Lil’ Scientists

I did a special program for kids in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade this past spring break. My coworker and I have quickly realized that any program pertaining to science will bring a good turnout. I decided to do a Lil’ Scientists program. It was a huge hit and something I might turn into a series down the road.

The one big recommendation is to test all your science experiments before your program. I had to fiddle with a few things to make sure they worked for the kids.I would also recommend having almost everything set-up for the kids before they arrive. Pouring water and cleaning up water is very time consuming.

Below are the science experiments we conducted.

Paper Towel Bridge

Directions: Learn, Love, Create or Science Kids

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Observations: I started the program with this experiment. It can take a bit longer for the water to transfer between the cups based on set-up. I already had the water in the cups for the kids, but I allowed them to chose their color combinations.

Paper Towel Dry Test

Directions: Cool Science Experiments

I remember doing this experiment in grade school and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Observations: Every table had a bowl of water with a glass for the kids to experiment. Lots of paper towels!

Pepper and Soap Test

Directions: Cool Science Experiments Headquarters

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Observations: I only allowed the kids to do one session with this experiment. I made them choose the person who would have the honor of dipping the q-tip into the solution. Although, the movement only really happens once or twice, the kids still had fun breaking up the pepper.

Lava Lamp

Directions:Hello, Wonderful

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Observations: This was the kids’ favorite experiment. They loved watching the eruption happen. We were able to even catch an image of some of the fizzling happening. I would recommend limiting the number of food coloring drops. Some of the experiments got too dark for the kids to see what was happening.

Dance – Preschool

Opening Song

Clap Everybody and Say Hello!

Clap everybody and say hello!
Clap everybody and say hello!
Clap everybody and say hello!
No matter what the weather!

Stomp everybody and say hello!
Stomp everybody and say hello!
Stomp everybody and say hello!
No matter what the weather!

Jump everybody and say hello!
Jump everybody and say hello!
Jump everybody and say hello!
No matter what the weather!

Books

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Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig
One More Dino On the Floor by Kelly Starling Lyons
The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants by Eric Litwin

Finger Rhyme

Dance Your Fingers Up

Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance your fingers to the side, dance them all around
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed
Source: King County Library

Actions Rhymes

We Can Jump
We can jump, jump, jump
We can hop, hop, hop
We can clap, clap, clap
We can stop, stop, stop
We can nod our heads for yes
We can shake our heads for no
We can bend our knees a little bit
And we can sit down really slow
Credit: 1234 More Storytimes

An activity I did with the kids was challenge them to contort their bodies depending on what letter I gave them. Another storytime blogger mentioned this activity and it worked really well for this storytime.

Activity Songs by Joe Scruggs

Silly Illy Willies by Lolly Hopwood
Jump Up! by Imagination Movers
Chicken Dance by Fisher Price: Fun in the Sun
The Twist by Disney Dancin’ Tunes

Take Home Craft

Closing Activities

The Alphabet Song. We are learning it in sign language.
Counting to 25.

Closing Goodbye Song

See you later, alligator

See you later, alligator (Wave goodbye)
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug (Hug yourself)
Blow a kiss, jellyfish (Blow a kiss)
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur (Point straight ahead)
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly (Wave goodbye)

Observations

I think I will do more of these in the future. It gave me a breather and it gets the kids moving!

Dance – Toddler

Opening Song

Well Hello Everybody, Can You Touch Your Nose

Well hello everybody, can you touch your nose,
Touch your nose, touch your nose?
Well hello everybody, can you touch your nose,
touch your nose?

Well hello everybody can you touch your toes,
touch your toes, touch your toes?
Well hello everybody, can you touch your toes,
touch your toes?

Well hello everybody, can you rub your tummy,
rub your tummy, rub your tummy?
Well hello everybody, can you rub your tummy,
rub your tummy?

