Gross-Out Cook-Off

Our library really enjoys doing cooking programs for the public. We have started getting in the habit of doing a cook-off at least once a year, and this past year we did a Gross-Out Cook-Off for children in grades 4-12th grade. This was a collaboration between the children’s department and the teen department.
Here were the rules:

  • Children and teens in grades 4-12 may enter “Gross-Out Cook-Off.” Prizes will be awarded in three grade categories: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.
  • Registration is required for entry into “Gross-Out Cook-Off.”
  • Each contestant may enter only one entry, and it must be an individual entry. No teams will be accepted.
  • Entries can be sweet or savory and must include a copy of the recipe (which includes any changes you made to the recipe). Also provide information on where the recipe came from (name of blog, cookbook, website, etc.). Include your name and grade with the recipe.
  • The dish will be judged based on the following categories:
    • Appearance –How gross it looks on the plate and the presentation. The grosser, the better!
    • Creativity –Types of ingredients used in the recipe.
    • Taste—How the ingredients work together and the overall taste. It should look and sound gross, but taste amazing!

Here are a few pictures of our entries:
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American Girl – Cécile Rey


Introduction I’ve been really wanting to do a Cécile Rey program for a while now but did not really know what theme I wanted to focus on. Flipping through her books, I came across the yellow fever! I am a total sucker for morbid information, and I figured the subject was fair game if it was in her books.

For my opening remarks, I gave the kids information about New Orleans during Cécile’s time, and how yellow fever was rampant. I provided all the kids an 1853 map of the United States, and they had to color in Louisiana and pinpoint New Orleans.

Symptom Checker/ Nursing Activity After we talked about New Orleans, we started talking about the yellow fever. I gave the symptoms of yellow fever, and the kids colored and marked a human body chart with each of the symptoms.

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I also emphasized that this was a time where the community would tend to their neighbors if they were sick. I gave each kid a packet of gauze and they could either wrap their dolls or another person.
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Masquerade Masks I honestly could not not do masquerade masks. I outreached to a fellow librarian who lives in New Orleans, and she said that masquerades happen all the time. I figured that my participants would enjoy making their own masks.
Mosquito Spray Finally, I decided to do a modern twist on the yellow fever. Why not make our own mosquito spray? I researched the different options and picked a kid-safe/toddler-safe spray recipe. I notified the parents about testing the spray first on clothing.

I had an assembly line set-up and the kids moved down the table.
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Ghosts – Preschool

Introduction Welcome
Book How to Scare a Ghost by Jean Reagan 
Action Rhyme Ring Around the Pumpkins
Ring around the pumpkins
Pocket full of spiders
Boo! Boo!
We all fall down!
The ghosts are in the meadow
Drinking witches brew
Boo! Boo!
We all stand up!
Source: Awesome Storytime 
Books Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
Action Rhyme Tonight is Halloween
Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man!Did you hear a ghost say, “Boo!”
A ghost say, “Boo!,” a ghost say, “Boo!”
I think I just heard him too—
Tonight is Halloween!Have you tasted Goblin Stew,
Goblin Stew, Goblin Stew?
I wouldn’t taste it if I were you—
Tonight is Halloween!Did you see that bat fly through
That bat fly through, that bat fly through?
I’d run home if I were you—
Tonight is Halloween!
Source: The Mailbox
Action Rhyme Ghost Chant
Ghost so scary,
Ghost so white,
Don’t scare (child’s name)
On Halloween Night
Source: Piggyback Songs: Seasons & Holidays
Action Song The More We Boo Together
The more we boo together, together, together,
The more we boo together the scarier we’ll be.
‘Cause my boo plus your boo will make goblins boo-hoo.
The more we boo together the scarier we’ll be.
Source: King County Library System
Dance Song Put Your Fingers in the Air by Miss Carole
Closing Songs ABC, Count to 10
Goodbye song  It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Craft: A big ghost and a little ghost.

Ghosts – Toddler

Introduction Hello Everybody, Yes Indeed
Books Five Silly Ghosts by Hilli Kushnir
Action Rhyme The Ghost
I saw a ghost (fingers circle eyes)
He saw me too (point to yourself)
I waved at him (wave your hand)
But he said “BOO!” (try to scare person next to you)
Source: Preschool Education
Book Pop-Up Haunted House
Traditional Rhyme This is Big, Big, Big/Clap Clap Your hands
I have started incorporating sign language into “This is Big, Big, Big” rhyme.
ASL Ghost
Nursery Rhyme Little Miss Muffet
Little miss Muffet she sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds eating and whey
Along came a spider who sat down beside her
And frightened miss Muffet away.
Action Song Baby Ghost
Baby ghost, baby ghost
Flying through the air. (Move puppet back and forth in front of toddler.)
Baby ghost, baby ghost
Touching your hair. (Have ghost touch toddlers hair.)
Baby ghost, baby ghost
Flying down low. (Bring hand with puppet down low.)
Baby ghost, baby ghost
Touches your toe. (Bend down and touch ghost to toddlers toe.)
Baby ghost, baby ghost
Flying up high. (Raise ghost puppet up high.)
Baby ghost, baby ghost
Touches your eye. (I had the kids hide behind their puppets and then we all shouted “Boo!”)
Source: Preschool Express 
Action Song Two Little Ghosts
A very old witch was stirring a pot (make a stirring motion)
Ooo-oooo! Ooo-oooo!
Two little ghosts said, “What has she got?” (shrug shoulders)
Tippytoe, tippytoe, tippytoe…(“walk” fingers up arm or tiptoe in circle)
Boo! (Clap hands loudly)
Source: Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols
Dance Song Wiggle Walk by Carole Peterson
Traditional Song ABC, Count to 10
Goodbye Song Say Goodbye