Monday, April 24, 2017

Marigolds with the Garden Club



The Bridgewater Garden Club's "Marigolds Around the Library" project is designed to introduce young children, between grades K-2, to seeding and how seeds become plants.  This project will have two sessions.  In this first session, young planters will gather at the library to listen to a short lesson on growing plants from seed, plant their cell packs, and receive instructions for caring for the seeds at home.  In the second session, to be held on May 31 at 4:30 pm, the young planters will bring their plants back to the library and plant them around the Bridgewater Library (mainly at the front entrance).

Music from Tom Chapin’s album This Pretty Planet playing as kids arrived. Early birds started work on Earth Day headbands and plant book – details below.


Read poem  “Spring Is” by Bobbi Katz from Sunflakes: Poems for Children.

Book: Flower Garden
by Eve Bunting – A young girl in the city makes a windowbox garden for her mother.

Flannel: Fran’s Flower, based on the book by Lisa Bruce (text here: – Fran tries to get her flower to grow by feeding it pizza and strawberry ice cream!

Book: Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (572.46 BANG) -- this creative and memorable explanation of photosynthesis will stick with kids for a long time.
Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children” from Tom Chapin’s Album Some Assembly Required. Find signs here:


Book: Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otashi (gorgeous pictures made from handprints accompany great figurative ideas of what hands can do  (plant ideas, touch hearts, lift spirits, stretch imaginations, reach for love, peace, faith, truth, hope and dreams…)  (skipped, no time)

Closed with Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” (track #1 on album The Best of Louis Armstrong, showing pages from book It’s a Wonderful World illustrated by Ashley Bryan – celebrating the wonderful world we live in and the plants, animals, and people of so many colors we share it with… (skipped book, no time, but played song as kids planted & did crafts)

Garden Club explained how plants grow…what needed (air, water, soil) and how to care for seedlings – (water from below gently so don’t disturb roots)

Planting table – making marigold six-packs, kids will plant at the library in 5 weeks

Craft tables: 

BWL 4.2017


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Heart of Art–Drawing Lessons with the BRRHS Art Honors Club


On January 30th, members of the Bridgewater HS Art Honor Society taught kids how to draw faces, on February 13th, they continued learning about how to draw the rest of a person. Lessons continued with “drawing animals” on April 17th.

Ashley, Alyssa, Halanna, and Vita demonstrated the step by step process of drawing a cat, a bunny, a peacock and a dinosaur -- rotating from table to table so each group got to learn how to draw all 4 animals. 

4.2017  Supplies: 4 white board easels with dry erase markers, 8x11 or 8x14 paper, pencils, erasers, colored pencils






Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pre-School Storytime/Craft: Unusual Pets




Book: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (George the dog meows, quacks, moos, etc. until a vet reaches down to extract the animals inside...surprise ending, George says, “Hello?”)

Sign Language Song:
“Hear the Little Doggie” from
Pick Me Up, Fun Songs for Learning Signs  and/or Flannel/Song: “BINGO” (identify letters -- clap for each removed letter -- great for pre-reading listening skills)

Flannel: Any Kind of Dog (based on the book by Lynn Reiser) -- script below

Song: “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?



Book: RRRALPH by Lois Ehlert (A kid learns that his dog has an impressive vocabulary!)  -- can booktalk Martha Speaks series.



Singable Book: Do Your Ears Hang Low?  by Jenny Cooper (with grey pantihose “ears”)



Book: This ORQ. (he cave boy) by David Elliot (boy’s pet mammoth is not well-accepted by his cave-mom – until he saves him from a saber tooth tiger!)

Craft – Paper bag dog puppets.
Could also make your own “pet” using toilet paper tubes, googly eyes, pipe cleaners and scrap paper or 2D/3D animals in the style of Lois Ehlert’s Ralph with recycled materials




4.17 Branchburg – note: was told theme was “pets” but arrived to find dog craft planned and very young crowd so adjusted accordingly.


Any Kind of Dog
(based on the book by Lynn Reiser)

Richard wanted a dog -- any kind of dog -- but his mom said a dog was too much trouble,

So she gave him a caterpillar.
The caterpillar was very nice.  

It looked a little like a dog (Lhasa Apso), but it was not a dog.

Richard wanted a dog -- any kind of dog -- but his mom said a dog was too much trouble,

So she gave him a mouse.

The mouse  was very nice.  

It looked a little like a dog (Chihuahua), but it was not a dog.

Continue with:
Baby Alligator…. Dachshund
Lamb… Bedlington Terrier

Pony… Great Dane

Lion… Chow Chow
Bear… Newfoundland

All of the animals were very nice, but Richard still wanted a dog.

