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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pre-School Storytime/Craft: Valentine’s Day & Celebrating Friendship

Ages 3-6: Stories and songs celebrating friendship.  Includes a non-fiction book showing how animals greet each other, concepts of shape and direction, numeracy and rhyme. 
Optional additions address loss and bullying prevention.

Music playing when enter: More Tickles and Tunes (Track #5 Razzama Tazzama)

Book: My Friend Rabbit – Eric Rohmann (Caldecott Winner, sometimes friends drive us crazy!)

Flannel: Snowman’s Valentine  (source unknown)
Fay made a snowman, fat and fine
And oh how his button eyes did shine
When little Fay
Gave him today
A big red heart for a valentine

follow with:
Flannel & Rabbit Puppet: A Chubby Little Snowman (source unknown)
A chubby little snowman had a carrot nose
Along came a bunny, what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny, looking for his lunch
Ate the snowman’s carrot nose
Nibble, Nibble, Crunch!

Book: Mouse’s First Valentine
– Lauren Thompson (guessing game – children figure out what is being used to make the valentine) – not that interesting, didn’t hold their interest 2017

Flannel: This Valentine is shaped like… (shapes, rhymes = phonemic awareness)
This valentine is shaped like a square
This valentine is shaped like a bear
This valentine is shaped like a circle
This valentine colored purple
This valentine is shaped like a rectangle
This valentine is shaped like a triangle
This valentine is shaped like a dove
This valentine is shaped with love!

Stretch: Head Shoulders Knees & Toes

“Animals use different body parts to say hello”

Hello, Hello! – Miriam Schlein (narrative non-fiction: ID animals, animal behavior)

Song: If You’re Happy & You Know It

“Some friends might not be human”

Book: Boy + Bot – Ame Dyckman  or  Clara and Asha -- Eric Rohmann (try Strictly No Elephants – Lisa Mantchev in 2017)

Flannel: May I Bring a Friend? based on the book by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (1964 Caldecott Winner)

Song: Skinnamarink from Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s  One elephant, deux éléphants (also on other albums)

Skidamarink a dink a dink, Skidamarink a doo, I love you. (2x)
I love you in the morning, And in the afternoon, I love you in the evening
And underneath the moon;
Oh, Skidamarink a dink a dink, Skidamarink a doo,I love you!

(some groups): City Dog, Country Frog – Mo Willems (beautiful story of friendship, loss, and renewal)  and/or One --  Kathryn Otoshi – (anti-bullying parable where the number one stands up for the color blue against the red bully and all the colors discover that everyone counts.)

Flannel: Hi Harry (source unknown) – No one has time to play with Harry Tortoise until Sam Snail shows up…

Song: Make New Friends but Keep the Old
Make new friends but keep the old,one is silver and the other gold
A circle’s round, it has no end – that’s how long I want to be your friend!

Optional: Book: If You’ll Be My Valentine – Cynthia Rylant (rhymes articulate the different valentines a boy makes for family members and pets)

Glove or Flannel: Five Little Valentines (source unknown, can use numeral cards to reinforce subtraction numeracy)
Five little valentines from the grocery store - I sent one to mother, now there are four
Four little valentines pretty ones to see - I gave one to my brother now there are three
Three little valentines, what´ll I do? - I gave one to my sister now there are two
Two little valentines , it´s so much fun - I gave one to Daddy, now there is one
One little valentine, I´m almost through
Who should I give it to?  I gave it to YOU!

Optional VHS: One Zillion Valentines (Weston Woods) Reading Rainbow: Best Friends

Other possible titles:

Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira
Flora & the Flamingo by Milly Idle
Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea
The Lamb-a-Roo by Diana Kimpton and The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond – Fran favorites


2.17: Emphasis on friendship and sticking up for each other in a difficult time.

Music playing as kids enter & during craft – Happy Feet album by Fred Penner
Book: Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosethal
Flannel: This Valentine (shapes)

Book: One Good Deed by Terri Fields (Nice, a bit long, had to abridge for afternoon group)
Flannel: Snowman’s Valentine 
Action song: Happy Feet #8 from Fred Penner’s album
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Glove or Flannel: Five Little Valentines
Flannel: May I Bring a Friend? based on the book by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (1964 Caldecott Winner) – skipped p.m.
Song: If You’re Happy & You Know It
If time: Book: Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev and/or Because of You by B.G. Hennessey or Whoever You Are by Mem Fox – no time for any, use next time?
Book: My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall  --> Valentine crafts (supplies: die cut hearts, foam hearts & letters, googly eyes, stickers, scrap paper, scissors, glue sticks, pipe cleaners, tape, 12x18 boards, white, pink, and red construction paper for cards, scrap construction paper.)



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