Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summer Reading wrap-up


This week we did a final “indoor campfire” party at each of our three branches to close out Dream Big–READ!  This was my first summer reading experience, and I have to say I really enjoyed it!  My favorite thing about this summer has been that, in addition to seeing some familiar faces, I got to meet kids and parents/caregivers that I hadn’t met before–I always love that!  Another highlight was rolling out our new Rubber Ducky Club.  Thanks to all who attended and made it a success!

I was so busy that I didn’t get to take any pictures at the parties 😦  As is my custom, we had several different “stations” going on.  First, we had a pretend play campsite with tent, sleeping bag, and pretend fire.  I also included a backpack and lunchbox filled with canteens (see here–I used an empty medicine bottle instead of a film canister and I covered the paper plates with felt), and pretend s’mores (this idea is brilliant–see here).  For our crafts we did a paper plate dreamcatcher, paper weaving, and binoculars made from toilet paper rolls.  For our snack, we had walking s’mores snack mix (Golden Grahams cereal, chocolate chips, and marshmallows mixed together in a snack size ziploc bag.)

For participating in summer reading (i.e. turning in a completed reading log), each participant received a certificate, stickers, a visit to the treasure chest, and a coupon for a free kid’s cup of yogurt at TCBY!  We also held a drawing at each party for free passes to Wilder’s World 4 Kids.  A huge THANK YOU to TCBY and Wilder’s World 4 Kids!

I am currently working on the seventh edition of our “Summer Readers Write” book.  We have gotten some really great stories and illustrations!  If you contributed a story to the book, please remember to come to our Authors’ Reception at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4 at the Leesburg Library.  You’ll have a chance to share your work with everyone, plus enjoy refreshments and receive a free copy of YOUR book!

If your child or grandchild was registered for summer reading, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win $5,529 for their future education!  Visit to enter.  All entries must be submitted online by July 31, 2012.

Finally, a note about fall programming.  Great news!  Ms. Joy will be offering a preschool storytime at the Redbone Library on Mondays at 2:30 p.m. starting on August 20!  She will also do after school crafts starting at 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays starting on August 24.  Storytimes and crafts will resume at the Leesburg Library after Labor Day–stay tuned for more details!

All events mentioned in this blog are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.


LEGO Club–Redbone (slideshow)


Thursday was LEGO Club at the Redbone Library!  We had a great turnout, and there were many brilliant creations.  See a slideshow here.

For my librarian friends out there, I would highly recommend this program.  Yes, it can be a little difficult to come by the blocks, but once you have them, you have them forever.  This is a low maintenance program that is fun for a wide range of kids (we offered big MegaBloks, Duplo, and LEGO).  I started publicizing the club several months ago, and put requests for blocks on Facebook, here on this blog, and on posters around the library.  I did require preregistration, though I understand that many libraries do because of the quantity of blocks.  Although I was anxious about not having enough blocks, the kids played just fine with the ones that we had.  I will say that they are particularly interested in the figurines, so be aware of that!  Another tip that I read somewhere (I’m sorry–I don’t remember where) is this: keep the blocks on a cloth.  That way, all you have to do to clean up is gather up the cloth and pour it into your storage bin.  This tip saved me a TON of time!


All in all, this was a successful program, and I am looking to pick it up on a regular basis in the fall.  I welcome any suggestions about times, days, and frequency of meetings (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).

LEGO Club is sponsored by the Lee County Library and is free and open to the public.  For more information call 759-2369.

LEGO Club–Leesburg Branch (slideshow)


We had our first LEGO Club at the Leesburg Branch today!  It. was. SO. MUCH. FUN!  I have really been looking forward to this program, and I was not disappointed.  I am planning to offer regular LEGO Club meetings during the school year, so if you enjoyed this program, please give me your feedback about what you would like to see in the future.

For now, though, please enjoy this slideshow of our creations!



LEGO Club is coming to Smithville at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, and to Redbone at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 12.

LEGO Club is sponsored by the Lee County Library and is free and open to the public.  For more information, please call 759-2369.

Rubber Ducky #5–Good Morning, Good Night


I can hardly believe that today was our 5th (and next-to-last) Rubber Ducky Club meeting!  I am thrilled that RDC has been so well-received!  Thank you to the families who make us a part of your child’s weekly routine.