And, finally, his mother gave him a dog.

The dog was very nice.

It looked exactly like a dog.

The dog was a lot of trouble.

But it was worth it!


Additional title possibilities:


Book: Clara and Asha by Eric Rohman (A giant fish makes a delightful friend/pet)  (skipped BGL)

Song: “Make New Friends But Keep the Old”   (skipped BGL)

Optional DVD: Angus Lost (Phoenix Films) - wordless live action. (or Angus & the Ducks)

How to Train a Train
by Jason Carter Eaton
A Pet for Fly Guy
by Tedd Arnold (Fly Guy longs to have a pet of his very own. What will he choose? The story reaches a delightfully odd conclusion that makes total sense)
Don’t Take Your Snake for a Stroll
by Karin Ireland
Teacher’s Pets
by Dayle Ann Dodds
Hiding Hoover
by Elise Broach
The Birthday Fish
by Dan Yaccarino
Not Norman: A Goldfish Story
by Kelly Bennett
Hunky Dory Ate It by Katie Evans (great to use with flannel: The Cake that Mack Ate)
It’s a Secret – Burningham (JFreeman)
Pet for Petunia -  Schmid (girl wants a skunk)

Martha – Spirin

"Mrs. Arthur Armrooster Arbuster Getz"
Mrs. Arthur Armbrooster Arbuster Getz
Had a very strange habit of wearing her pets!
Around her waist was a garter snake
And in her pockets mice
About her neck was a quick brown fox
And on her shoulder, a gerbil eating rice
Upon her shoe was a cockatoo
Upon her head a hen
And by her side a pig would hide
And they were all the best of friends!

Friday, March 10, 2017

School Age Storytime “Mothers of Invention”


A K-3 storytime emphasizing pioneering women inventors and the challenges they faced. Opened with a discussion of the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention”


In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps it Up by Monica Kulling – the story of the 19th century “Lady Edison” (also discussed NJ’s own Thomas Edison) Knight, eventual holder of twenty patents, fought discrimination and proved that she was just as intelligent an inventor as a man.

Action: Hi, My Name is Joe & I Work in a Button Factory – Left/Right reminders, get the wiggles out!


One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay & The Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul – showed the pictures and summarized this true story of a woman who had the idea of turning the mountains of discarded plastic bags plaguing her village into crocheted purses.


Imaginative Inventions by Charise Mericle Harper (poems about inventions – shared the Frisbee poem – another example of reuse, though eventually became plastic!)


Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson – showed the pictures and summarized the story of the world’s first computer programmer.

Additional wonderful books featuring the women profiled above – great for “compare & contrast”:



Spic-And-Span! Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen by Monica Kulling --the story of the world's first female industrial engineer & efficiency expert and the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering.



Closed with two books celebrating imagination, creativity & girl power (with a nod back to the paper bag we started with):

If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen – a kid imagines a truly spectacular house (I encouraged kids to design their own imaginative rooms) -- and The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch – a princess outsmarts the dragon holding her fiance prisoner then decides the shallow prince is not worth marrying.

Another wonderful empowered princess –Princess Atalanta from “Free To Be You and Me” – check  out the Youtube video HERE.

If you want to get your kids involved in inventing & constructing, you might want to do a “Cardboard Challenge” inspired by Caine’s Arcade – details at:, and 2017:

Bedm 3/2017

For more women’s history programs, check out:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

S.T.E.M. Playground : Straw Buildings, Snap Circuits & More! (Ages 2 to 102)


School's off so come and explore S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at the library.  No registration required  Drop-in to this informal program. Stay a few minutes or several hours.  (Expanded to allow younger children with Duplo, Shapes, & Train Sets)

Create circuits with Snap Circuits; build simple machines with Legos; construct with Keva blocks, K'nex, or Straw Builders; defy gravity with your balancing skills; engineer a roller coaster; explore magnets; solve a math or science puzzler and more.


  • Thomas the Tank Engine Train Set Up (big bin of track & trains) – kids laid out tracks and played (on the stage)

on the floor:

on tables:

  • Deciphering codes (left over from Crazy 8’s Spy Program)
  • Visual Brainstorms Cards
  • Blokus Game
  • Checkers Game
  • Keva Blocks
  • Magnetic Blocks
  • Lego
  • K’nex
  • Snap Circuits
  • Unit Cubes



LOOKING FOR MORE STEM FUN? – Sign up for this program on March 2nd:


Celebrate Maker and Women's History Month -- We'll hear the story of Margaret E. Knight, the nineteenth century inventor who figured out how to make a machine that could fold a flat-bottomed paper bag, then we’ll make wild and wonderful paper bag creations.

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