Books

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I Can Dance by Betsy Snyder
Toddlerobics! by Zita Newcome

Traditional Rhymes

This is Big Big Big

This is big big big
This is small small small
This is short short short
This is tall tall tall
This is fast fast fast
This is slow slow slow
This is yes yes yes
This is no no no
Source: Mel’s Desk

Clap, Clap, Clap Your hands

Clap, clap, clap your hands
Clap them now with me
Clap your hands, let me see
Clap your hands with me

Beep, beep, beep your nose
Touch, touch, touch your shoulders
Tap, tap, tap your knees
Shake, shake, shake your feet

Wind Your Bobbin Up

Wind your bobbin up,
Wind your bobbin up,
Pull, Pull, Clap! Clap! Clap!

Wind your bobbin up,
Wind your bobbin up,
Pull, Pull, Clap! Clap! Clap!

Point to the ceiling
Point to the floor
Point to the window
Point to the door

Clap your hands together – 1, 2, 3,
Put your hands down on your knees.

Action Rhymes

Laugh A Little

Laugh a little, laugh a little, ha, ha, ha.
Sing a little, sing a little, la, la, la.
Clap a little, clap a little, clap, clap, clap.
Dance a little, dance a little, tap, tap, tap.
Spin a little, spin a little, round and round.
Rest a little, rest a little, all fall down!
Source: Author Unknown

Activity Songs by Joe Scruggs

Got the Wiggles  by Bob and Lolo
Chicken Dance by Fisher Price: Fun in the Sun
Hot Potato by The Best of the Wiggles

Take Home Craft

Closing Activities

The Alphabet Song
Counting to 20.

Closing Goodbye Song

The Goodbye Train is Leaving
Oh the goodbye train is leaving see you soon, toot, toot.
Oh the goodbye train is leaving see you soon, toot, toot.
Oh the goodbye train is leaving, the goodbye train is leaving
Oh the goodbye train is leaving see you soon, toot, toot

Observations

This was a fun storytime. I’m always up for dancing. The kids enjoyed the change-up with more dancing than rhymes and books.

Everything is Awesome! Party

My co-worker and I were singing the LEGO movie song, “Everything is Awesome!” when we had an ah ha moment! Why not do an “Everything is Awesome! Party” for our kids in grade school that incorporates all their favorite fandoms right now?!?! We focused on Minecraft, Star Wars, My Little Pony, LEGO, Superheros, and Frozen.

We ultimately decided that we would choose a several different crafts/activities, provide a theme-based food, and play The LEGO Movie in the background.

Set-up

My Little Pony Craft Station

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Frozen Craft Stations

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Star Wars Craft Station

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Minecraft

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Mixture of Fandoms

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Minecraft Food Table

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Movie Set-Up

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Observations

This was a fairly cost effective program that the kids really enjoyed. The largest expense was food. We didn’t know how many people would show up, so we opted to go for middle of the road and hope for the best.

I would recommend that you make sure all the activities are appropriate for everyone in attendance. We decided to have a perler bead station and asked that only kids in 3th-5th use this station. However, our program was open for kids in grades 1st-5th. Many of the younger kids wanted to do station, and we ended up having quite a few parents creating the artwork for their kids.

Naughty/Mischievous – Preschool

Opening Song

Clap Everybody and Say Hello!

Clap everybody and say hello!
Clap everybody and say hello!
Clap everybody and say hello!
No matter what the weather!

Stomp everybody and say hello!
Stomp everybody and say hello!
Stomp everybody and say hello!
No matter what the weather!

Jump everybody and say hello!
Jump everybody and say hello!
Jump everybody and say hello!
No matter what the weather!

Books

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I Am Bear by Ben Bailey Smith
Baa Baa Smart Sheep by Mark Sommerset
I’d Really Like To Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio

Finger Rhyme

Don’t Touch the Baby

Mama says: “Don’t touch the baby.”
Papa says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Grandma says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Grandpa says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Little Sister says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Where’s the baby?  “Don’t touch the baby!”

Waaahhhhh! You touched the baby!?
Source: King County Library System

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Little bunny Foo Foo
Went hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head

Down came the Good Fairy, and she said
“Little bunny Foo Foo
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head.”
I’ll give you 3 chances!
And if you don’t behave, I will turn you into a goon!”

And the Next Day… (Keep going until he is on his last chance)

I gave you three chances and you didn’t behave so….POOF.
She turned him into a Goon.

