Beach Storytime! 

This storytime was tons of fun! We read some beach stories, played with a real beach ball, made our own beach ball crafts, AND we played with some homemade MOON SAND! This was quite messy, but definitely worth the vacuuming.

Here’s the moon sand recipe if you’d like to try making some. It’s super simple!

8 cups of flour

1 cup of baby oil

mix together with a spoon, then with hands to break up clumps and spread the baby oil around, and voila! Moon sand!

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Slime and Play Dough Factory 

Our Slime & Play Dough Factory program was a blast! Everyone got to make their own personalized batches of slime and play dough, and take them home! (I got a lot of “Can I take this home??” questions)

On top of having a good old-fashioned messy time, the kids got to use their reading and math skills in a real-life situation by reading and following the recipes, while witnessing MAGICAL scientific processes!

You’ll see in the slime recipe below that step 3 includes “be AMAZED!” and that’s just what everyone did! As soon as the Borax mixture was mixed into the glue mixture, it immediately started to solidify and turn very gloopy (technical term) before our eyes!

Before the program started, I set out the ingredients and supplies, making sure to include only the measuring cups and spoons that we would be needing, so that kids didn’t have to sift through a million useless utensils to find the one. They still had to read the handles and figure out which one to use though, because there were multiple units of measurement at each station.

Miss Caitlin and I set up two tables for each  recipe, and made sure that each table had everything that was needed for the recipe. This way, kids didn’t have to carry their mixtures across the room a bunch of times and risk spilling their concoctions.

In preparing for this program, which I have held once before, I experimented for quite some time with different slime and play dough recipes to find just the right proportions of ingredients, and just the right processes. I wanted to make these as easy and low-mess as possible, and these recipes are what I came up with! I LOVE that the play dough recipe all takes place inside of one baggie, with no bowls or stirring necessary. Unfortunately, the slime needs two bowls, so there were only five slime stations available at a time, but that wasn’t even bad! We just sent people to the play dough recipe first, and called them over as slime stations became available.

I encourage anyone to try out these recipes! It really is as simple it sounds!

Colors! 

This week at storytime, we read these awesome books about colors!

  It was SO hard to narrow it down, because there are so many great books about colors, but these are the ones I chose:

Little Green Peas by Keith Baker- LMNO Peas was such a hit, so I figured the kiddos would like this one just as much, and they did! The kids got a little confused about the repetition of “little green peas” though, because sometimes they changed to “little green guys” or “little green fellas” but it kept them on their toes! This one would have been good with a little smaller of a group though, because the illustrations are so detailed and the green peas so little.

Magic Colors by Patrick George- THIS BOOK IS MAGICAL, if you couldn’t tell from the name. We had lots of fun turning the magic pages and watching the colors change. Mesmerizing.

…and one of my very favorites:

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh- Not sure what to say about this book aside from the fact that it’s one of my faves. It introduces the concept of mixing colors to make other colors perfectly… and there’s a cat in it, so there’s that. 🙂

After stories, we had a couple of colorful activities!

The first was mixing colors, just like the mice did! I almost always do this activity when I read Mouse Paint, so of course I did it this week! Very simple, just put red, blue, and yellow paints in a baggie with a spoon, seal them up, and let the kids go to town squishing the paint around to see what new colors they can make.

  
This activity is usually a hit, but it wasn’t as amazing to the kids this time because on the other tables were ACTUAL PAINTS AND PAPER, and of course, the messier the better!

Here are some examples of masterpieces that were created:

This was a great storytime, and the kids love playing with paints so much, I think I’m going to get them out more often!

Monster Party! 

We had an awesome MONSTER PARTY last night here at NPL, and it was a blast! We read some monster stories, had a monster snack, colored some monster pictures, made a monster craft, and pretended we were monsters!

Ladies and gentlemen, my pride and joy, my greatest acoomplishment: MONSTER COOKIES! I’m obsessed with how cute these babies came out!    To make these, I used Nilla wafers, green frosting, eyeball candies, and purple “candy shred” for the hair. Super easy and cute! Just look at the cyclops ones!!

For our craft, we made monster corner bookmarks, and they came out FABULOUS. Here’s mine!

Here’s Ethans, complete with a screaming “AAAAAA”  Here’s Brooklynn’s, with “bloody fangs” eek!
  …and here’s Nana’s with a bazillion eyes and more bloody fangs!

We had such a good time, and I almost……ALMOST feel guilty about how much sugar they left with in their bellies. 🙂

Mo Willems/iPad Storytime!

I did this one a while ago, but it’s still one of my favorites so I have to share!

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We read The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems, then we used Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! on the iPad, followed by a cute, simple Pigeon craft.

I wasn’t sure how it would go, but this app was so much fun to use in storytime that I ended up using it during my 4 Head Start visits the next day. It was a crowd pleaser, as it’s silly and interactive.

If you’re not familiar with this app, basically, the bus driver asks the reader a series of questions such as “What’s your name?” “What’s something that you think is really smelly?” “What’s your favorite snack” and so on. The app records your answers and inserts them mad lib-style into an original “Don’t Let the Pigeon….” story.

The kids loved answering the questions, then hearing their answers repeated as part of the silly, high-energy animated story.

This app is on the pricier side, at $5.99, but it is so much fun.

This was such a fun storytime with the elements of print books, the interactive app, and the craft time!