Sixty Kids and a Teacher Walk Into a Library

Being close to a few elementary schools  and also newly renovated we’ve had requests for tours and storytimes. Recently, 60 kindergartners and first graders came by and this is what we did!

Since it was close to the start of our summer reading program I went with a building theme so almost all stations had kids constructing with various materials. I especially like the velcro sticks. Craft sticks and velcro dots and you’ve got building materials! Someone gave a us a magnetic building set that has rods and spheres. There are just enough pieces to keep a couple of kids busy. Of course the Lego station was the most popular. There was a dough/block station. And a station with interlocking fish similar to these. I’m not sure why kids weren’t interested in them but they most certainly were not. The last station was an art activity where I’d taped down large sheets of construction paper and gave them wet chalk. The idea was to go around the table adding on to the designs others had drawn. The kids that tried it were really into it and produced interesting results.

We read….

 

 

Now for the rest of summer storytimes!

Saw It On Pinterest: Ideas that worked

While my library takes a storytime break this month to do school summer reading visits, I thought I’d share a couple of recipes I found on Pinterest that I recently tried. Let me say that I love a messy storytime. I love creating activities where kids can get their hands dirty. I have never shied away from any potentially messy project. Not the cloud dough that ended up crumbled all over the new dark blue carpet in our meeting room. Not the water beads that rolled everywhere and got smushed into said new carpet. Not even the finger painting where I laid butcher paper on the floor and had kids sit on the floor to paint. (Don’t worry; there was a tarp underneath the paper!) I did cringe a little, though, while I watched (we all watched) as if in slow motion a little boy who, after mom cleaned his hands, promptly walked right back over to the butcher paper covered in paint and sat right down in the middle of it. I was sure that mom was never coming back but-whew- she did! Occasionally, parents will look at me like this…….

 tv reactions shocked threes company jaw drop GIF

via Giphy

when I say, “Don’t worry. That’s what vacuums are for!” I ain’t scared of no mess!

Anywho, I needed a new batch of my two favorite sensory concoctions: play dough and slime. We had a dozen canisters of cornstarch and no salt. All I had was rock salt so I used that. I went with my favorite go-to recipe, substituting rock salt for table salt.

dough2

The dough looks like it’s full of gemstones when you start mixing it.

dough3

As you knead it, the rock salt falls out. Don’t do this on a surface you don’t want scuffed.

 

dough4

dough5

It pulls together really well and there still are some rock salt crystals in it which the kids really enjoyed finding.  Next up was this water bead slime recipe.

slime1

This is the consistency and stretchiness you want.

Having made dozens of batches of slime, I can tell you that slime made with Borax holds up longer but slime made with liquid starch is faster and easier to make. I went with fast and easy. Make the slime then dump in some water beads.

slime2

 

slime3

How cool does that look? Don’t you just want to stick your hands in it? Me too.

slime5

The caveat here is that you will want to use this soon after making it. After a week or so it’s done. The extra moisture from the water beads causes the slime to break down and become very, very sticky. Once the water beads are fully plumped they will fall out of the slime and roll everywhere. The shelf life on this is probably a week, unless you go back and add more liquid starch to firm it up.

slime4

 

If you try these, I’d love to hear how it went!

What are your favorite concoctions?

 

 

 

Crafts Vs. No Crafts, The Great Storytime Debate

There’s been a lot of discussion about this in various circles. When it comes to arts & crafts, librarians often fall into one of two camps.

There’s the “We don’t do crafts in storytime!” bunch and the, “We love crafts! Glitter for everyone!” crowd.

This is how I feel when I hear about libraries that don’t do art or crafts.

no animated GIF

I should say, this is how I feel on the inside because, well, I work in a library. Continue reading

A Child’s First Book of Trump: Review

I don’t know why I’m only just discovering this! After this was returned everyone working that day insisted (I may have insisted) on reading it. It. is. HILARIOUS! Unless you’re a fan. But if you’re not it’ll have you laughing out loud! Continue reading