Themed Rhymes

There Was A Little Girl

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead (point to forehead)
And when she was good
She was very very good. (fold hands in lap)
But when she was bad
She was horrid! (make a face)
Source: Perry Public Library

Activity Songs by Joe Scruggs

No-No-No Dance Song  by Sesame Street
No More Monkeys by Asheba  (We used the parachute with this song.)

Take Home Craft

Closing Activities

The Alphabet Song. We are learning it in sign language.
Counting to 25.

Closing Goodbye Song

See you later, alligator

See you later, alligator (Wave goodbye)
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug (Hug yourself)
Blow a kiss, jellyfish (Blow a kiss)
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur (Point straight ahead)
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly (Wave goodbye)

Observations

Baa Baa Smart Sheep is a really funny book. However, I was afraid some parents/guardians would not enjoy a sheep tricking an ostrich into eating poop. I made the kids promise that they would NEVER trick someone with this kind of prank.

Naughty/Mischievous -Toddler

Opening Song

Well Hello Everybody, Can You Touch Your Nose

Well hello everybody, can you touch your nose,
Touch your nose, touch your nose?
Well hello everybody, can you touch your nose,
touch your nose?

Well hello everybody can you touch your toes,
touch your toes, touch your toes?
Well hello everybody, can you touch your toes,
touch your toes?

Well hello everybody, can you rub your tummy,
rub your tummy, rub your tummy?
Well hello everybody, can you rub your tummy,
rub your tummy?

Books

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I Am Bear by Ben Bailey Smith
No, David! by David Shannon

Traditional Rhymes

This is Big Big Big

This is big big big
This is small small small
This is short short short
This is tall tall tall
This is fast fast fast
This is slow slow slow
This is yes yes yes
This is no no no
Source: Mel’s Desk

Clap, Clap, Clap Your hands

Clap, clap, clap your hands
Clap them now with me
Clap your hands, let me see
Clap your hands with me

Beep, beep, beep your nose
Touch, touch, touch your shoulders
Tap, tap, tap your knees
Shake, shake, shake your feet

Jack Be Nimble

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over the candlestick!

Finger Rhyme

Don’t Touch the Baby

Mama says: “Don’t touch the baby.”
Papa says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Grandma says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Grandpa says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Little Sister says:  “Don’t touch the baby.”
Where’s the baby?  “Don’t touch the baby!”

Waaahhhhh! You touched the baby!?
Source: King County Library System

Action Rhymes

I’m Stretching Very Tall

I’m stretching very tall
And now I’m very small
Now tall, now small
Now I’m a tiny ball
Source: Storytime 101

Activity Songs by Joe Scruggs

No-No-No Dance Song  by Sesame Street
No More Monkeys by Asheba  (We used the parachute with this song.)

Take Home Craft

Closing Activities

The Alphabet Song
Counting to 20.

Closing Goodbye Song

The Goodbye Train is Leaving
Oh the goodbye train is leaving see you soon, toot, toot.
Oh the goodbye train is leaving see you soon, toot, toot.
Oh the goodbye train is leaving, the goodbye train is leaving
Oh the goodbye train is leaving see you soon, toot, toot

Observations

I interchanged the word naughty/mischievous. I didn’t want anyone to get any other idea of what this storytime was supposed to be. It was a fun storytime, but it was very difficult to plan.

Battle Bots (Summer 2016)

My coworker and I decided to do a joint program called Battle Bots. We thought it would fit well with our summer reading program (On Your Mark Get Set Read) based on the competition aspect. We knew we wanted it for older kids and opted for kids going into Grades 4th-6th.

To keep the budget reasonable, we asked our community for recyclables that were clean and in good shape. We figured the kids could make their own robots out of these materials. I will explain how we battled them below. Our storytime room ended up looking like a hoarder’s den right before this program. We did have fun laying out everything. This photo does no justice of how many recyclables we really had.

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We knew the program was going to have to be an hour and a half. We wanted 30 minutes for building, 30 minutes for battling, and 30 minutes for playing with the library’s own robot. So the minute the kids arrived, we sat them down and explained this outline. We then let them loose to start building and creating.

