Monthly Archives: June 2013

Recap–Dig Into Reading Weeks 1 and 2


Dig Into SloganWow, I can’t believe that summer reading is more than halfway over!  What a great four weeks it has been!  In fact, it has been such a whirlwind that I am just now able to sit down and recap some of it!  During weeks 1 and 2 of our school age program each of our four branches enjoyed visits from Chehaw Park (see here for a slideshow) and Dino Camp.



Dino Camp consisted of four activities: make your own dinosaur skeleton with pasta, experiment with fossils, measure the T-Rex footprint, and dig for and classify baby dinosaurs.

008I got the idea for this craft over at Prekinders, but I made my own worksheet so that the older kids could write down information about their dinosaur, such as its name, color, how big it was, what it ate, and where it was discovered.









006The fossil activity was fairly straightforward, but the kids loved it–I put out little plastic dinosaur and sea creature toys and the kids made impressions of them in dirt-colored clay.  I used Crayola Model Magic, which had an awesome consistency and didn’t get everywhere like regular Play-doh.  Model Magic is supposed to air dry, so if you were doing this at home you could set them out and let them harden.  Since I was reusing it, I just kept mine in a large Ziploc bag and it was fine.






005For the T-Rex footprint activity, I cut out and painted a footprint that was approximately the size and shape of a T-Rex footprint.  I taped it on the floor and provided rulers to invite the kids to measure the foot and compare it to their own feet.






















The most popular activity BY FAR was the digging for and classifying baby dinosaurs.  I got these dinosaur eggs from Oriental Trading, but I decided that the eggs were too difficult for the younger kids to open, so I transferred them to some plastic Easter eggs.  (Note: I didn’t use all of the dinosaurs, just the ones that we had the most of.  Also, I wanted them to be fairly easy to recognize and distinguish from one another.  I ended up using Brachiosaurus, Mososaur, Spinosaurus, Parasauolophus, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, Plesiosaurus, and Corythosaurus.)  I “buried” them in dried rice and beans and put the container on sand-colored fabric with an inflatable palm tree (also from Oriental Trading).  Then, I printed out pictures of each dinosaur (along with one or two distinguishing characteristics) and attached them to paper plates.  The kids  were instructed to get an egg, open it, then try to match the baby  dinosaur to the picture.  To make it more scientific, I provided a couple of magnifying glasses so that they could look closely at the characteristics of each baby dinosaur.  Even the older kids LOVED this activity.  The rice was a little messy, and traffic flow was something of an issue with our larger groups, but it was definitely worth it.









Lee County Library Chehaw visits



For the first two weeks of our summer reading program, we enjoyed visits from Chehaw Park at each of our four branches.  We saw lots of cool animals, including a tarantula, a tortoise, a ferret, some snakes, and (my personal fave) Clark the somewhat-grouchy-but-very-adorable owl.  Check out the slideshow here!

Lee County Library Chehaw visits.

Tweens and teens–orphaned rocks. You can help.


024Tweens and teens, this is a sad story.  But it is also a story of hope.  As I write this, dozens of rocks are orphaned.  Plain.  Undecorated.  Unloved.  But you can help!  Come to our Pet Rock creation station on Tuesday, June 11 at 4:00 p.m. at the Oakland Library.  You can take a poor, sad, lonely rock and make it yours.  Take pictures of it in goofy places and you’ll earn yourself an entry to win an itunes gift card or a free pass to All American Fun Park for each photo.  Plus, pictures of rocks decorated with wiggly eyes are funny.  Trust me.





Meet Katniss Everread.















Need I say more?  Please help.  Adopt a rock.  They’re pretty quiet.






Dig Into Reading–Week 2


DIG into Reading LogoWhat a great first week of summer reading!  I really appreciate everyone coming out and enjoying our programs at all four of our branches!  Here’s what’s coming up next week (June 10-14).

Monday, 6/10 at Leesburg Library Rubber Ducky Club [10:00 a.m.]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Leesburg Library Chehaw for Daycare groups [10:00 a.m.]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Leesburg Library Chehaw for General Audience [11:00 a.m.]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Leesburg Library Writer’s Workshop [immediately following Chehaw]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Oakland Library Teen poetry collage [4:00 p.m.]

