Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tinker Thinkers–Catapults!


finishedThis week at Tinker Thinkers we made craft stick catapults.  I saw this idea on Ms. Kelly at the Library and HAD to try it!  We really had a lot of fun!  For projectiles, I gave the kids each a pom pom and a small sheet of aluminum foil to crumple up into a ball.  We hypothesized which would go further and why.






another catapult








trying them out








Tinker Thinkers meets on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at the Leesburg Library and on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Oakland Library.  Sponsored by the Lee County Library; free and open to the public.  For more information call 759-2369.


Homeschool Hub–Eric Carle Collage Art


vhcToday is the 46th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so Homeschool Hub celebrated by learning about Eric Carle’s art and creating our own collage art!  See the slideshow here






I had a TV set up and made a Youtube playlist of Eric Carle videos.

Eric Carle on the Illustration of Brown Bear Brown Bear

Eric Carle reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle creates a 45th anniversary collage

Children’s Book Author Eric Carle: My Generation AARP

I got the idea to use construction paper instead of tissue paper and decreasing drying time by blotting with paper towels from this blog.

play areaHere’s the play area I mentioned last week.  It works really well to have a separate area close by for younger siblings.

Monday Funday–Homemade Fingerpaint!


fingerpaint FB imageI mentioned in Friday’s post that we have been busy developing a couple of new programs this spring–one is Homeschool Hub and the other is Monday Funday.  (Love that name?  Me too!  Thank Sara at Bryce Don’t Play for her awesomeness!)  The purpose of Monday Funday is to offer unique, hands-on learning opportunities for kids who are at home during the day such as preschoolers, homeschoolers, kids with special needs, etc.






paintsToday we made homemade finger paint by mixing 1 part flour to 1 part water in a bowl (I gave each child 1/3 cup each of flour and water and it was plenty).  Then we divided the paint into 3 smaller cups (we used plastic baby food containers) and stirred a few drops of washable liquid watercolors into each one.  We made the primary colors because mixing primary colors just never gets old.






fingerpaintAfter we mixed up the colors, I gave them each a big sheet of paper and they went to town painting.














Monday Funday meets every Monday at 11:00 a.m. at the Leesburg Library.  Next week we are making biscuits!  Squeeeeeee!

Homeschool Hub: Where in the World?–Ireland


Please forgive the long lapse in posting–I have been planning away for summer reading AND we recently rolled out a couple of new programs, one of which is Homeschool Hub.  Today was the second meeting of the weekly program aimed at homeschooling families.  We recognize that many homeschooling families have multiple children of various ages from babies up to tweens, so we are trying to offer a variety of activities to appeal to everyone.  So far I have set the program up in a children’s museum-inspired scheme–different stations for kids to interact with at their own pace.  This week I added a “passport”, which I think really helped to give families structure to their experience.  This fit in nicely with this week’s subject–Ireland.

passportThis is what the passport looked like–it is shown on two pages here, but for the program I printed them double sided and folded them into a booklet.  I wanted to find a way for families to have the information to take home with them, so the passport seemed to be the best solution.  One of the stations was to learn the significance of the colors in the Irish flag and color it in on the back of the passport.






Probably the most dressespopular station was the Irish step dancing station.  I had a TV hooked up to a laptop and showed a brief clip from Sesame Street (Murray goes to Irish Step Dancing School.)  I printed a template of a dress and a vest onto cardstock for the kids to decorate with markers and glitter.  I really think we have some budding fashion designers in our midst…






shamrock stationTo incorporate a little bit of STEM, I pulled out some shamrock-like plants from the library yard and put them onto trays, along with some magnifying glasses.  The kids really enjoyed looking at them through the magnifying glasses and comparing them to the pictures of actual Irish shamrock varieties (pictured in the clear sign holder).  They were also encouraged to attempt drawing a shamrock and making one with their fingerprints and the green stamp pad.  The passport had a box for the journaling part of this station.





snakeFinally, we had a snake craft in honor of the legend of St. Patrick driving all of the snakes out of Ireland.  I found this one on Google, but you could also use a paper plate and cut it into a spiral.








I forgot to take a picture of it, but this week I set up a play area with seating and toys for younger siblings and adults to hang out.

I am SO happy we are offering this program.  We had a HUGE turnout last week, and this week was pretty good, too.  It is a bit of a learning curve for me, since I don’t homeschool and I do not have a teaching background (a million times a day I wish I DID!)  As with all my other programs, I am always open to feedback and suggestions so that I can constantly improve and make it the best possible experience for our patrons.  So if you attended one of the programs or if you are a librarian who hosts such a program at your own library, please let me know your thoughts!

Homeschool Hub meets every Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Oakland Library.  Next week we will be looking at the art of Eric Carle and making our own collages, so dress for mess!  Free and open to the public, sponsored by Lee County Library.  For more information call 759-2369.