Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Have A Blind Date With A Book!

To coincide with this year's Teen Read Week theme, "Seek the Unknown", I decided to hop on the bandwagon and try a Blind Date with a Book display in our teen room.

I got a lot of ideas from Tumblr as well as Pinterest. I took an afternoon to pull about 25 titles that I felt were good reads, but maybe haven't been recently checked out as frequently as say, The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner. I wrapped them all up in yellow bulletin board paper. I taped a book plate to each one and then wrote 3 words that described the book.

Because we keep the barcodes for each book on the inside cover, I just wrote the item number on the outside so that our circulation staff could just type it in manually. Each book also had a review form taped to it. The teens that turn in the book review will be entered to win a prize!

Below is the flyer I made with instructions:

Here are some more photos of the display:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Haunted Gingerbread Houses

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays ever. I love everything having to do with it: the costumes, the candy, the atmosphere. So when I got the chance to take over one of our popular annual family programs, a.k.a. Haunted Gingerbread Houses, I jumped at the chance. The basic premise is that families come in and create a "haunted" gingerbread house using a plate, a creamer carton, icing, graham crackers, and decorative items. We decorate the room, throw on some Halloween music, and voila!

Because our library has been regularly doing this program, we have it pretty well figured out and streamlined. Here is our recipe for success:

1. We hold the program on a Saturday in October. We also offer 2 sessions - 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This gives us 30 minutes in between to refill supplies and set up for the next session. 

2. We limit the program to 25 families in each session. Each family has to share one gingerbread house. This keeps the cost down for supplies and still allows lots of patrons to participate. 

3. We ask each family to bring in one decorative item before the program. We draw up a sign-up sheet with a line next to each item we need, such as a box of graham cracker or a container of icing. They are asked to then bring that item in by the Tuesday before the program. I do reminder calls on Wednesday for any families that forgot and shop for any missing items on Thursday afternoon.

4. Cut the cartons, color the orange frosting, and cut the graham crackers ahead of time. This program takes quite a bit of prep and set-up so doing this things before the day of the program will save you a lot of stress. Trust me.

5. We set up the meeting room with 2 rows of tables. We put 2 families at one table with no chairs. We also have the decorative items on tables in the back of the room. 

Our room setup
Our room setup #2

6. Set out more than one roll of paper towels and baby wipes. Things will get messy and parents appreciate being able to clean up their kids. I also used plastic table covers this year, which made clean-up a breeze!

Our table setup #1
Our table setup #2

7. When the families come in and get settled, I go over the ground rules for the program:
  • One house per family please!
  • I show a prototype of a house so people can see how they get put together.
  • Please limit the amount of decorative items for the first round. Then if there are things left over, you can go back for more. (I give each family a paper or foam bowl. This is what they use to load up on the candy/decorative items.)
  • Adults should accompany children to the decorative items table.
  • Although everything looks yummy, please don't eat anything. It's been touched by a lot of hands!
  • Please feel free to share/barter with other families.

8. Have fun! It's so neat to see what the kids come up with for their houses. I get into the spirit of the program by wearing my purple striped tights, a big purple witch's hat, and black to dress up.

Here are a couple of the masterpieces created on Saturday:

Have you ever done a similar program? Anything different? Feel free to leave them in the comments! I would also be happy to share my supply list with anyone who contacts me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Storytime - Firefighters

In honor of Fire Prevention Week (October 6th to 12th) I decided to try a storytime all about firefighters!

The Plan:


This is the Firefighter by Laura Godwin
Fire Fighter Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox


"The Wheels on the Fire Truck"
(To the tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

The wheels on the fire truck go round and round,
Round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the fire truck go round and round,
All through the town!

The hose on the truck goes squirt, squirt, squirt...
The siren on the truck goes woo wee ooooh...
The ladder on the truck goes up and down...
The horn on the truck goes beep, beep, beep...

"Five Brave Firefighters"

Five brave fire fighters waiting by the pole.
Ring, ring, ring goes the bell
And down one goes!

*I passed out bells on ribbon for this one and when I said "Ring, ring, ring" the toddlers all shook their bells. It was lots of fun!*

I also briefly spoke with the toddlers about fire safety. I mentioned stop, drop, and roll. There a good song one of our local fire fighters does with the kids when she is able to come in and do a fire safety storytime for us:

(To the tune: Frere Jacques)

When you're burning, when you're burning (wiggle fingers)
Stop, drop, and roll. Stop, drop, and roll. (Hold hands out for stop, then make drop motion, then roll hands)
Over and over. Over and over. (Roll hands)
Until it's out. Until it's out. (Clap on "out")

You can also pass out a coloring page that reminds parents to change out their smoke detector battery when the time change this fall!

Storytime - Farms

The Plan:


Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack! by Ivor Baddiel
Clip-Clop! by Nicola Smee


"Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean"
(To the tune: Five Green and Speckled Frogs)

Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest you've ever seen
Wanted to go outside and play
Oink! Oink!
One jumped into the mud
Landed with a big thud
Now there are four clean squeaky pigs
Oink! Oink!

Continue with 4, 3, 2, and 1...

(Thanks to Mel's Desk for the idea!)

"The Cows on the Farm"
(To the tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

*I used some of the pieces from my flannel of Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins for this one*

The cows on the farm go moo, moo, moo
Moo, moo, moo
Moo, moo, moo
The cows on the farm go moo, moo, moo
All night long!

Repeat with the farm animals of your choosing

The farmer on the farm goes, "Go to sleep!"
"Go to sleep! Go to sleep!"
The farmer on the farm goes, "Go to sleep!"
"So I can get my rest!" (snore)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Storytime - Apples

With my coworker out for the day, she asked if I would take over her preschool and toddler storytimes. I, of course, happily obliged!

The Plan:


Ouch! by Ragnhild Scamell
A New House for Mouse by Petr Horacek
Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett
Ducking for Apples by Lynne Berry


"A-P-P-L-E" (w/ felt letters and hands)

(to the tune: B-I-N-G-O)

I know a fruit that grows on trees
And apple is its name-o
And apple is its name-o!

"Apples and Bananas"

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.

I like to ate...ayples and banaynays
I like to eet...eeples and baneenees
I like to ite...iples and baninis
I like to ote...oples and banonos
I like to ute...uples and banunus

"Apple Roll" (w/ flannel)

Five little apples in the bowl
One fell out and started to roll
It bumped the table and hit my feet
How many apples are left to eat?

(Count down to none)

"Apple Tree"

Way up high in the apple tree (stretch arms high)
Two little apples I did see (make 2 fists)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (make a shaking motion)
And d-o-w-n came the apples (make downward motion)
Mmmm...they were good! (smile and rub tummy)

Craft: Paper plate apples

This craft is super easy! I pre-punched small paper plates and cut out some leaves and stems. The preschoolers colored the plate, glued on the stems and leaves, and then I taped a big craft stick to the back for a handle. Then they could stick their finger through the hole and pretend that it's a worm.

(Thanks to Lisa for the craft inspiration!)