Tag Archives: craft

Minecraft Dance Party!


photo(10) photo(8)Masks–we found these at Oriental Trading–a really great find!








photo(6) photo(7)Minecraft Bingo–I found this amazing free printable on Life with Squeaker.  I printed out these free bookmarks on cardstock and gave them out as prizes.








photo(9)Finally, we used our trusty bluetooth speaker/party lights to play Minecraft parody songs, plus we used the screen and projector to show Minecraft parody videos.  We did the songs from iTunes so that we didn’t hear the commercials on Youtube.


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.












We Love Clifford!


Clifford and houseThe Oakland Library got a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog on Monday!  We had a great time!  We did a storytime first, then we called for Clifford and he came out for a visit and photos!









Opening rhyme:  This is Big, Big, Big (Mel’s Desk)

photoFlannelboard:  Clifford, Clifford, where is your bone?  Clifford LOVES dog bones, but his is missing!  We looked behind each dog house to see if we could find it.  “Clifford, Clifford, where is your bone?  Did someone put it in your [green] home?”  Behind the green doghouse was a plant.  Can Clifford eat that?  No!  It’s yucky, and it might hurt him!  Finally we found the bone behind the white doghouse!







Book: Clifford the Big Red Dog, by Norman Bridwell

007Flannelboard Song: BINGO








Book:  Clifford Goes to Dog School, by Norman Bridwell

Game:  Obedience School/Clifford Says.  We played this like Simon Says, but acting like dogs–Clifford said to bark and wag our tails!

Since Clifford has been to obedience school before, he came right away when we called him!  He loved posing with the doghouse that we made for him!  (see picture above).  We took turns visiting with Clifford and making our craft:

Clifford craft







Clifford maskThis Clifford mask is a paper plate with the middle cut out.  My wonderful teen volunteer helped me by cutting the middles out of paper plates, as well as cutting out ears and noses ahead of time.  This was a huge timesaver, which was great because this event was very well attended!  The kids were invited to choose a color for their paper plate and glue on the ears and nose.  I got the idea for using a paper plate here.





Preschool and Pre-K storytime–Dancing!


Dancing was last week’s theme for both my preschool storytime at the library and the outreach storytimes I do at Lee County Pre-K.







Preschool Storytime:

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

Opening rhyme:  Open them shut them

017Book:  Wiggle, by Doreen Cronin and Scott Menchin. (E DOGS CRON)

Activity:  Wind, Oh Wind (with scarves–from Mother Goose on the Loose)

Song:  Hokey Pokey with scarves






016Book:  Dancing Feet, by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown. (E POETRY CRAI)

Activity:  Rum Pum Pum (from Mother Goose on the Loose).  For this game, I use a drum or tambourine.  I say “Rum pum pum this is my drum.  Rum pum pum this is my drum.  My name is Er-in, what’s your name?”  Then the children take turns patting out the syllables of their name on the drum.  This is a great exercise for promoting phonological awareness, or hearing the smaller sounds that make up words.  Then, we stand up and march, run, and tiptoe until the drum says STOP!

Closing game: Rhyme cube

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

Closing song: My hands say thank you

For our craft, we made dancing sticks by taping crepe paper onto craft sticks as seen here.


Pre-K storytime:

The cardinal rule of storytime at Pre-K is “thou shalt not enter Pre-K without a puppet.”  This means that whatever I do, I have to link it to a puppet somehow because the kids.just.love.them.  Luckily, I have a really great supply of puppets at my disposal, which includes my lovely hippo Hilda, pictured in her tutu, above.  I started the storytime by pulling Hilda out of my bag and asking the kids if they knew what Hilda *loved* to do.  They guessed dancing because of her tutu.  We talked about how hippos are big animals as a lead-in to the first book, Hilda Must Be Dancing, by Karma Wilson.

015Fritz Danced the Fandango, by Alicia Potter and Ethan Long.  (E DANCE POTT)







Song:  Head Shoulders Knees and Toes–we started slow and got faster and faster!  So fun!

018Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andrae and Guy Parker-Rees. (E DANCE ANDR)



Paper plate scarecrow craft (and school tour!)


I had a school group come in for a tour this morning.  I loved having them here!  In an effort to make the tour a little more interesting, I reconfigured the story of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything to incorporate tour stops within the story.  At each stop, we collected a piece of the scarecrow, and we made this craft at the end.  I *think* I made it up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone else has already done it.  The head is a small/dessert size paper plate painted with orange acrylic paint (I did this ahead of time).  The shoes, pants, shirt, and hat are construction paper and the gloves are white cardstock.  Everything is mounted on a paper towel roll so that it can stand up by itself–the paper plate is stapled at the top, and everything else was glued with a glue stick.

I like this craft because it is a craft–that is, we made something specific that tied in with the story that I told–but it is also open-ended because the kids were encouraged to decorate their scarecrows however they wanted.  Some kids cut shapes out of black paper for the pumpkin’s face, others drew them on (one kid drew glasses, which I absolutely loved!)  They decorated their clothes in a way that was unique to them, and I think (I hope!) they had fun.

I am attempting to attach a template for the clothes.  Please let me know if it doesn’t work and I can try emailing it to you.  I am also happy to share my tour/story, if anyone wants it.

scarecrow template


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.

Crafternoon–flowers and butterflies


After last week’s glue-intensive Easter eggs and baskets, I was looking for a springy, yet glueless, craft for this week.  Watch this video for detailed instructions on how to make these cute tissue paper flowers.  For the butterflies, just take three squares of tissue paper, pinch them in the middle like a hairbow, then wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle and twist at the top for antennae.  I also provided ribbons for the kids to tie together their bouquets.

