the first time around! I also need to say that KIDS. CAN. EAT. OMG. We ended up having total of 15 preteens/teens at our first Pizza Time, which is a great start because our teen programs have been poorly attended in the last months. I’m saying 1 or 2 or 0 kids. So we figured we would create this Preteen Pizza Time for kids in grades 5-8 to help grow them into library loving teens! This program is being offered the last Saturday of every month from 12-1:30pm. Obviously, we offer pizza and some sort of activity. This time around we did mini bowling and giant pictionary. The kids seemed to love it! Of course, there was some eye rolling and drama, but that’s to be expected with this age group. Overall it was great! And TIRING. And we ran out of pizza. So this time around we are going to set up our Wii and a few board games for them to play. Then Maura and I will hand out the pizza so no one gets greedy. That will be happening this Saturday so I will be sure to let you all know how it goes! I’m really hoping we still get a good crowd :)
It just goes to show that if you put the word “pizza” in a program title, they will come.
Hello there everyone! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything new over here at NTOPS and I’m sorry about that. I think I was having a little library burnout for awhile and it was making it tough to want to blog (or do much of anything). I guess that’s bound to happen when you’ve been working in libraries as long as I have. But thanks to my awesome boss and amazing coworkers, I got through it and am feeling brand new!
During this “rut” I made a very hard decision. I decided not to do preschool ST anymore. (I KNOW!) As much as I’ve loved it over the years, I felt it was time to try some new things and branch out a little. And can I just say that I’m so so happy that I did. Now our library has revamped our whole ST session and I get to do baby storytime! I just completed my 3rd one and it’s been growing every single week. Today we were completely full! It feels so great to be able to offer this to families now because it’s been years since we had a baby ST. I will definitely post more about my individual baby times in the upcoming weeks so you can see what I’m doing :)
Another thing I’ve decided to do is help out our teen librarian with her Preteens. She’s only PT which makes it hard for her to do all the things she wants and I’m more than happy to help out. We came up with the idea to have a monthly program for tweens. Thus, Preteen Pizza Time was born! Basically we will have pizza (duh) and some kind of activity/craft/movie/games to do. We’re really hoping it fills that gap where they don’t want a ST anymore, but can’t really go to teen programs. These poor kids probably feel left out! Our first one is tomorrow so I will post more about that later.
The last thing I’m SUPER excited about is incorporating STEAM into a program! Our awesome district got a massive STEAM grant and has been able to purchase so many great things to use. I’m going to start hosting a monthly preschool STEAM ST. Little Makers! So luckily I will still see some prek faces. This will consist of a story that goes along with our theme, maybe a song, then the rest will be hands on activities for them to do with their families. I’m really hoping this one takes off!
So these are all the new things I’m working on and I’m really excited to start this new chapter in my library life. Oh, and thanks for still reading/using my blog while I was away. You are all the best!!!
Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last post. I feel like Summer Reading has been nutso! (it really has) This is a program that I’ve been waiting YEARS to do and this summer was the perfect time to finally do it! I had 19 kids total! Here is a breakdown of what we did:
Played “BeanBoozled” -We didn’t have a spinner so I just called the kids up 5 at the time and they had to close their eyes and choose a jelly bean and eat it in front of everyone so we could all see their reactions. They LOVED this. And most of them got yuck flavors and spit them out. It was hilarious to watch.
I was going to read the book THE STORY OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO WENT IN SEARCH OF WHODUNIT By: Werner Holzwarth but there wasn’t enough time. This book was introduced to me by my old friend/coworker Bryan. It was his favorite book and he would read it to use at least once a month. I’ve never had a reason to use it in storytime because, well, it’s about poop.
Next the kids got to visit 4 different stations with gross stuff to do/see/eat.
1-Feeling station-They got to feel worms (spaghetti), eyeballs (olives), ears (dried mangoes), and brains (jello with pineapple chunks).
2-Booger Station-We made boogers from the Grossology website. I also pulled a few things from the Grossology book to share.
3-Guess the Poop-I melted 4 different candy bars and put them on toilet paper and the kids got to guess what kind of candy bar each one was. No tasting!
4-Worms and Dirt snack-chocolate pudding, Oreo crumbs, gummy worms, need I say more?
At the very end I had whoopie cushions to give away. I made them all try theirs out before they left, so I figured, why not do it at the same time?! It was a fart fest! They laughed SO MUCH. But I popped mine…
Overall this was a FANTASTIC program. I definitely suggest doing something like this at your library. :)
Today we talked all about dinosaurs. There was A LOT of roaring going on!
We Are the Dinosaurs By: Berkner
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg By: Mr Eric & Mr Michael (SO FUN)
Five Enormous Dinosaurs
Dinosaur VS Bedtime By: Bob Shea
Dinosaur Stomp By: Paul Stickland (POP UP BOOK)
A Number of Dinosaurs By: Paul & Henrietta Stickland (MORE POP UP)
Check out my Dinosaur tag on my Shelfari page for more good books that I didn’t have time to read!
I found a similar craft on Pinterest and knew I HAD to make it. We used paper plates, colored clothespins (which we just happened to have on hand), a google eye, spikes, and Dot Art Painters from Lakeshore. They worked SO good when it came to “painting” the plates. Dries super fast and little mess! The kids and parents all loved making these little guys. I normally don’t do crafts this intricate, but sometimes you just gotta mix things up!