Wednesday, September 27, 2017

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

According to this website, International Talk Like a Pirate Day officially started in 2002, and has been going strong for a full 15 years and counting! Yet for some reason, it took me until 2017 to do a library program acknowledging it. So finally, this year, it happened. I remembered the date, got it in the newsletter, and planned the program in time to acknowledge International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017-- and it was entirely mediocre! 

In fact, this might officially wind up being my shortest blog post yet because there's just, straight up, nothing to say. I set the room up for fifteen kids but had a total of three + one little brother and three adults. 😞 (Unrelated: there are symbols on Blogger now! Hooray!)

Anyway, I started out with two books: Pirate Pete Lynne Benton (which is an easy reader) and Pirate Nap: A Book of Colors by Danna Smith. I can't say I was totally wild about either book but I had a hard time finding age-appropriate, storytime-appropriate books and these two, at the very least, filled the need. They kids seemed to feel the same way I did about the books-- eh. 

Then we learned some pirate lingo. I made this slideshow, which I printed out front-and-back, so that it would have the regular English on the front and the "Pirate English" on the back. I found that holding up the regular English, having the kids try to guess, and then turning the page around was a lot of fun for everyone!

Then we moved on to hat decorating, which was 100% thanks to this kit from Oriental Trading, but was a lot of fun too!

And last, we played Pirate Ship Ring Toss, which was possibly the highlight of the program. And how could it not be? There was a huge, inflatable pirate ship and throwing things involved!

On the way out, I gave them pirate bouncy balls to take home. We had them in storage so this was a good chance to get rid of them, and the kids were excited about them too!

What worked least: I hate to say it, but I have to: The books were totally the least fun part of this program. They were just blah. I looked through SO many but I just never found any pirate books that I felt excited about. Too bad!

What worked best: Pirate Ship Ring Toss. You can't beat it. The kids were absolutely enthralled with the inflatable pirate ship from the moment they entered the room.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Grandparents' Day Brunch n Craft

For the past two years, admittedly, Grandparents' Day has been a little bit of an afterthought. Because it's in early September, a Grandparents' Day program needs to make its way into the summer newsletter and, for whatever reason, I just don't think about it until about mid-July. Therefore, Grandparents' Day programs of the past have always wound up being drop in crafts

But this year was different. This year MY parents became grandparents and Grandparents' Day was a little more in the forefront of my brain. I totally made a huge deal over it. And so we have...

Grandparents' Day Brunch n Craft! Here is my family (including me!) enjoying it:

The program, I'll admit, was awesome. I'll start with the food spread.

The menu above (which was handed out to each grandparent as they entered the room) lists everything we had. It says as follows: Light roast coffee, hot chocolate, bagels with cream cheese and butter, Munchkins, orange juice, fruit salad, and Cheerios with milk. 

Please note: I advertised this as a "light brunch spread" to make sure nobody had irrational, omelet-station-caliber expectations. 

Everyone loves a brunch!


And now, on to the crafts! In the newsletter, I touted  "crafts for all ages," so I had to make sure there was something for everyone. It's a good thing I did! I had kids as young as under 1 (ahem, that was my own daughter) and kids as old as 4th grade! Here's what we did:

Hug in an Envelope

I found this craft here. Basically, it's two traced hands strung onto ribbon with hearts in the middle. The center heart (the big, pink one) has a message for grandma/grandpa, and the hearts on each side of it say "Grandma" (or Grammy or Nanna or whatever) and "Grandpa" (or Poppy or Pop-pop or whatever). The sample above is a real sample made by a patron to help me out with this program. I also put out white envelopes for the kids to decorate and then put their "hugs" in, and stickers for sealing them up.

Finger Paint Pictures

I did this craft back in June 2016 in a program called Munchkins with Mommy and Donuts with DaddyIt's a quick craft for the younger crowd and was inspired by this gem on Pinterest. To make it, I found a picture of a dandelion stem online, altered it a tiny bit, added some text, and printed it on card stock. Then the kids finger painted on colorful seeds. Easy and fun! They also had fun improvising more finger paint art along the way.

Paper Plate Awards

I swiped this idea from something similar that I found on Pinterest. I kept it easy by using paper plates that were already gold (these from Oriental Trading). Then I put out pre-punched circles for writing on (because you can't write, even with a Sharpie, on these paper plates without it being a total smudge-fest), pre-cut blue ribbon bottoms (I had a page do this), foam hearts and flowers for decorating (these from Oriental Trading), plus markers, glue and tape. It was cute!

Strawberry Foot Prints

Strawberry foot prints was our "baby craft" and I had three babies present to make it! The sample above (taped to the wall next to the sign) was made by my own sweet, little Sadie. The craft is pretty self-explanatory: Paint baby's feet red, stamp them on white paper (pointing inward if possible), paint green leaves, and add a message (which, in my sample, was "You are berry special!") Then, when the paint is dry, the kindly librarian (me) will add black dots for seeds, cut it out, and laminate the whole finished product for you take home! Here are some pre-dotted, pre-laminated, pre-cut foot berries and the babies who made them:

What worked least: This program was SO much fun. It really felt like a true success. If I were forced to decide on something that didn't work though, I'd say that I wish there could have been a more streamlined way to do the strawberry foot prints. Like, I wish there was way to magically have them dry faster so I could have laminated them on the spot, instead of having to hold on to them until later. But, of the three families who did this craft, one came back a few hours later in the day to pick up the print and was super happy to do so, one mom comes in all the time anyway so I just held hers for her until next time, and one was my daughter. So, really, it totally worked out fine!

What worked best: Totally has nothing to do with the program itself, but having my own family in attendance made the day SO much fun! I loved spending Grandparents' Day with so many great family while still getting to be with my own!