Alien Creations

 

Introduction For the end of summer reading, I was looking for a program that wouldn’t require much guidance but would allow the kids to have fun. Solution: Food creations. Putting the spin of the summer reading theme, I came up with Alien Creations. I picked several different activities that the kids could easily create without much help.
Station 1: Melted Aliens This was a super cost-effective food station. I pre-made green jello. I then had whipped cream and eyes for the kids to make their own melting alien. This was actually one of the most popular stations. Jello is a winner with the kids.
Jello aliens
Station 2: Alien Family This inspiration came from Newspaper Cat. However, I slightly modified it. I could not find white chocolate-covered pretzels to save my life, so I opted for regular pretzels. I then gave the kids squeezable frosting and M&Ms to create their own alien family.
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Station 3: Alien Home Since I was giving a TON of sugar, I wanted a healthy activity as an option. This station was not the favorite…for obvious reasons. The parents were grateful. The kids were more meh. I cut the rice cakes into half and had some bananas already sliced up. Peanut Butter was on a separate table. I did ask if there were any allergies to it before I opened it.
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Station 4: Make Your Own Alien This was the easiest station to throw together. I found random food items and created a buffet. The kids were able to go through and create their own alien. This was the favorite all-around. The kids asked if they could go through it several times. It might be the reason why so many left hyped up…
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Pancakes and Pajamas

Introduction Welcome – Bienvenidos
Action Rhyme Mix a Pancake
Mix a pancake, (roll hands over one another)
stir a pancake (make stirring motions)
Pop it in the pan (“Pop” down)
Fry the pancake (Rock gently side to side)
Toss the pancake (Jump up high with arms above) 
Catch it if you can (Bring baby down again)
Source: King County Library System
Book Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
401679
ASL Pancake
Action Rhyme Red Pajamas
Tune: Bumpin Up and Down in My Little Red WagonJumping up and down wearing red pajamas,
Jumping up and down wearing red pajamas,
Jumping up and down wearing red pajamas
Won’t you be my darling?Turning all around wearing red pajamas
Turning all around wearing red pajamas
Turning all around wearing red pajamas
Won’t you be my darling?
Source: King County Library System 
Action Rhyme There was a Little Man
There was a little man
And he had a little crumb (tickle baby’s cheek)
And over the mountain he did run (run fingers over top of baby’s head)
With a belly full of fat (jiggle baby’s belly)
And a big top hat (pat head)
And a pancake stuck to his bum, bum, bum! (pat baby’s bottom)Source: King County Library System 
Action Rhyme Dog is Sleeping
Dog is sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Dog is sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Dog is sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Now we’re very quiet. Shhhhh.WAKE UP dog, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP dog, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP dog, it’s time to play!
Now we’re very LOUD!Cat is sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Cat is sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Cat is sleeping, don’t wake it up.
Now we’re very quiet. Shhhhh.WAKE UP kitty, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP kitty, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP kitty, it’s time to play!
Now we’re very LOUD!
Source: MC Flannelfinger 
Traditional ABCs
Parachute Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Activity We had some amazing volunteers who helped us make pancakes and serve them to our storytime patrons!

Time Travelers: Ancient Egypt

 

Introduction American Girl is very popular in my library. However, while all are welcome to attend, the program tends to be heavily attended by our young female patrons. Hoping to expand programming to encompass all, I created Time Travelers.  This program has similar characteristics of my American Girl program but offers a larger selection of themes (worldwide) and is not so girl-focused.  I felt that most kids go through some Egypt phase, and this would be a good jumping off point.
Activity 1: Write like an Egyptian My first activity was hieroglyphics. I’ve done this in the past, and I know kids get a kick out of writing their name in another language. I actually had some old promotional material that worked well for this activity. The kids got a strip with a hieroglyphic alphabet and then were able to write their own name. Would say this went much smoother for older participants than young participants.
writing
Activity 2: Pyramid Experiment Our second activity we talked about how the Egyptians possibly moved the large bricks to build the pyramids. The kids received a heavy tome and had to push it across the floor. Carpet obviously gives an advantage, but then we handed out pencils and the kids created a sledge. The kids then experimented with how fast they could move the books.
rolling
Craft 1/2: This program wouldn’t be complete without some pyramid building. I found a cool pyramid craft involving cereal. We opted to use Cinnamon Toast Crunch, as it is also a tasty snack. Some kids built their pyramid ups or did them flat.
pyramidThe additional craft/activity was actually building pyramids out of styrofoam cups. Almost all the kids were determined to participate in this activity.
cups
Activity 3: Mummies Our final activity was mummies! Our maintenance department graciously donated toilet paper rolls to the program. I then had the kids race to wrap a family member/friend. Once they were all wrapped then the mummy was able to break out of their wrapping. We did this about three times!
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Pirates – Preschool

