Dig Into Reading: Seed Art

Dig Into Reading: Seed Art

This summer we have an open art craft studio one afternoon a week.  Kids all ages have the opportunity to drop into the library to work on a project for a two hours.  The craft project for the first week was seed art.  We had two project available:

Mandala Color-by-Seed (name not official, nor does it easily roll off the tongue)

mandala seed art

For this, we printed off three designs of Mandala’s onto square (8×8)cardstock and then assigned colors to the different sections of the mandala’s.  There were also some that didn’t have any colors assigned so kids were able to just do it however they wanted.  We also supplied elmer’s glue and craft sticks to glue the seeds on.

In order to get the colored seeds we dyed pumpkin seeds.  We accidentally bought the pepita’s instead of shelled pumpkin seeds so the dying process was a little more difficult than it should have been.  If you plan on doing this make sure you buy shelled and unsalted pumpkin seeds! Anyways, other than that, dying wasn’t too difficult.  Mix together warm water and a splash of white vinegar with the food coloring.  Don’t go easy on the food coloring, the more you use the more vibrant the seeds! It took awhile (couple of days) for the seeds to dry completely, so make sure you spread them out to avoid any mold.


mandala seed art

Clay Paperweight

seed art

This one was a bit more simple, for the younger crowd.  We purchased white and colored Colorations air dry putty.  We had a variety of seeds and beans for the kids to use to make designs.  Some ended up using the seeds form this one for their mandala’s as well.

seed art

The whole thing ended up to be a huge success! I’m not sure if the parents had more fun helping their kids or if the kids had the more fun making their seed art.  I would definitely recommend it for ages 4-99 ;)

seed artIMG_1508IMG_1517IMG_1524

Dig Into Reading: Construction Storytime

Dig Into Reading: Construction Storytime

Our toddler storytime theme for the second week of dig into reading is Construction!

After crowd sourcing the Flannel Friday facebook page for some tips and insight on using sign language in storytimes I have decided to start each toddler storytime with two ASL words that go with our theme.  I am picking words that will come up in the songs and books for that day so kids get multiple opportunities to learn them.  I introduce the words with a little sign for each one.  Here are our signs for the construction storytime:

Build and Truck ASL

This is my second week doing it and it seems to be going pretty well so far!

Construction Picture Books:

dino dig
Dinosaur Dig By Penny Dale
Roadwork by Sally Sutton,
Illus. by Brian Lovelock
hush little digger
Hush Little Digger by Ellen Olson-Brown,
Illus. by Lee White  (I think the parents enjoyed this one even more than the kids– it is a really great read with hilarious pictures!)

Songs & Fingerplays

“Scoop and Dump”
inspired by Scoop and Dump from Neo Today (although changed quite a bit)
(tune to “Mary had a little lamb”) and with the sign for TRUCK

Scoop! Goes the TRUCK in the dirt, in the dirt, in the dirt,
Scoop! Goes the TRUCK in the dirt, scoop up all the dirt!

Reach! Goes the TRUCK into the sky, to the sky, to the sky,
Reach! Goes the TRUCK into the sky, holding up the dirt!

Fast! Goes the TRUCK on the road, on the road, on the road,
Fast! Goes the TRUCK on the road, carrying the dirt!

Dump! Goes the TRUCK into the hole, to the hole, to the hole,
Dump! Goes the TRUCK into the hold, filling it with dirt!

I passed around egg shakers and we danced and shook to “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Start Your Truck” from the TONKA Dig it Sandbox Tunes. We also did our weekly favorite- “Icky Sticky Bubble Gum”.


In addition to the songs I had two flannel activities. One was Johnny’s Hammers, which was on this week’s flannel friday. I also printed out and blew up the images of the different trucks in the SLP 2013 manual (sorry! I don’t know what page!) and then copied them onto colored paper. We talked about what colors the trucks were and what kind of trucks they were. I did this kind of last minute because I had noticed last week that we should be talking about our colors a bit more as they are much more comfortable with counting than colors.

This craft is also from the SLP manual and I also do not have the page number on me atm (sorry, I suck!). Anyways, I had everything pre-cut and the kids just colored the two pieces, and glued on the truck part. I then had them bring their artwork up to Miss Meg and I fastened the dumper onto the piece of paper. The kids really loved it and they all turned out great!