The early literacy skill for this week was print awareness.  This is simply noticing print and learning how to handle a book and follow words on the page.  This skill is important because being familiar with printed language makes children feel more comfortable with books and reading.  Reading together every day supports print awareness by allowing your child to become familiar with books and the printed word.

Opening Song:  We hit our knees together (from Mother Goose on the Loose)

Opening Rhyme: Good Morning Mrs. Perky Bird (with bird puppet)

Opening Game:  Where is little sun?

BookHello, Day! by Anita Lobel.

Activity:  When the [ ] gets up in the morning.  This idea is from Mother Goose on the Loose.  I have a bag of puppets and take them out one at a time–“When the rooster gets up in the morning, he always says” and I pause to let the kids fill in the sound.  I usually have an assortment of puppets in the bag–cow, pig, dog, cat, horse, and rooster.

Rhyme/Song: This is the way we wash (with scarves).  We used the scarves to pretend wash our hands, arms, faces, legs, and feet.

Rhyme/Song:  Hickory Dickory Dock.  We did this as an action rhyme as suggested by Saroj Ghoting in this video.

Book: Little Bea, by Daniel Roode.

Activity:  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around.  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground.  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear show your shoe.  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, how old are you? (hold up fingers for age).  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, reach up high.  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, blink your eyes.  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the lights (pretend to turn out lights).  Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight (lay head on hands and pretend to sleep).

Closing Game: Rhyme Cube

Closing Rhyme: This is Big Big Big (from Mel’s Desk)

Closing Song: Can you kick with two feet? (from Mother Goose on the Loose)

Craft: sun/moon paper plate mobile.  To reinforce print awareness, we made this mobile out of paper plates.  Each child got two paper plates, two slips of paper (one “day” and one “night”), crayons, glue stick, and a sheet of stars.  I stapled my paper plates together, but some families opted to glue them together.









Next week is our 6th and final Rubber Ducky Club meeting.  Be sure to bring your completed June early literacy log in for a rubber ducky.  To receive your book, turn in your completed June (if you haven’t already brought it) and July early literacy activity logs by July 13.

Rubber Ducky Club is sponsored by the Lee County Library and is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.

Don’t forget that “Summer Readers Write” entries are due July 14!



The Lee County Library is accepting stories and poems for its seventh “Summer Readers Write” book.  Entries are limited to six pages and may be illustrated.  Entries must be submitted by July 14 for inclusion.  Authors will receive a free copy of the book at the Authors’ Reception, scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4.  Authors may present their work at the Authors’ Reception as a reading, puppet show, or skit.  Stories may follow this year’s summer reading theme of “Dream Big–READ”, but this is not required.  For help getting started, check out this writing prompts calendar, available for free at Lakeshore Learning.





Smithville and Redbone–Monster crafts! (plus slideshow!)


Last week at Smithville and Redbone we made toilet paper/paper towel roll monsters and a cute little folded paper monster bookmark.

For the bookmark, I just brought glue sticks, scissors, and a huge box of scrapbooking paper.  See this tutorial for instructions on how to make them.  I cut the bookmark shapes out ahead of time, and the kids assembled them and decorated them.

I’m always looking for new ways to use toilet paper and paper towel rolls, so making monsters seemed to be a great use for them.  I brought them, plus decorative paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms, googly eyes, ribbon, and whatever I had lying around.  I recommend having a hot glue gun on hand to attach pom poms and anything else white school glue just won’t hold.  I also brought a hole punch for attaching pipe cleaner tails, horns, and legs.

Check out the slideshow of our creations, plus some “monstrously good” reads!  (I have been having trouble with the slideshows playing on Firefox lately.  If you are having the same trouble, try changing your browser.  It worked for me!)


There are no summer reading activities scheduled for this week.  I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July!  Next week we’ll be back with Rubber Ducky Club at Leesburg 10:00 a.m. on Monday, then LEGO Club: 10:00 a.m. Tuesday (7/10) at Leesburg, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (7/11) at Smithville, and 10:00 a.m. Thursday (7/12) at Redbone!  We are still accepting LEGO donations!

Summer reading events are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.