Introduction Welcome – Bienvenidos
Book

Kindergarrrten Bus by Mike Ornestein
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Finger Rhyme Ten Little Pirates
Ten little pirates stood in a row, (Hold up 10 fingers.)
They bowed to their heads to the captain so! (Lower and raise fingers.)
They marched to the left; (March hands to left.)
They marched to the right. (March hands to right.)
They shouted yo ho! (Cup hand by mouth.)
And gave their captain a fright. (Hands over heart.)
Source: Sunflower Storytime
Book Squirrel Me Timbers by Louise Pigott
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ASL Boat, Water
Action Rhyme Yo-Ho a Pirate’s Gold
A jumping we will go, (jump)
A jumping we will go,
Yo-ho a pirate’s gold,
A jumping we will go.

A swimming we will go, (pretend to swim)
A swimming we will go,
Yo-ho a pirate’s gold,
A swimming we will go.

Running, dancing, spinning, etc
Source: Artsy Toddler Storytimes

Action Rhyme Row Your Pirate Ship
Row, row, row your ship, gently across the sea, (pretend to row)
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life at sea.
Scrub, scrub, scrub the deck, gently across the sea.
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life at sea.
Furl, furl, furl your sail, gently across the sea, (move hand over hand as if pulling a rope).
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life at sea.
Sway, sway, sway your ship, gently across the sea, (sway body side to side)
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life at sea.
Source: Cannot remember where I obtained this rhyme from.
Action Rhyme Walk the Plank
I placed a large wooden board plank on a blue sheet and threw my shark puppet on the ground. I played Baby Shark while the kids walked across the plank.
Source: Fun-a-Day 
Dance Song Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Dance Song The Silly Pirate Song by Jack Hartmann
Cool Down ABCs, Count to 10
Goodbye Song It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Craft: Craft Credit was merged between this site and this site.
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Pirates – Toddler

Introduction Hello Everybody, Yes Indeed 
Action Rhyme Pirate Ship, Pirate Ship
Pirate Ship, Pirate,
Go So Slow (stamp feet slowly)
Pirate ship,Pirate Ship,
Go so Fast (Stamp feet faster)
Pirate Ship, Pirate Ship
Step on the gas! (stamp feet very fast)
Source: King County Library System 
Book Pirate Nap: A Book of Colors by Danna Smith
12216875
Nursery Rhyme A Sailor Went to Sea
A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,
To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.
Book Pirate Potty by Samantha Berger
Sign Language Water
Traditional Rhyme This is Big, Big, Big/Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
Action Rhyme Yo-Ho a Pirate’s Gold
A jumping we will go, (jump)
A jumping we will go,
Yo-ho a pirate’s gold,
A jumping we will go.

A swimming we will go, (pretend to swim)
A swimming we will go,
Yo-ho a pirate’s gold,
A swimming we will go.
Running, dancing, spinning, etc
Source: Artsy Toddler Storytimes

Action Rhyme Walk the Plank
I placed a large wooden board plank on a blue sheet and threw my shark puppet on the ground. I played Baby Shark while the kids walked across the plank.
Source: Fun-a-Day 
Dance Song Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Dance Song The Pirate Song by Carole Peterson
Cool down ABCs, Count to 5
Goodbye Song Say Goodbye

Craft: Craft Credit was merged between this site and this site.
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American Girl – Holiday Fashion Show

Introduction For my final 2018 American Girl program, I decided to go more modern girl. I actually had a young patron request that we do something with dresses, so voilà, “Fashion Show” was born. I wanted several activities to keep the kids busy.
Make a bracelet Beads are a guarantee craft and the kids always love them. We have a whole bin full of beads and I just threw a bunch of string and beads out and let the kids go to town.
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Doll Dress The kids always go gaga for anything they can make for their dolls, and I thought a tutu in honor of the The Nutracker would be really fitting. I dug around the internet to find instructions (instructions 2) that would be the easiest for the kids. Full disclosure: adults still need to help if you have a younger crowd. I bought the fabric from JoAnn Fabric and Craft because…coupons. Rhinestones are a must. Who doesn’t want a razzle dazzle tutu.

