Little Explorers Update

Little Explorers Update

Since my last Little Explorers post back in March, I have had this program 4 more times! We took a break in the summer, but otherwise it’s been a monthly program and always very well attended (which means there is always a fun mess afterward to clean up). Because of a similarly named program in our area, we have changed the name to Messy Munchkins, but it is is still the same program with the same description!

Little Explorers | Miss Meg's Storytime

Here is our NEW flyer for the program!


Here are some of the new activities I have done in Little Explorer’s/Messy Munchkins that have been successful:

Dyed Sensory Noodles

Of course, we brought the spaghetti back once more since that initial time.  This one takes a lot of prep work and creates a BIG mess so it only happens once every few months… I did blog about this one in my first post but it is the biggest hit so I thought it was worth revisiting.  I got the sensory noodle recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose.

little-explorers-4little-explorers-5 little-explorers-6

Water Table with Kid-Safe Water Beads

I have seen A LOT of stuff on pinterest about using water beads in sensory play.  While this is probably a great idea for 1:1 and at home sensory, I knew I needed something kid safe to use… So I ended up using Tapioca Pearls and Chia seeds! I bought both on amazon.  It worked great, and I didn’t have to be constantly worrying about choking since both are edible.  **Although, I do announce, as well as have on the projector, that parents/caregivers should be watching mouths at all times**

little-explorers-14 little-explorers-1

You will need to cook the tapioca pearls ahead of time, I did mine the night before.  And then just add the chia seeds to the water about 15 minutes before the program.  Beware though– the chia seeds stick to clothes very easily!

DIY Kinetic Sand

Again, I kept seeing awesome things on pinterest with kinetic sand BUT I didn’t want to buy a ton just for it to get all over the place the first time I brought it out. Again, Growing A Jeweled Rose came through with a win!  I used their recipe for “Ghost Foam” but just had the foam out, no ghost pieces.  For this you will need baking soda and shaving cream.  I also used dollar tree cookie sheets for a little bit of containment (although that really didn’t last long).



This one was a lot of fun– and easy to clean up :)… All you need is tear-safe baby bubble bath, water, and a hand mixer!  It took a bit of prep work to make the bubbles but otherwise it was super great.  You just need to add some water to your bin, a lot of bubble bath, and use that hand mixer until it becomes SUPER bubbly!!


Rice Table

The great thing about the dyed rice table compared to the spaghetti is that it is reusable!! I have brought out the rice table three times and could probably use it a bunch more before it gets gross!  I usually add some spoons and magnetic letters to the table.

little-explorers-3 little-explorers-2 little-explorers-15

Other Activities

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Jan Thomas Storytime

Jan Thomas Storytime

In continuing our authors storytime session we had a very fun time with Jan Thomas!

Jan Thomas Storytime | Miss Meg's Storytime

Jan Thomas Picture Books

the-doghouseThe Doghouse a-birthday-for-cowA Birthday for Cow
is-everyone-ready-for-funIs Everyone Ready for Some Fun? rhyming-dust-bunniesRhyming Dust Bunnies

Other Jan Thomas Books for Storytime
Can You Make a Scary Face?
What Will Fat Cat Sit On?
Is That Wise, Pig?
Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy

Extension Songs & Rhymes

Any action or silly song would be great with this author theme!
You could also work in some GoNoodle videos… check out my post for some recommendations.

Icky Sticky Bubbly Gum by David Landau (album: Kids & Kitties)
The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner (album: Victor Vito)
Shake Your Sillies Out by the Wiggles (album: Yummy Yummy)



We made our own rhyming dust bunnies!  Previous to storytime I cut out the dust bunnies, the noses, and printed out rhyming words.  They kids then got to pick 3 dust bunnies and try to find three words to rhyme.  3

Other Jan Thomas Resources

Things To Do- Jan Thomas Books
Let’s Rhyme!- Wild About Firsties
Storytime Skit- Jan Thomas – The Wielded Pen Children’s Corner
Flannel Friday: What Will Fat Cat Sit on? – Miss Mary Liberry
Summer Special: Jan Thomas Puppet Show- Library Makers

Denise Fleming Storytime

Denise Fleming Storytime

For our fall pre-school storytime session I have decided to focus on a different author or illustrator each week instead of theme. This has been very fun and different and I’m really enjoying it so far! I have a backlog of authors to blog about from the past couple of weeks :)

Our first author was Denise Fleming!

Denise Fleming Storytime | Miss Meg's Storytime

Denise Fleming Picture Books

in-the-tall-tall-grassIn the Tall, Tall, Grass lunchLunch
mama-catMama Cat has Three Kittens undergroundUnderground

Other Denise Fleming Books for Storytime

In the Small, Small Pond
Barnyard Banter
Alphabet Under Construction
Beetle Bop
Go, Shapes, Go!

Extension Songs & Rhymes


I know a cat with perky ears,
And Kitty is her name-o.
K-I-T-T-Y, K-I-T-T-Y, K-I-T-T-Y,
And Kitty is her name-o.
She makes a sound and it’s “meow,”
And Kitty is her name-o.
K-I-T-T-Y, K-I-T-T-Y, K-I-T-T-Y,
And Kitty is her name-o.