What you need:

Tissue paper, cut into squares of roughly the same size

Green pipe cleaners


What to do:

1.  Place four tissue paper squares in a pile.

2.  Fold the squares like a fan.

3.  Cut the ends off of each side–you can use a rounded edge or a point.

4.  In the middle, cut a small slit.  This is where your pipe cleaner stem will be attached.

5.  Loop the pipe cleaner around the middle and twist it around the longer end several times.

6.  Separate the paper so that it looks like flower petals.

Again, if these directions are unclear, I encourage you to view the video link above.

7.  Make several flowers and tie them together into a bouquet using ribbon.  Or, you could make a vase out of a cardboard tube (from paper towels or toilet paper).

8.  Save your scraps–I love gluing bits of tissue paper onto a picture for a collage effect!

Crafternoon–Easter Baskets


We had an amazing turnout for this week’s crafternoon, probably thanks to spring break! I didn’t get this idea from any particular source, though I’m sure some crafty, paper-plate-loving soul like myself has done it before.






What you need:

1 dinner size paper plate, cut in half

hole punch

white glue



pipe cleaners

egg template (here’s the one I used), printed on cardstock

markers/crayons/colored pencils/paint

glitter glue, bling, tissue paper squares, stickers, other stuff to decorate the eggs with

Easter grass (or shredded up paper, preferably colorful)

What to do:

1.  Staple the paper plate halves together using about 5 staples.

2.  Determine which side will be the back.  Punch a hole in either side of that paper plate half (this is where you will attach the ends of the pipe cleaner handle)

3.  Thread one end of a pipe cleaner into one of the holes and twist to secure it.  Reach the other end to the other hole and do the same thing.  You should have a handle.  Try twisting two pipe cleaners together for a thicker and more colorful handle.

4.  Decorate the front of your basket as desired.

5.  Apply a line of glue onto the inside of the front paper plate.  Press some Easter grass into the glue.

6.  Draw some Easter egg shapes or print out template on cardstock.  Cut them out and decorate as desired.  (I loved doing a collage on one of mine with the cut up tissue paper squares).

7.  Glue the eggs onto the inside of the back paper plate.  This will give the look of eggs sitting in the basket.

This is my favorite kind of craft to give my crafternoon kids.  I supply the materials and the general idea, and they let their imaginations run wild.  I absolutely love seeing what these amazingly creative kids come up with!


Easy paper rainbow craft


Whilst poking around on Pinterest (my new obsession), I found this wonderfully easy rainbow craft that I had to share with you.  It was pinned from Fowl Single File, where the lady used it as decoration for an amazing rainbow-themed birthday party.  Since it was quick, easy, and rainbow, it fit perfectly with this week’s leprechauns and rainbows theme.  It was a good craft for my HeadStart group’s visit yesterday because 1) it was easy to prepare in large quantity (around 50) and 2) it was relatively simple for them to assemble (with adult assistance).

What you need:

Construction paper in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple

Scissors or paper cutter

Ruler (optional)


What to do:

1.  Put your construction paper in a stack, in order from red to purple.

2.  Cut into strips of desired width (mine were around an inch) with a paper cutter.  If you are using scissors, you may wish to mark lines off on the red sheet of paper with a ruler and pencil.  You should be able to get 6-8 strips.  They absolutely do not have to be cut perfectly.

3.  Line up strips.  Leave the red at full length, then cut other colors at intervals–orange next longest, etc. with purple being the shortest.  I just sort of eyeballed it, but you could measure it with your ruler if you wanted to.  As a point of reference, my purple strip was generally just under seven inches.

4.  Stack the strips in order and staple them together at the end where all of them meet.  The other ends should appear as pictured to the left.

5.  Starting with the red, gradually fan the strips up into a rainbow shape.  When all of the strips are arc-ed up, gather the ends and staple them together.

For the HeadStart group, I just left them as booklets (see step 4).  Then I demonstrated to them how to fan it up into a rainbow.  They played around with it while adults circulated with staplers to secure the other ends.  They were so excited to take these back with them!

Crafternoon–Birthday Hats!


To go along with this week’s birthday theme, today’s crafternoon craft was a birthday hat!  Mine looks a little like Mickey Mouse’s hat in Fantasia, so we played the Fantasia 2000 soundtrack. 🙂  The hats turned out so cute, and they were fairly simple to make.  For full illustrated instructions go here.









What you need:


Colored cardstock


Craft knife


Glitter glue (optional)

Sequins/rhinestones (optional)

Curling ribbon (optional)

Pom Poms (optional)


Glue (white glue works best for heavy things like sequins and rhinestones)



Hole punch

What to do:

1.  Print birthday hat template onto cardstock.  Cut out with scissors.  Make a small cut on each side of the tab where indicated on the template.

2.  Run craft knife along black line to make a slit.

3.  Decorate as desired.  For curling ribbon top, place ribbons on the inside of the top and tape them down.

4.  Make hat into a cone and insert the tab into the slit.  Tape the inside and place a staple at the bottom.

5.  Use hole punch on either side of the hat to make holes for ribbon.

6.  Pull a long length of ribbon through the two holes and tie at the bottom.  If desired, you can also use elastic string.

This was a really fun craft because I got to pull out different kinds of sequins, rhinestones, and ribbons.  Of course, the possibilities are nearly endless.  You could use stickers, stamps, paint, or tissue paper.