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Cookie Decoration The holidays are not complete without your 500 cookies galore, so my super awesome coworker made me a huge batch of cookies. We kept the frosting easy and threw out a ton of sprinkles.
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Fashion Show Our final activity was walking the red carpet. I purchased a red carpet off of amazon and jazzed up a door with some fringe. The kids then walked the carpet while I had a volunteer act as the paparazzi to take their pictures. Our department invested in a a portable Polaroid printer. Super awesome since we can just print the pictures as we go. The kids also love that their pictures have the option to become stickers.
  *We have pictures of the fashion show, but cropping the pictures do not do the pictures justice.

Witches – Preschool

Introduction Welcome – Bienvenidos
Book What’s in the Witch’s Kitchen by Nick Sharratt
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Action Rhyme Witches Pot
Boiling hot, boiling hot
What shall we add to the witch’s pot?
Boiling hot, boiling hot
We’ll add some ______to the witch’s pot.
Source: Jbrary
Counting Rhyme Five Little Witches
Five little witches sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “I’m glad it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are spiders in my hair!”
The third one said, “Well, I declare!”
The fourth one said, “Trick or treating would be fun!”
The fifth one said, “Let’s run and run and run!”
So, Wooo oooo went the wind.
And out went the lightAnd the five the little witches flew out of sight!
Sources: Preschool Favorites: 35 Storytimes Kids Love by Diane Briggs
ASL Witch
Action Rhyme Witch on the broom
(Sung to The Wheels on the Bus)The witch on the broom goes hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee
The witch on the broom goes hee, hee, hee,
All through the night.Other verses:
The ghost in the castle goes boo, boo, boo
The werewolf in the field goes hoooooowl
The Frankenstein goes stomp, stomp, stomp
The cat at night goes meow, meow, meow
Source: King County Library System
Action Rhyme Witches Come on Halloween
Tune: Camptown RacesWitches come on Halloween,
Heh-heh, heh-heh!
Watch out now or you might scream,
Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh!
Pumpkins shining bright,
With their candlelight.
Ghosts and goblins coming, too.
Watching out for you—Boo!
Source: Piggyback Songs: Seasons & Holidays
Action Rhyme Witchy Song
I’m a witch.Boom! Boom! (clap, clap)
I’m a witch.
Boom! Boom! (clap, clap)With a pointed hat on my head…(hands form a hat)
I jump on my broom (pretend to jump on broom)
And I sweep the sky (sweeping motion)
While children are in bed (head resting on hands)
Source: Step By Step
Game Pass the Witch’s Broomstick
Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know ItPass the witch’s broomstick ‘round the circle here.
While you hear the music playing, do not fear.
But if the music stops, or if the broomstick drops,
You will ride the broomstick while the goblins cheer!
Source: Preschool Express
Action Song I’m a Little Witch
Tune: I’m a Little TeapotI’m a little witch with a big black cat (pretend to pet cat)
Here is my broomstick. (Hold imaginary broom)
Here is my hat. (Pretend to place hat on head)
You’d better be careful. (wag finger)
You’d better beware.
‘Cause I might give you a great, big scare. Boo!
Source: Preschool Favorite: 35 Storytimes Kids Love by Diane Briggs
Dance Song Un Poco Loco
Dance Song Witch Doctor
Cool Down ABCs, Count to 15
Goodbye Song It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Craft: Credit to Fun-A-Day

