Monthly Archives: August 2014

Tinker Thinkers–painting with ice chalk and oil


tinker thinkers web imageLast week was the first meeting of our new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) program called Tinker Thinkers.  We explored the interaction between water and oil with ice chalk and oil painting.  This was a great sensory activity, plus it made very cool-looking art.  The kids were fascinated with how the colors mixed together and how the paint just beaded up on the surface of the paper.

Tinker Thinkers meets every Tuesday afternoon from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at the Leesburg Library and every Thursday afternoon from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Oakland Library.







ice chalk 1 ice chalk 2 ice chalk 3


Growing Readers–wheels


growing readers web image

I’m so excited to announce that we are now offering a storytime especially for emerging readers ages 4 and up!  It is called Growing Readers, and it meets on Mondays at 4:00 p.m. at the Leesburg Library.  This is something I have wanted to do for the LONGEST time.  As usual, I was inspired by (and downright took stuff from) many talented librarians like Storytime Katie, Hi Miss Julie!, Storytime Secrets, just to name a few.  If you are thinking about starting your own beginning reader storytime, I would highly suggest that you start with them!







When the kids first came in, they filled out nametags.  This is for writing practice as well as helping me to learn their names.

earlKnowing names is especially important because (again inspired by the wonderful Hi Miss Julie!) I chose Willoughby Wallaby Woo as our hello song.  (I don’t know how I missed this brilliant song, but in case you’re like me and had never heard it before, here.  Watch it now, I’ll wait.  BTW my 6 year old daughter and I made a game out of this on a long car trip recently.  We took turns singing the first part while the other guessed the real name.  We went through the whole family, most of her classmates, and every My Little Pony character we could think of–it was surprisingly entertaining.)  This song is PERFECT for older kids, and for phonological awareness.  Plus, it’s hilarious.  I used my elephant puppet, Earl, to sit on the kids’ heads as I sang to each one of them.








w tubAfter the song, I had Earl read our welcome message.  It was something like “Welcome to storytime!  Today we will read books about things that go.  We will also read about a car wash.  From, Earl Elephant.”  I had already circled the letter “W” in the message in red marker.  I asked them what they thought the letter of the day was.  They correctly guessed “W” and I pulled out items from the letter tub.  (Earl ate the waffle and the watermelon).  Then we did a word cloud–I asked them for other words that started with “W” and wrote them on the dry erase board.  We also talked about the word “transportation” and about different modes of transportation, especially ones that–you guessed it–started with a “W”.







true or falseRead aloud: Transportation True or False? by Daniel Nunn. (E TRANSPORTATION NUNN).  I really like interactive books for older kids.  The format of this book is perfect for that–it shows a picture of a mode of transportation and asks a true or false question about it, then the answer is revealed on the next page.  My personal favorite was “Some cars run on ice cream instead of gasoline–true or false?”  It also has a table of contents, so we talked about that, too.





car goes farRead along: Car Goes Far by Michael Garland (E TRANSPORTATION GARL)

I used to find a book between 0.0 and 0.5 about cars and ordered multiple copies through the PINES system.  The idea is for each child to have a copy of the book so that they can read along with me.  To make reading together even more fun, I invited the kids to pick up a whisper phone (available through Lakeshore Learning–they are so cool!) and a reading buddy.  After we read the book together, I asked them comprehension questions like What happened to car?  How did he feel?  What did he do next?







whisper phones buddies








parking lotFinally, we did a letter matching parking lot activity.  When I asked for Lego donations awhile back, one family generously donated a huge tub of them, which also included LOTS of matchbox cars.  I held onto them, because I figured there was something I could use them for eventually.  Thank you, Pinterest! 

Fall children’s programs start August 18!


Fall programming starts next week on August 18!  A full August calendar is available at  This fall, we will be bringing back favorites like Mother Goose on the Loose babytime and preschool storytimes AND adding two new programs to the lineup!

tinker thinkers web imageTinker Thinkers is a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) program for kids ages 4 and up.  It will meet Tuesdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at the Leesburg Library and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Oakland Library.  Art and science activities are a great opportunity for kids to express creativity and build problem solving skills.  Each week Tinker Thinkers will explore an aspect of science, technology, engineering, arts, and/or mathematics in a fun, engaging way.  Tinker Thinkers will also include a monthly Lego Club at both branches.  The first Lego Club at the Leesburg Library will be on September 2, at Oakland Library on September 11.







growing readers web imageGrowing Readers is a storytime for emerging readers ages 4 and up.  It will meet on Mondays at 4:00 p.m. at the Leesburg Library.  Growing Readers will develop and strengthen early literacy skills in kids who are beginning to read independently.  We will talk, sing, play, and read to make reading fun!