Monday, December 29, 2014

Flannel Friday-Build a Snowman

We have a flannelboard in our Activity Room that is really popular.  The glitch is that you need a lot of easy to create pieces as pieces tend to disappear over the month.  I like things that are open-ended so the kiddos can take the pieces and make their own design, which is how this month's board came about.  I cut out a bunch of white circles in various sizes, orange triangles for noses, brown rectangles for arms, different colored boots, different colored little circles for eyes, various colored scarves, and a few mouths.  All of the pieces sit in a bin so kids can design their own snowmen like so.

I always put up a sign near the flannelboard for parents that I think of it as a conversation starter.  After all, we know why flannelboards are awesome and not just toys.  Parents do sometimes read the sign and talk about this stuff with their kids.

Flannel Friday this week will be hosted by Anne at So Tomorrow.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2015

It's that time of year again!  I am a big fan of resolutions or goals as they allow you to see where you have been and plot where you are going.  Last year I posted my list of goals here and I am happy to say that I have completed everything on my In the Library list.  Highlights of my past year include:
  • We redid our Activity Room in January with new toys and targeted signage highlighting early literacy skills.
  • Our YS team decided to start work this fall on early literacy calendars.  These will go live on January 1.
  • We got a grant to start a circulating early literacy kit collection.  Our first kits went live in April and we can't keep them on the shelf.
  • We began incorporating STEAM into our programming plans.  We now run a Little Scientists program for ages 3-6 and a Mad Scientists program for ages 7-12.  This is in addition to our Tablet Tales program, Bedtime Math, and Block Parties.
  • I worked to become a better manager.  This one is ongoing and will be on my list for this year too.
  • I survived my first library millage.

Now onto my 2015 plans/goals:
  • We got another grant to expand our early literacy kit collection.  This means that more kits will be created and the contents will eventually be posted on this blog.
  • We will be doing a nonfiction reorganization this winter and will be adding BISAC subject headings.
  • In my mind, this is the year of the school.  We are working hard on connecting with local schools and building relationships.  This is the year where we will be pushing outside of our walls and getting out into the community.
  • Keep working on becoming a better manager. 

I will be taking a year off from presenting at conferences, but will still be working with two great librarians to put on Michigan's second unconference-MiKidLib15.  If you are within traveling distance of Kalamazoo, Michigan, plan on attending on Friday, April 24.

What are your plans for 2015?

New Year 2015 by animatedheaven - Vector Image of 3d Cubes with text 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

DIY Ornaments

It's the holiday week and some of our kids are already out of school.  Our goal was to put together some larger programs that required little prep where we could give kids activities to do at the library on their school break.  This is one such program.

We put together three crafting stations for kids.  As they finished their craft, they moved onto the next station.  Our crafts were:
The highlight was definitely the Christmas trees made out of muffin cups as the kids could design their own style. Parents liked them because many of them had muffin cups at home so they could duplicate the craft there.  To make your own, you will need muffin cups in a variety of colors, a small piece of yarn to hang, and stickers to decorate.  I have included directions here and below are a picture of my examples.

The program definitely was a hit as it was easy and had good results.  It is definitely one that we will be pulling out again next year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Toddler Holiday Crafts

This morning we ran our Toddler Crafts program for ages 2-4.  At my library this type of program is station-based so kids and their adults work on the projects together.  I always have a sample on the table for them to follow.  When choosing projects for this age group, I tend to focus on one skill, whether it be coloring, gluing, or something else.  To tie this type of program back into early literacy, most of these projects work on fine motor coordination, which strengthens hand muscles so kids can begin to write.  Here are today's projects.

Reindeer Food
For this station, I left all of the ingredients separate so kids could add what they wanted to for their reindeer food.  We have a lot of allergies (and parents who won't play with glitter).  While I do my best to make sure everything is peanut-free, the parents really do know best.  To make your own reindeer food, you will need:
  • 1 large canister of oats (Quaker is peanut-free)
  • Glitter
  • Sprinkles
  • Label with directions

To make your own holiday wreaths, you will need paper plates with the centers cut out, yarn to hang your wreath, and wrapping paper strips in a variety of colors.  I precut the strips and the paper plates so kids just had to glue the strips onto their plates.

Snow Globes
For this station, I precut the snowglobe pieces and had the kids glue their snowglobes together.  I also put out blue and purple glitter glue, snowmen and penguin mini stickers, and crayons for them to decorate their globes.  Glitter glue, as always, was a huge hit.  My station was set up like this:

My final project looked like this:

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