 

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Some of the finished products.

 

Now it was time to battle. We had the kids make their own dice and gave them a piece of paper. We then teamed up the kids. The kids would roll their dice at the same time. Highest number won. Three rolls and a winner declared. The kids would then tell us who won and we moved on to the next round until we came down to two kids.

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Final Battle:

Once the winner was declared, we moved on to playing with the library’s Sphero 2.0. With 23 kids, I knew I would have to time it out. I gave them each 30 seconds to try and maneuver the robot. They got a total kick out of it.

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Verdict: 100% doable for the future. The kids had a blast and they depleted about 90% of our recyclables.

 

 

American Girl: Felicity Merriman (April 2016)

My last American Girl session was based on Felicity Merriman. Felicity’s doll has been retired since 2011. However, this did not stop us from putting a program together. My AMG helper, Haley, will be leaving for college in Fall, and I gave her the opportunity to help plan the last session. She decided on Felicity and it was absolutely terrific.

We both loved the idea of doing a general store in honor of Felicity’s family own store. We opted to tie the general store in with hat making. Hats and ribbons were extremely popular during Felicity’s era, and we wanted the participants to get a feel for how someone might have decorated their hat and purchased items from a general store.

We gave the girls buttons to use as their money, and Haley set the prices. She ran this store the entire time. There were ribbons, feathers, and little decorations available for “purchase.” It is awesome to see kids weigh how they want to spend their money.

I wanted to keep the cost down fairly low, and I realized that true hats were going to be a bit expensive for 60 people. Haley and I came up with the idea of taking a paper bowl and flipping it over. We figured that the paper substance would lend itself to being decorated better than Styrofoam. I did paint them yellow to give them a “fancier” look.

I also wanted to provide the participants with a decoration that they would not have to buy. Solution: paper flowers! I had tiny tissue paper that worked perfectly with making tiny flowers. The kids could either put them on their hats or make a bouquet. I will warn you that the tiny flowers take lots of patience.

Our snack for this final session was fruit punch and flummery. Apparently, flummery was very popular during Felicity’s time and we wanted to give everyone a taste of it.

Overall, one of my favorite AMG sessions. It was super easy to put together and everyone had a nice time.

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Smash, Crash, World Records

Last Friday I hosted a Smash, Crash, World Records for kids going into grades K5-3rd. I picked some easy activities that the kids could accomplish. I did registration for this program and had 23 out of 25 kids show up. Unfortunately, I only have my set-up pictures, as I was preoccupied with the Jenga station.

Jenga Tower: The world record is obviously for a game that was completed. This would have taken forever, so I simply did how fast the kids could build a Jenga Tower.

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Longest Hula Hooping/Most Hula Hoops: My helper timed each kid to see how long they could hula hoop. After they completed the first station, the kids then competed to see who could hula hoop 7 rings. We ended up having three kids tie for first place, so we went to how long they could hula hoop the 7 rings.

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Long Jump/Star Jumps: Since long jump was such a hug hit at our Olympic Games, I decided to reincorporate it into this program. However, I spiced it up and actually taped out the longest jump recorded. After the kids completed long jump they went to star jumps. We did it based on a minute. The record is 61 perfect star jumps in 1 minute. Most of the kids could were unable to do a perfect star jump, so we did it based on how many “star jumps” they could complete in a minute.

Observations: This was a very simple program but effective. I had several kids say they would like me to repeat it for the future. I would recommend that you have enough helpers to divide the kids evenly.

Baby – Summer 2016

Here are my baby storytime outlines for 2016. My library normally does a separate Waddler and Walker storytime, but I decided to combine them for the summer. These are my outlines. I will add each storytime outline as I complete them with notes.

Monday, June 13

Introduction Song Well Hello Everybody, Can you Touch Your Nose
Nursery Rhyme This Little Piggy

For my baby storytimes, I have the parents gently touch/shake an arm or leg for each piggy. The last portion of the little pig running home…we tickle bellies.