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Witches – Toddler

Introduction Hello Everybody, Yes Indeed
Book Happy Halloween, Witch’s Cat by Harriet Muncaster
witch
Nursery Rhyme Soft Kitty
Soft kitty, warm kitty,
Little ball of fur.
Pretty kitty, sleepy kitty,
Purr, purr, purr.
Book Zip! Zoom! On a Broom by Teri Sloat
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ASL Witch
Counting Halloween Witches
Tune: Ten Little Indians
One little, two little, three little witches (count out three fingers)
Flying over haystacks (Fly hand up and down)Gliding over ditches
Slide down moonbeams without any hitches (glide hand downward)
Heigh-ho! Halloween’s Here!
Source: 35 Preschool Favorites: 35 Storytimes Kids Loves by Diane Briggs
Action Rhyme Late Last Night
Last night or the night before,
Twenty-four witches came knocking at my door.
I gave them candy but they wanted more.
I didn’t know what to do, so I shut the door!
Source: Preschool Express 
Action Rhyme Witch’s Snack
A very old witch was stirring a pot.
Oooooooooo two little ghosts said,
“What has she got?”
Oooo…Oooo…Oooo…Oooo
Tippy-toe, Tippy-Toe, Tippy-toe
Boo!
Source: 35 Preschool Favorites: 35 Storytimes Kids Loves by Diane Briggs
Action Rhyme Ghosts and Goblins
Tune: Frere Jacques
Ghosts and goblins, ghosts and goblins
All Around, all around.
Witches on their broomsticks,
Witches on their broomsticks,
Halloween, Halloween.
Source: Piggyback Songs: Seasons & Holidays
Dance Song Stirring Our Brew and 3 Little Witches by Dr. Jean
Cool Down ABCs, Count to 10
Goodbye Song Say Goodbye

Craft: Credit to Fun-A-Day

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American Girl – Caroline Abbott

Introduction Caroline Abbott was one of the first dolls I ever purchased for my library and unfortunately, she is now retired from American Girl collection. Almost four years later, I FINALLY decided to do her for my program!
About Caroline I really dug through Caroline’s books to get inspiration for this program. All the activities we did were directly inspired by Caroline’s books.
Food Since I try and provide some food, I found that biscuits and honey would be a very easy food option. My volunteer spent most of her time in the kitchen prepping the biscuits and making sure the biscuits did not burn.

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First Activity Oh, paper dolls have a special fondness in my heart, so I was excited to find the history of paper dolls in Caroline’s books. I thought my patrons would have fun making their own dolls. I found further inspiration from Thy World on affordable paper dolls. I was excited that my patrons could make boy or girl paper dolls. I had a volunteer make several clothing templates and then I put a ton of scrapbooking paper out for the participants to pick what they wanted to use.
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Second Activity Everyone love pockets! Unfortunately, during Caroline’s time, girls had to make “pockets” instead of having them sewn into their dresses. We simply used felt and I had a volunteer pre-poke holes to make the sewing aspect easier for the kids. This was kind of pain. However, the kids got a kick from it.
pockets
Third Activity Our last activity was embroidery. I wanted this activity to be accessible for all participants and decided to use burlap and plastic needles (real needles gave me too much anxiety). I will say the youngest kids were more meh about it because it does take time and patience, but my older kids really got into it! Rhythms of Play really broke down what I needed.

Rhyming to Read: The Lion and the Unicorn

 

Opening Song Welcome
Opening Activity Bread and Butter
Bread and Butter
Marmalade and Jam
Let’s say hello as quiet as we can (whisper hello)Loud as we can.
Slow as we can.
Fast as we can.
High as we can.
Low as we can.
Nice as we can.
Source: Jbrary
Rhyme The Lion and the Unicorn
The lion and the unicorn
Were fighting for the crown
The lion beat the unicornAll around the town.
Some gave them white bread,
And some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum cake
and drummed them out of town.
Sorting Activity Dairy vs Grains
I had the kids tell me if the picture fell into Grains or Dairy. I had a trick picture of a plum. They yelled fruit right away!
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Matching Activity Match the Rhyme
I found some clipart that related to the rhyme. I then had the kids identify each piece while I hid them under the bread slices (not all pictured). The kids then played a game of memory.
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Activity Toast in the Toaster
Toast in the toaster.
Toast in the toaster.
Getting Very hot.
Tick tock, Tick, tock,
Up I pop!
Battle of the Unicorns and Lions I divided my group up into four teams. Two teams of unicorns and two teams of lions. I then gave each group a mason jar filled with heavy whipping cream. While I played the Rocky theme song, the groups had to see who could make their butter the fastest! The little kids went gaga for this. It does take some time with little kids’ strength! I strongly encouraged the adults to also shake the jar also.
Treat We made butter! I then had white bread and brown bread (Technically I bought honey wheat. I wasn’t sure if all little kids enjoyed true wheat bread.) for them to enjoy their butter. I also had grape jelly as a stand-in for plums.