I have also started something else new with this round of storytimes!  I have started to make little half sheets with the songs, books, and a literacy tip for parents and caregivers to take home.  It seems to be going great so far and I plan on writing up a blog post about it in the coming week.

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Miss Meg.

Flannel Friday: Dig Into Reading with Johnny’s Hammers.

Flannel Friday: Dig Into Reading with Johnny’s Hammers.

Our storytime theme this week for Dig Into Reading is Construction– which was sure to be a big hit for a lot of toddlers! My full toddler storytime construction outline will be posted later this week.

Johhny’s Hammers
inspired by Perpetual Preschool, but I changed it around a little bit.


Johnny had one hammer, one hammer, one hammer, Johnny had one hammer
so he could build.

Johnny had 2 hammers, 2 hammers, 2 hammers, Johnny had 2 hammers
so he could build.

Johnny had 3 hammers, 3 hammers, 3 hammers, Johnny had 3 hammers
so he could build.

Johnny had 5 hammers, 5 hammers, 5 hammers, Johnny had 5 hammers,
then he was done!


I changed the ending of each verse so that we could use one of our sign language words for this week, which was BUILD… more on that in a different post!

To download a template for the hammers click the picture:


Flannel Friday this week is hosted by Bridget over at What is Bridget Reading?

Dig Into Reading: Gardening (Toddlers)

Dig Into Reading: Gardening (Toddlers)

This week marks the first week of summer reading program events.  Which means I will have four toddler storytimes and two all ages storytimes a week- bring it on!  This is quite the change from my one storytime weekly at my last job!

Here is my outline for my garden storytime with toddlers!

I am using the same opening song as I did with my previous group of kids, Hi,Hello.

Picture books:

what does bunny see
What Does Bunny See
By Linda Sue Park, illus by Maggie Smith
i have a garden
I Have a Garden by Bob Barner
maisy grows garden
Maisy Grows a Garden (a non-circulating pop-up book) by Lucy Cousins

The kids and adults alike loved Maisy Grows a Garden.  The pop-ups were so fun!  And the ending is my favorite, so of course I had to take a pic ;)


Songs and Fingerplays

Every week we will be singing a favorite of the toddlers- Icky, Sticky Bubble Gum
We also listened and did actions along with In My Garden by Raffi

“Dig a Little Hole” action rhyme
Dig a little hole (dig)
Plant a little seed (drop seed)
Pour a little water (pour)
Pull a little weed (pull up and throw away)
Chase a little bug (chasing motion)
Heigh-ho, there he goes! (shade eyes)
Give a little sunshine (make sun)
Grow a little rose (smell flower, eyes closed)

“Herman the Worm” action rhyme
We did the traditional Herman the worm song but he ate vegetables instead of his family members!  Before the song started we all practiced chewing our bubble gum, playing with our yo-yo’s and asking “what happened?!”

We also did a flannel activity, There’s Something in My Garden.  You can find the poem and templates here!

This summer I am doing a new Closing Song which I already love.  We will be singing Wave Goodbye which you can find in the Closing Songs tab!


We used the adorable cupcake-liner flower craft from Storytime Katie! I changed it around a bit to make it a little easier for the toddlers.  We didn’t use buttons and instead of craft sticks just drew stems and leaves with green crayons.  The kids loved it and they all turned out very adorable!  I found a variety of colorful and patterned cupcake liners at Hobby Lobby.

Flower/Garden Storytime

Thanks for reading :)

Dig Into Reading: Garden Science Corner

Dig Into Reading: Garden Science Corner

At the Verona Public Library, where I am working LTE for the summer, they have a science corner in the children’s section.  This area revolves around a theme and then incorporates books, interactive activities, posters, and iPad apps about that theme.  The theme this summer is Gardening and it has been my little baby for the past couple of weeks.  Here is a picture of the corner:

Science Corner
It’s not huge but it has a lot of fun stuff and is constantly busy!

Alright let’s get into the nitty gritty of the science corner!  One area has the light table with laminates of butterflies and little clovers and a poster behind that of insects (because insects and butterflies are in gardens!).  The laminates and light table were from a previous science corner theme, which was of course butterflies.  The poster is from DK Eyewitness (I can’t find it on their website!) and the library already had that as well.

