Santa comes to the library!

For the first time, Santa came to our library! What a hit! Santa was visiting from out of town (of course) and offered to make an appearance at the library during his stay.  What luck!Santa and kids

It was a pleasant surprise to see lots of familiar faces, especially the little ones who were meeting Santa for the first time. And what a family affair! Many kids were joined by both parents and I was able to meet those who don’t make it during the weekday programs.  It was a welcomed social event on the weekend before Christmas. Who knew?

Since storytime is going to take Christmas week off, I read stories until Santa arrived. Once he walked through the door though, it was all eyes on Santa. I wasn’t offended in the least! The kids were able to visit with Santa and decorate cookies while the adults were able to greet friends. It was lovely!

Happy holidays everyone!

Hannukah and Christmas!

We have lots of kids anxious for Christmas and the holiday season at the library so I decided to celebrate a couple of the holidays a bit early. The kids were easily in the mood!

Photo Dec 12, 10 53 41 AMMost of the kids who come to story hour are very familiar with Christmas, but few know much about Hannukah. So I decided to read books about both. The Runaway Latkes was a great pick for this group. They are familiar with The Gingerbread Man , which has a similar storyline. The little ones were entranced by the sequence of the story which is nicely supported by repeated phrases as the story progresses.

After talking about Hannukah, we moved on to Christmas stories including Jingle-Jingle and Merry Christmas, Splat. Jingle-Jingle works well with a bell for sound effects and inspired the kids to read along and finish sentences for me, always a good sign! Clip-Clop, another of Nicola Smee’s books, is also a good read-aloud with the 3-5 age group.Photo Dec 12, 12 49 18 PM

The kids need a chance to move around after the stories, so we had a Christmas light scavenger hunt (an activity found in The Holiday Handbook by Barbara Scott). I cut out a paper tree and light bulbs for the activity. Kids scoured the room for hidden light bulbs and then we taped them on the tree to look like strings of lights. Every child found a light or two, so the group felt good and had fun. We followed up the hunt with a reindeer craft. I forgot to take a photo of our creations, but reindeer popsicle stick ornament photos can be found all over.

This craft they took home since our tree is now full of beautiful gingerbread ornaments from the previous week!

Preschool: Food

Between Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas, it seems like this time of year is, among other things, oriented around eating and food (yea, letter F!). I’m not complaining! Sharing a meal with friends and family is a great way to pass the time. Kids generally agree so, today we read stories about pancakes, bears, fruits, and vegetables.  Some of the books went over better than others, but the kids asked questions, offered up anecdotes, and generally, we had a good time!

Food story time books and flannelboard

We began with Hey, Pancakes, after a discussion about breakfast. The books Lunch, Orange Pear Apple Bear,  and Rah, Rah, Radishes followed as did the Five Red Strawberries rhyme using the flannelboard.  Rah, Rah Radishes wasn’t a a huge hit, but we did talk about many of the vegetables included in the excellent photographs.  The strawberry patterns and the great counting rhyme were borrowed from Mel’s Desk. (Thanks to Mel and Storytime Katie generally for their insights and inspirations in the flannelboard department.)

A quick comment about flannelboards. They are magical. I never thought something so simple and, well, “old school,” could be such a hit. The pieces are a bit time consuming to make the first go ’round, but my hidden inner seamstress (along with the help of my husband) has created some great props for stories and rhymes that even 2 year olds can’t deconstruct.  Almost every little one scoots a bit closer or watches my every move as soon as the flannel pieces come out.  With these five strawberries in all of their shapes and sizes it was no different. “That long strawberry is just like one that grew in my garden!” said one excited visitor.

Gingerbread tree decorationsAfter the stories, I solicited the help of the kids to decorate our Christmas tree in the children’s library.  Each child decorated a gingerbread shaped ornament made of brown cardstock. They included the first letter of their name and other decorations to make them unique. They’ll hang until after Christmas and then go home with families. The tree looks great and it’s one of the many Homer touches sprouting up around the library this season.