Book Rainbow Zoo by Martina Hogan
Traditional Rhyme This is Big, Big, Big
Diaper Song Baby Put Your Pants On
Movement Little Bar of Soap
Movement Elevator Song
Dance Song Milkshake by Songs for Wiggle Worms
Dance Song Shake My Sillies Out
Calm Down Song Acka Backa Soda Cracker
Closing Song ABCs
Goodbye Song We Wave Goodbye Like This

Follow-Up Activities: Pots and Pans and toys.

Observations: I might have done just one too many rhymes for this storytime. I might ax one of movement songs. However, I’m really glad that I offered a sensory activity with playtime. I would almost say that the pots and pans trumped the toys.

Monday, June 20 (Children’s Activity Room)

Introduction Song Well Hello Everybody, Can you Touch Your Nose
Nursery Rhyme The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Book Jungle 123 by Little Bee Books
Traditional Rhyme This is Big, Big, Big
Diaper Song Wiggle Waggle Went the Bear
Movement Bouncing, Bouncing, Baby on My Knee
Movement Popcorn
Dance Song If You’re Happy and You Know It
Dance Song Shake My Sillies Out
Calm Down Song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Closing Song ABCs
Goodbye Song We Wave Goodbye Like This

Follow-Up Activities: Bubbles, Toys, Baby Toys

Observations: My library’s AC is only running at half capacity, so I kept it fairly tame. It was too hot for all the rhymes, so I axed out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to speed up the storytime. The room was getting very hot. Unfortunately, I could not locate where I found the popcorn rhyme, but these are the lyrics.

Popcorn, popcorn (bounce gently)
Sittin’ in the pot.
Shake it, shake it. (wiggle baby)
Pop! Pop! Pop! (bounce high 3 times)

Monday, June 27

Introduction Song Well Hello Everybody, Can you Touch Your Nose
Nursery Rhyme Humpty Dumpty
Book
Traditional Rhyme This is Big, Big, Big
Diaper Song Spots, Spots, Spots
Movement Bubble, Bubble, Pop
Movement Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
Dance Song Toddler Can Can
Dance Song Shake My Sillies Out
Calm Down Song Bubble, Hop, And Stop 
Closing Song ABCs
Goodbye Song We Wave Goodbye Like This

Follow-Up Activities: Bubbles, Toys, Baby Toys

Observations: Bubble wrap was a hit! Little babies were focused on trying to pop it while older kids were super excited to step and jump on it. #WIN

Monday, July 11

Introduction Song Well Hello Everybody, Can you Touch Your Nose
Nursery Rhyme Patty Cake
Book  Let’s Have a Picnic by Hunter Reid
Traditional Rhyme Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
Diaper Song Pizza Baby
Movement Somebody’s Hiding
Movement Color, Color
Dance Song I Know a Chicken
Dance Song Jump Up!
Calm Down Song We Wave Our Scarves Together
Closing Song ABCs
Goodbye Song We Wave Goodbye Like This

Follow-Up Activities: Scarves, Toys, Baby Toys

Color, Color up and Down

Color, color up and down,
Color, color all around.
Color, color knees and toes,
Color, color on your nose.
Color, color on your tummy,
Color, color on your mommy.

Observations: I incorporated sensory playtime into this storytime. We used the scarves for half of the rhymes.

Monday, July 18

Introduction Song Well Hello Everybody, Can you Touch Your Nose
Nursery Rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb
Book  Leap, Frog, Leap! by Douglas Florian
Traditional Rhyme Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
Diaper Song Changing Diapers
Movement Animal Moves
Movement Alligator Elevator
Dance Song Hokey Pokey
Dance Song Jump Up
Calm Down Song These Little Fingers
Closing Song ABCs
Goodbye Song We Wave Goodbye Like This

Follow-Up Activities: Parachute, Toys, Baby Toy

Animal Moves

This is the way the bunny hops:
hop, hop, hop, hop.

This is the way the horsey trots:
trit trot, trit trot.

This is the way the froggy jumps:
jump, jump, jump, jump.

This is the way the birdie flies:
fly away, fly away!

These Little Fingers Go

These little fingers go
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.
These little fingers go
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
And now they’re on my
___________.

Observations: My iPod dock actually was not cooperating with me, so we did not dance this session.😦