Between the light table and the bookcase is a BIG poster of a plant and it’s roots.  One of the other librarians actually found this as they were cleaning out the storytime closet.  It is AWESOME and is a great addition to the science corner.  I may have done a little jig when they found it.


Next to that is the bookcase.  Quite simply, this one is stocked with a bunch of books about gardening and gardens– of all different kinds!  There are even some there about how to start your own garden and food that you can eat out of your garden.  I just basically went to the 635 area of our nonfiction (dewey) and picked out a bunch of books from the juvenile and picture book nonfiction sections.  I have also been keeping an eye on it to keep it stocked as kids check books out.


The next section is the kids favorite area- the iPad!  I found a few different garden apps that also had a bit of science in them and added them to the iPad.  A few that I found are in my SRP 13 pinterest board.  I also printed off a few different coloring sheets about plants and gardens and set them out with some of the “crappy” crayons that we don’t use as much in storytime anymore (they crayons really are fine though!)


The poster in the background is also in my SRP 13 board.  As kids colored their pictures I had a note hung up inviting them to write their names and hand it to a librarian to hang it up.

And now for my favorite part about the science corner: MY SEEDS!


I got Lima Bean, Pea, and Squash seeds and planted them in ziploc baggies!  This was super simple and is turning out way better than I expected.  All you need to do is wet a paper towel, stick it in the baggie, and add a couple seeds!  I also labeled the bags with the dates they were “planted” and what type of seed it is and taped it to the window.  I have been planting them each Wednesday for the past three Wednesday’s so the kids can compare the roots and seeds as they grow!  Here are some up close pictures:

science corner2 science corner1
science corner

I love how each plant has it’s own distinctive way of budding, sprouting, and different looking leaves!


Now, I cannot talk about the fabulous Science Corner without talking about why it is possible!
The Verona Public Library, and the community in general, has an awesome relationship with a local business- Epic Systems.  Epic is AMAZING in giving to the library.  The Science Corner is fully funded by Epic through a grant to encourage science.  They also recently gave a grant to promote healthy eating and lifestyle programming for the library!  Here are articles about how awesome Epic is:

Epic Delivers More 100k Community Grants

Epic Delivers Another Round of Grants



Flannel Friday: Dig Into Reading with Something in My Garden

Flannel Friday: Dig Into Reading with Something in My Garden

Next week will kick off our Summer Reading Program storytime’s (registration started last Friday) and I am feeling very prepared for the next few weeks of Dig Into Reading!  Here is my flannel activity for the theme for our first week, Gardens.

I will have four toddler storytime’s and 2 everybody storytime’s a week- bring.it.on!!!

The garden storytime outline will be up sometime next week!

There’s Something in My Garden
credit: SurLaLune


There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A BIRD is what I found!

There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A SNAKE is what I found!

There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A MOUSE is what I found!

For templates of the animals click HERE and HERE (or click on the images below)

20130612151014_00001    20130612151042_00002


Flannel Friday this week is hosted by
Kathryn at Fun With Friends at Storytime!

Flannel Friday: 5 Senses

Flannel Friday: 5 Senses

My addition for flannel friday this week is an excerpt from my 5 Senses storytime about a month ago!

I was having trouble finding fun activities to keep the toddler’s attention so I thought of this activity that involved the entire group!


(I thought I had an actual picture of the images on the flannel board but I guess not unfortunately!)

I printed out those clipart images from openclipart.org and then just laminated them!  I also just printed out words that said “Touch”, “Smell”, “Hear”, “See”, “Taste” and laminated those.

I started out by showing the picture and then I would ask, “Do we touch this?”, “Do we smell this?”, etc. all the way through the five senses and put the words with the picture.  This was good for word recognition as well as understanding our five senses.

To download the full clip art images and directions click here! (it is a google drive link so hopefully it works, let me know if it doesn’t!).  Feel free to print off and use it as much as possible :) The kids thought it was really fun– especially the poo ;)

Flannel Friday this week is hosted by Lisa at Storytime With the Library Lady! Thanks Lisa :)