Wednesday, 6/12 at Smithville Library Dino Camp [3:30 pm.]

Thursday, 6/13 at Oakland Library Dino Camp [10:00 a.m.]

Thursday, 6/13 at Redbone Library Chehaw Presents [3:00 p.m.]

Thursday, 6/13 at Redbone Library Writer’s Workshop [immediately following Chehaw]

Friday, 6/14 at Oakland Library Rubber Ducky Club [10:00 a.m.]

Also remember to pick up your reading logs.  Rubber Ducky Club and Dig Into Reading participants who turn in a reading log before July 13 will get to choose a prize from the treasure chest at our Pyramid Party and will receive a coupon for a free cup of TCBY yogurt.  Those who attend the Pyramid Party will be eligible to win our awesome door prizes, which include a free pass to Wilder’s World 4 Kids and a 4-activity pass to All American Fun Park ($20 value).

For our teens we have a 4-activities pass to All American Fun Park ($20 value) or a $10 itunes gift card.  Teens will receive an entry for the prize of their choice for each time they turn in a reading log turned in, attend a teen event, and/or submit a pet rock photo.

All summer reading activities are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  We thank our sponsors TCBY, All American Fun Park, and Wilder’s World 4 Kids for their support.

Rubber Ducky Club Week 1–Gardening and Print Awareness


EL Dig Into Slogan

Rubber Ducky Club is BACK!  It was so great to see familiar faces and new friends on Monday!  Rubber Ducky Club is a 6-week long summer reading program for children ages 0 to prekindergarten.  At each meeting, we will have a storytime that highlights one of the six early literacy skills, followed by a related craft or activity and playtime.  This week, we are discussing vegetables, gardening, and print awareness.  Print awareness is simply noticing print and making the connection between the written and spoken word.  Reading together every day promotes print awareness by allowing your child to become familiar with books and the printed word.

Opening Song:  We hit our knees together [Mother Goose on the Loose]

Opening Rhyme:  Two Little Dickey Birds

008Opening Game: Plant a Little Seed.  I got this great song and activity from Nancy Stewart (see link).  We sang the song with hand motions, then I would give them a clue.  For example, “This vegetable is green and it looks like little trees”.  When they guess it, I hold up the picture and say “broccoli” then we say it and clap it together: “broc-co-li.”  I also did this for potato, carrot, corn, and lettuce.  Nancy Stewart offers printables on her website–I printed them out and pasted them onto coordinating cardstock and wrote the clues on the back.








006Book: Jo MacDonald had a Garden, by Mary Quattlebaum and Laura J. Bryant.  The text of this book invites you to sing it to the tune of Old MacDonald Had a Farm, so that’s what we did.  It was also very easy to come up with hand motions to go with the text.  The book is quite long, but there are a few place you can cut it off without it seeming too abrupt.  (E GARDENS QUAT).

Rhyme:  Where’s the wiggly squiggly worm?  We did this fingerplay twice.

Rhyme:  Little seed in the ground




005Book:  Up, Down, and Around, by Katherine Ayres and Nadine Bernard Westcott.  This is a FANTASTIC group read-aloud, especially for younger kids.  I read this book with everyone standing up–when the book said “up” we jumped up, when it said “down” we squatted down, and when it said “all around” we turned around.

Closing Game:  Rhyme Cube (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

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

Closing Song:  My Hands Say Thank You






003Craft:  Since this week’s feature early literacy skill is print awareness, I made a simple book for everyone to color.







Other gardening books to enjoy at home:

From the Garden: A Counting Book About Growing Food, by Michael Dahl and Todd Ouren (E GARDEN DAHL)

Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert (E GARDENS EHLE)

My Garden, by Kevin Henkes (E GARDENS HENK)

Potato Joe, by Keith Baker (E COUNTING BAKE)

004Don’t forget to pick up your 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Log!  We need more animals on our farms!










Rubber Ducky Club meets at 10:00 a.m. on Mondays at the Leesburg Library and 10:00 a.m. on Fridays at the Oakland Library.  Sponsored by the Lee County Library, free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.