Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pinkalicious Party!

I put this party on the schedule back in the summer when my brain was fried and I needed a Saturday program for families. I knew Pinkalicious was popular and I wanted to promote book characters in my family programs, so I figured, how bad could it be? Oh, my dear innocent self, how I envy your naivete.

Then last week I started reading the books to prep for the party.

And I regretted all of my decisions.

BUT. Regardless of personal feelings about literary value, there's a lot to be done for a Pinkalicious party and the kids really love her! Books that I put on display during the program were checked out! There were kids reading them during the program! What more could I ask for?? (Except for, of course, an endless supply of parentheses and exclamation points...)

So here's what we did for our party:

1 - Flower crowns from Emeraldalicious: 

2 - Wands: made from wooden skewers (though straws would be equally effective), ribbon, and pre-cut cardstock hearts. I would have provided stars as well, but that shape was missing from our die cutting supplies so it was only pink hearts this time around. (Reminds me: I have to look for the star). 

3 - Mermaids from Aqualicious: made with clothespins, permanent markers, tacky glue, cardstock tails, and various decorations (yarn for hair, sequins, paper flowers for her hat, etc.).

4 - Pinkalicious hairbands: made with hair ties and cut up pieces of plastic tablecloth tied to the hairband. It didn't look like much on the table and I thought perhaps it was too simple, but the parents enjoyed them and they looked super-cute in the girls' hair. 

5- Fairy Wings: These were borrowed from my Fancy Nancy party and were a big hit once again.  

6 - Goldilicious unicorns: we made unicorn paper bag puppets that were super cute and of course I forgot to take a picture. Oops!

I served snacks: pink frosted cookies, lady fingers with pink frosting, and strawberries as well as green apple slices and small bunches of green grapes to balance us out. 

The kids really enjoyed it, the parents had a good time, and in general it was a worthwhile party. And the books checked out! Librarian heaven. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sewing School

I've had sewing workshops with the older kids in the past (ages 10 and up), but due to much wailing and gnashing of teeth from a very very interested younger crowd, I decided to do a sewing class for slightly younger kids this fall. And so Sewing School, a monthly sewing program, was born. 

For the first session, I wanted to get them familiar with the basics of sewing before we started our projects.  

Everyone had a piece of flannel with a needle in it to begin with. I taught them how to thread the needle and tie a knot at the end of the yarn. Then we practiced a simply running stitch on the flannel. 

Once they were comfortable with that, we moved on to the projects: pillows with buttons and lace. 

First, they picked their fabric, the lace they wanted, and the buttons (if they wanted buttons). They cut the fabric to size using sheets of cardboard that were approximately 9x12. 

Then they used the running stitch to attach the ribbon/lace to their pieces. 

Finally, they placed the pieces right-side-to-right-side and sewed them together. 

Then stuffing and closing and TA DA! Pillows! 

The younger kids (I had ages 8-12) did remarkably well with the project and I got ALL of the needles back! (Miracle of miracles). I set the program at 90 minutes, but we probably could have used the full two hours once you factor in the waiting time to untangle thread and troubleshoot crooked projects.

The kids were very proud of their pillows, though, and excited to be involved.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flannel Friday 9/23 Round-up!

It's time for the round-up! Woo hoo!!

Here we go:

First off, Keith from Felt-tastic Flannelboard Funtine has an amazing step-by-step tutorial on how to make kawaii flannels - or any flannels for that matter! The purple alpaca is adorable. Check it out!

Wendy at Flannelboard Fun keeps the cuteness level at super-high with her Little Miss Muffet. The ottoman is adorable! (Sorry, the tuffet!)

Kate at Feltboard Magic is ringing in fall with Five Little Autumn Leaves in a Tall Tall Tree. Is fall cloudy or windy by you? Then use the adorable (and super simple to recreate) Five Little Clouds. And finally, if you are already looking forward to the holiday season, check out The Lights on the Tree which is fancy and super festive.

Finally, Amy at Catch the Possibilities is hosting a guest post with extension activities for Put Me in the Zoo. Great fine motor skill development and a fun spotted dog make for a perfect storytime art project.

And that's all we got, folks! Thanks to everyone for participating.

Go out and flannel! (or is it, stay in and flannel?) Regardless, enjoy the inspiration!

Happy Flanneling!

You can find out more about Flannel Friday on the blog or on the Facebook page. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flannel Friday Round-up (8/19)

Welcome to the August 19th Round-up!