Herman the Worm


I got this craft from Simply Speech– and it comes with a free printable! This is a great one to encourage some language and to discuss the book :)

In the Tall Tall Grass | Miss Meg's Storytime In the Tall Tall Grass | Miss Meg's Storytime

As for prep, I wrote the words and then drew the lines for the kid to cut.  I also cut out the squares of the pictures.  Beyond that it was all scissor and glue skills while the kids made their projects!

Other Resources

Book Activities- Denise Fleming

Crafts & Activities to Do Alone With In the Tall, Tall, Grass…- Toddler Approved

Lunch- Thrive After Three

Denise Fleming Book Activities- Mom Smiles

Denise Fleming- Jazzin’ Up Storytime

Summer Reading 2016 Wrap up!

Summer Reading 2016 Wrap up!

I have officially gone the longest time without blogging and for that I apologize! But, we had an amazingly crazy busy summer at the Library and I decided that my home time was time for self care (aka reality tv and popcorn for dinner) instead of more library things so I just took a bit of an unplanned hiatus.  Before I start blogging my storytimes and programs again I just wanted to give you a little wrap up of my summer reading program!  It was my third summer here and I finally finally felt like I got into my mojo and really did a great job.

I work in a small, rural town so over 400 is amazing for us, whereas those of you in bigger cities that may just be a fraction of your first day registrants. I am proud of our number ;)
I work in a small, rural town so over 400 is amazing for us, whereas those of you in bigger cities that may just be a fraction of your first day registrants. I am proud of our number ;)

This summer, in partnership with our local schools, we chose to track by time read rather than books or pages.  Ideally, I would love to ditch tracking but in CT we have a Govenor’s Reading Challenge that requires it so the kids and schools are already tracking so it’s better at the moment to just keep doing it and keep a good relationship with the schools.  Our prizes for reading are just free books and a super reader signs.We also have passports that kids get when they sign up.  These have fun challenges like visiting the library, attending a summer program, and checking out a nonfiction book.  Every time they get a stamp on their passport they get to add a sticker to our sticker wall!

School Visits

The BIG incentive this year was to get me to dye my hair blue.  During school visits I challenged the kids to read 1,000 hours.  Once they completed that I would dye my hair blue.  They were rockstars and finished in less than 3 weeks.


I did my programming a little bit different this summer which allowed for a lot more flexibility on my end. Going with the theme of “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ” all of my programs started with “On Your Mark, Get Set…” Here is an example of fliers for a couple of them:

experiment create
play-1 move

As you can maybe see in the flier, I just have a one or two word description of what each program will specifically be. This allowed me to have my daily (!!) programs while also not stressing myself out too much. For EXPERIMENT and one other program I did have help but otherwise it was just me.

Here are some program highlights (aka the only times I actually remembered to take pictures!). If you have any questions about specific programs please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.  Most of these programs are for grades K-5.


On Your Mark, Get Set… EXPERIMENT: Sink or Float.
At the beginning of the program I read the book Things that Float and Things that Don’t by David A. Adler
Station 1: Sink or Float
Table of different items and a tub of water!
Station 2: Make a Boat
Table of items that could potentially be made into boats: tin foil, styrofoam, cardboard, plastic, tape, etc. They then would test their boats float-ability by adding pennies and/or rocks!

Caldecott Program | Miss Meg's Storytime Caldecott Program | Miss Meg's Storytime

On Your Mark, Get Set…CREATE: Caldecott
This was one of my favorite programs of the summer! I started by reading some favorites by Jon Klassen and Lois Ehlert.  We then talked as a group about the art in each book.  After that they got to use the books as reference to create their own Caldecott inspired art!

Mini Golf in the stacks | Miss Meg's Storytime Mini Golf in the stacks | Miss Meg's Storytime

This one was a two part series…
On Your Mark, Get Set…CREATE: Design mini golf holes
I literally just had a bunch of random supplies (“trash”) and big posterboard.  Each group could design a mini golf hole on the posterboard using whatever they wanted.
On Your Mark, Get Set… MOVE: Mini golf in the library!
A week later we got to play mini golf in the children’s room using the holes they created! This was a TON of fun for both kids and parents and I will definitely be doing it again

Egg Drop  | Miss Meg's Storytime Egg Drop | Miss Meg's Storytime

On Your Mark, Get Set… EXPERIMENT: Egg Drop
Again, I just got a bunch of random supplies (“trash”, are you seeing a theme here…) and a couple dozen eggs and let them experiment!  Some kids love their little egg trap contraption the they ended up taking it home… with the egg still inside.

I went camping... with kids.......

Our summer series event this summer was Explorer’s Club.  We met weekly and the kids got to pick what we discussed.  At our first meeting I asked them what they knew about nature and the outdoors and then what they wanted to know or learn more about.  I used those lists to help me plan the next few weeks.  At the end of the month we went camping. Literally. Like, in tents.  Parents were 100% required to come and we camped at a local park (yay for great partnership with our parks & rec) that is secluded and BEAUTIFUL.  The above picture is our 6:30am hike.

