Flower Garden – Interactive Display (Passive Programming)

I’m very excited about the new interactive display that I created for the Main children’s department! To celebrate the spring, I wanted to create our very own growing flower garden. The display itself features a gang of happy little flowers in rainbow flower pots. Behind them are giant growing vines that are waiting for some colorful flowers to grow!

The display is a simple scavenger hunt similar to the Pokémon Scavenger Hunt, Display (Passive Program) that I previously made. The children are tasked with finding the seven missing flowers that are hiding throughout the children’s library. Each flower has a word on it that correlates with each letter in the word “Flowers” (Fun, Love, Outdoors, Wish, Enjoy, Sun). The children will have to go around and find the flowers and write down the words that they find. This part of the passive program helps children with letter recognition, word recognition, and basic writing. Once the children find all seven flowers/words, they can color their very own flower to add to the garden. The children will also be able to cut out their flowers which is an important manual precursor to early literacy skills.

I am a huge advocate for interactive displays and passive programming within a children’s library. They allow for a consistent source of fun and learning, and often get tied to library materials which is a win/win for everyone!

Puppet Show Theater

In the children’s department at our Main branch, we have many little stations where children can play, explore, socialize, and learn! One of my favorites is the mini puppet show theater. We have a collection of puppets that children can ask us for and put on their very own puppet show. Each animal puppet has the corresponding letter printed on it to help develop phonemic awareness and other early literacy skills! The children have the opportunity to play, pretend, and to collaboratively create an impromptu show. Check out the awesome show that was put on by these 4 awesomely talented young puppeteers!

Jax Book Fest 2017

Wow! Wow! Wow! I’m trying not to geek out too much. We are just wrapping up the first ever Jax Book Fest. The event brought in over 150 authors and over 3,600 guests! The event took place throughout the entire library, but I only was able to snap photos from the festivities that took place in our wonderful children’s department. The highlight of the event were presentations by three of my favorite children’s authors/illustrators: Karen Beaumont, David Catrow, and Ethan Long… yes, you are reading that correctly, they were ALL here! If you don’t know those names, look up their books and you will be like, “…oh wow! They did all of these books?!?!?! This one is my favorite!!!”

Each of the three held separate presentations where they discussed everything from their inspirations, writing/drawing techniques, and answered all sorts of questions. They each stayed around after their presentations to sign autographs and chat with their loving fans. Additionally, the Jacksonville Zoo came out and brought a few wild friends for us to learn about including: a tortoise, an alligator, and an armadillo! We even had an awesome face-painting clown to add to the awesomeness.



Pictures from DCPS Art Reception

Great success! This was once again a wonderful event and a highlight of the Spring for me! The Duval County Public School art reception brought in over 70 students, artists, parents, and teachers. To make this event special, we set up in the middle of the library, set out some fancy refreshments, and topped it off with some tunes by Chopin.

It is wonderful to see the local community come together to support young budding artists. Some of these works were created by artists in kindergarten!!! Please check out the pictures and take note of the young artists posing with their works. I love living the #LibraryLife!

Duval County Public Schools Art Exhibit

Yay! Today marks the beginning of one of my favorite yearly events, the annual Duval County Public School art exhibit and reception! This is a great event to showcase our partnership with the Duval County Public School system and to showcase artwork by local elementary and middle school children. There were pillars erected that displayed the children’s artwork on all sides.

The local teachers came in today to set up the exhibit and put the artwork out on display. We will have an art reception later next week to celebrate the young artists. Another post will follow!

Check out the art reception from last year on my portfolio section: Portfolio


Map Artwork Craft

This is a wonderful craft to use when reading/learning about maps, map-making, and atlases. It requires very little prep work and it is a fun way for the young ones to express themselves through artwork.

To start, I provided the kids with multiple printouts of different types of maps and atlases. The goal is to have the kids cut out and use parts of the maps as a collage. There are no real limits to this, unless you want to add some on. The kids cut out the different map parts and glued them to multicolored foam board. To reinforce them, we glued the foam board onto a piece of cardboard.

The kids were then free to decorate their artwork however they wanted to using crayons and markers. This is a great way to introduce collage artwork! Check out some of the finished work. I particularly like the one of the USA split in half, blowing up!

George Crum & The Invention of the Potato Chip (Program)

For today’s early release day program, we focused on the chef and inventor of the potato chip, George Crum. As part of our Black History Month programming, we included this program to showcase some inventions created by black Americans… and to eat a bunch of chips!

To start, we read some information about George Crum and how he invented the potato chip. After we introduced the topic and discussed what we love about potato chips, we continued on with a potato chip blind taste test.

I set out six different types of potato chips. They each were a totally different flavor. The children had the opportunity to go around and try each chip. They were given a piece of paper to mark down what they thought about each chip. First, they guessed the flavor then noted if they enjoyed the chip by marking one of the following: loved it, liked it, was okay, didn’t like it, or hated it.

After everyone tried the chips, we compared the answers to determine which was the most popular chip… believe it or not, BBQ chips win by a landslide every time! This is a fun way to incorporate some snacking into your programming.

Daycare Outreach (Program)

Today, the wonderful Miss Sheenae and I had the opportunity to go out to one of our local daycare centers to perform a storytime outreach program! We love doing these types of outreaches and the kids always have a great time! Here’s what we did today:

  • Song dice: The song dice has the name of a different song on each side. The children take turns rolling the dice and we sing the song the lands facing up.
  • Felt board: The felt board is used to introduce the theme for the program. Today’s theme was, books. We spell out the theme will felt letters and have the children identify the letters and colors. We also put up a felt Winnie the Pooh to introduce the theme, Mr. Easel to encourage the children to draw the theme, and Mr. Camera so the children can take imaginary pictures of the theme (promoting fingerplay)
  • Stories: Typically we read two or three stories during outreaches depending on the crowd. This group was so good that we got to read four books! We chose books that were interactive with a lot of movements and participation:
    • Is Everyone Ready For Fun by Jan Thomas
    • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
    • Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr.
    • Dinosaur Rap by John Foster
  • Songs: We always try to incorporate singing into our programs. Today we sang “Open shut them” (promoting opposites), “Goodbye Goodbye song”, and additional songs from the song dice: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, and “Old McDonald Had a Farm”.

For being a group of fifty 2-5 year olds, we were surprised at how well behaved and attentive they all were. This group definitely brought their listening ears today!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party (Program)

As part of our partnership with the Duval County Public School System, we offer school aged programming on every early release day. For this past early release day, we had a “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” party. It was a lot of fun and we  were lucky enough to even have some tweens and teens show up to join in on the party. Here’s what we did:

  • Make your own Greg Heffley mask.
    Each child received a printout with Greg’s face on it. They cut out the mask on the dotted lines and I finished the mask by attaching some elastic string
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid word search
    Pretty self-explanatory. The word search was full of words and names from the series.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid trivia game
    I asked trivia questions based on the series
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid True/False
    We went around and recited facts about the series. The children took turns guessing if the facts were true or false
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid shame game
    This is basically “never have I ever” but based on the series. Everyone started standing up. we went around saying facts from the books. each person sat down when a fact was said that was not true for them.

We rounded off the party with some popcorn and we listened to the audiobook version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw. I think that Greg, Rowley, Frank, Manny, and Rodrick would have approved!