Mr. Keith, from Felt-tastic Flannelboard Funtime has an adorable version of the classic apple rhyme - plus a bonus adorable cat. (Everything's better with a cat, amirite, cat people?)

Kate, from Feltboard Magic, has lovely varied weather set to use with "What's the Weather?" I love the rain and snow drops on little strings. Not sure how the song goes? Jbrary will sing it for you!

Finally, Wendy from Flannelboard fun has two sets for us this week: a lovely multicultural construction set (including vehicles, bricks, and cones!) and some super-festive Christmas trees to start the holiday celebrations.

Thanks to everyone for participating! You can find out more about Flannel Friday on the Facebook page or by following the blog.

Happy flanneling!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Flannel Friday Roundup: May 27th

Alright, folks, it's time for the round-up!

First off, we have Wendy at Flannelboard fun with a flannel version of Bark, George. I love this story - I now have a new way to tell it!

Mr. Keith at Felt-tastic Flannelboard Funtime has a cupcake with attitude called Patty LeCake and not only is she adorable, but she teaches the letter of the week with a rhyme that is familiar to many people already. Hooray for Patty!

Jessica at Storytime in the Stacks has a great rhyme about five little babies and (for the clickbait version): you won't believe what happens at the end! I totally laughed!

Kate at Feltboard Magic has two interactive sets: five kites that teach numbers and color sorting and clouds that teach number sorting. I'm super jealous of her cute letters and numbers. (Maybe she'll share her secret with us....?)

Laura at Literacious has colorful butterflies ready for their color recognition rhyme. Bonus points for being nice and easy to make. 

And that's all for this week! Thanks to everyone for participating. Find out more about Flannel Friday on Facebook or at their blog. Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Flannel Friday: Tails Chasing Tails

For this flannel, I used Matthew Porter's simple and lovely board book: Tails Chasing Tails. 

I made each of the animals from the book and then cut them in half (which, even though necessary, was still a little heartbreaking, honestly). 

The book starts with the elephant chasing the tiger: 

When the kids have guessed who that tail belongs to, I add the head: 

Here are the other animals chasing/being chased: 

And it ends with the mouse chasing a gray tail... 

Which brings the whole thing full circle. You could also choose to make the elephant a whole animal and end with the mouse. 

I used this with both toddlers and preschoolers and they seemed to enjoy it equally; some of the tails are easy and some are challenging enough to make it an interesting concept for both these groups. 

Flannel Friday is being hosted by Emily at Literary Hoots so stop on over there to see other flannels shared this week. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Clubs: That's Gross!

For this month's book clubs (I run K-2 then 3rd-5th clubs back to back), I decided to do things that were gross. I pulled a whole bunch of books that we had based on the following search terms: gross, yuck, slime, disgusting, pee, farts, and poop. It was like a third grade boy's favorite Google search terms. 

I did find a whole bunch of books, though! Unfortunately, none of them were Grossology cause I guess that one gets checked out a lot. Well, that just means I don't have to promote it! 

I started by reading: Yikes! Your Body up Close by Mike Janulewicz. 

I didn't read the whole thing, just enough to gross everyone out (giant photos of lice, anyone?). I do wish the flaps had a better reveal of what you are looking at - they just show more magnified parts which you still have to decipher. The skin photo was cool, though. 

We then moved to the table to make dirt cake. I love making dirt cake with the kids. Take oreos, remove the inside stuff, and smash them. Make chocolate pudding. Put a gummy worm in the chocolate pudding and add the crushed oreos on top and I swear it looks like you're spooning up dirt. Delicious, easy, loads of kid appeal, and it involves smashing things. It never ever fails. 

Then we went to craft time: SLIME. 

We ended with slime because it was the messiest and because it invites extended play. The best recipe is from Steve Spangler Science and uses glue and borax. I've been making this particular concoction for years and it's super squishy and gross and fun to play with - definitely a winner.

Slime Ingredients

Slime as boogers. 
Though I didn't make it this time I've also made a fun-to-moosh-around slime out of cornstarch and water. You mix the two until you have a liquid-y type thing which hardens when you squeeze it: 

And when you let go it goes all liquid-y again. It's fascinating... 

 ...but rather difficult to clean up. 

I was going to teach my older kids the "Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts" song, but they were a little hyper and I didn't want to add fuel to the fire. It would have been so awesome, though...

I'd say this topic was very successful with both age groups. The Wee Book of Pee definitely elicited some giggles and several people were curious about how toilets work (thank god for David Macaulay!). I also had a pretty high check-out rate for the books that I had pulled, which pleased me.
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