Overall, it was a busy but very rewarding summer but I am glad to have a couple months break until we start planning for the summer of 2017….

Silly Play Storytime

Silly Play Storytime

wowwwww it has been awhile since I last blogged! I have been busy with SRP and we took a storytime break for all of May and half of June but we are in the swing of things again! Our first storytime this summer was PLAY!  At the library we love reading and books but we also love Play :)

Copy of Fairy Tale Storytime

Silly Play Picture Books

Mr Tiger Goes Wild
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Where is the Green Sheep
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Tap the Magic Tree
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Count the MonkeysCount the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, illus by Kevin Cornell

All of these books were perfect! Some other books you could do are:
Can You Make a Silly Face by Jan Thomas
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle, illus. by Jeremy Tankard
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam Rex

Silly Play Songs

Any silly song from Laurie Berkner is perfect for this theme.  We did The Goldfish Song!

Herman the Worm is also my go to song, and will work especially well for the pre-school and school age crowd.  Instead of eating parents/grandparents I have Herman eat library books, my car, the library, etc..

Instead of a craft at the end of this storytime we did the parachute!  For some awesome parachute ideas check out Kendra’s blog!


All in all this was a very fun storytime!  This was planned right on the heels of the tragic news out of Orlando so it was great for me, and probably the adults in the room, to just play and laugh and have fun for a little bit.

Flannel Friday: Color Sorting Printable

Flannel Friday: Color Sorting Printable

Wow it has been so long since I’ve done a Flannel Friday!! I have so many piled up that I need to blog about though…

My submission this week is a color sorting printable that I made for my Little Explorers Sensory Playgroup

Color Sorting Free Printable | Miss Meg's Storytime

You can download the PDF for Color Sorting HERE!

All you need to do is print the pages, laminate them, and put velcro on the back! I had strips of velcro along the sides for the pieces to live before they go on their color.

Color Sorting Free Printable | Miss Meg's Storytime

Color Sorting Free Printable | Miss Meg's Storytime


Flannel Friday this week is hosted by first time hoster Felt Board Magic!

Fairy Tale Storytime

Fairy Tale Storytime

We recently did a fairy tale storytime with my pre-school and outreach visits!  This is best done with an older group, but was simple enough to adapt with my younger crowds during outreach.

Fairy Tale Storytime

Fairy Tale Picture Books

Interrupting Chicken
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
One of my favorite books to do, but again, was better with the pre-school crowd.
Little Roja Riding Hood
Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middletown Elya, illus. by Susan Guevara
I LOVED reading this one, it was really fun with the spanish words mixed in with the English words and the ending always got a good laugh from the adults in the room.

Yummy: eight favorite fairy tales by Lucy Cousins
We read The Giant Turnip story out of this one.  It was fun to do a story that some of the adults hadn’t even heard of.  Also a great book to talk about teamwork

Other Picture Books:

Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn, illus. by Kelly Murphy
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illus. by Dan Santat (Any of the fairy tale spin offs by Corey Rosen Schwartz would be great!!!)
Jack and the Beanstalk  by Paul Galdone
Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme Raji Codell
One, Two, Guess Who? by Colin and Jacui Hawkins

In addition to the stories (I usually only did two books, unless they were a really good group), I had downloaded this free story book of The Three Little Pigs from Little Green on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I used the pictures and loosely the words, but also improvised a little bit because I know the story pretty well.   I think it was a nice change up for the kids and I to do a story that wasn’t in the traditional book format!

Fairy Tale Songs & Extension Activities

We built a castle using this awesome idea from Falling Flannelboards!  I handed out the shapes and would call out one shape at a time and each kid with that shape would put it on the board.  With smaller groups you could go more each individual but this was better with the bigger groups to save on time.  None of them *really* looked like castles but it was fun nonetheless :)

Build a Castle Flannelboard | Miss Meg's Storytime

Build a Castle Flannelboard | Miss Meg's Storytime

The Grand Ol Duke of York

The Grand ol Duke of York
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were UP, they were UP!
And when they were DOWN, they were DOWN!
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither UP nor DOWN!

If You’re a Hero and You Know It
source: Franklin Public Library 

If you’re a hero and you know it, Clap your hands!
If you’re a hero and you know it, Clap your hands!
If you’re a hero and you know it, Then your face will surely show it.
If you’re a hero and you know it, Clap your hands!

other verses: jump up high, touch the ground, etc..

Fairy Tale Craft

Building on our build a castle flannelboard, I had out different shapes and gluesticks and the kids created their castles!

Fairy tale craft with shapes | Miss Meg's Storytime

Other Fairy Tale Storytime Ideas

Abby the Librarian, Storytime: Fairy Tales
Falling Flannelboards, Storytime: Fairy Tales!
Project I.Am.Abbey, Fairy Tale Theme- Toddler Storytime
Storytime Katie, FairyTales!
Franklin Public Library, Fairy Tale Storytime
Brenda Potter, Pinterest, Nursery Rhymes & Fairy Tales (crafts, storytime & other classroom activities)
Blair Preston Public Library, Pinterest, Fairy Tale Storytime