Special Visitors at the library!

The last few weeks we have been lucky to have special class visits from a local preschool. We LOVE these visits! Schools and daycares (even in home day cares) contact us and we create a free story time with crafts and activities just for their group.  It is great because it really allows us to adapt a program to fit their specific needs and age ranges.

We tell stories, act out action plays, shake shaky eggs to music and use the felt board. These activities last for about 20 minutes. Then the craziness begins. We have the teachers divide their students into groups and the kids are able to visit several stations that we set up.

On this particular visit, our sensory table was filled with a great recipe for Play Snow that we found over at Huckleberry Love. The kids had a great time filling containers and making forts, snow figures and squishing the “snow” between their fingers.  This is by far our favorite recipe and parents and teachers alike love it!

We set up a Veterinary station at one table. Each chair had a lab coat and a small stuffed cat or dog. The table was filled with various toy medical instruments.

One table had a small dog cutout which matched the dog from the story Dog’s Colorful Day. The children colored their dog from their memory of the story. A popsicle stick was taped to the back and they had a puppet.

There was a table with Magnatiles that the kids build alone or with a friend. The crashing as towers fell was as much fun as the building.

Another table had play dough (we make our own) with rolling pins of various sizes and designs, lots of plastic cutting tools and plastic cookie cutters. It is always a favorite table.

An unusual station for us was the Yeti. He is a 7 foot tall drawing that Miss Marta drew for our Choose Your Own Adventure program, but he was such a hit we kept him up. The kids were able to show off their throwing arms as they threw cloth snowballs at the Yeti. We did have to keep a bit of an eye on the kids with this one, but it was worth it.

Some of the groups were rather large so we also added a transportation rug and vehicles for the kids to play with.

For a surprise, we sent home a ball of our Color Surprise Playdough for each child. The surprise is that each ball has gel food coloring inside the ball so they had no idea which color they would receive.

Miss Sarah

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Welcome Tess!

Please welcome our new intern, Tess!

She will be with us until mid-April as part of her senior year B.S. studies in Library Science. Tess is not a stranger to libraries however.  She also works part-time at the East Moline Public Library.

A Quad-City native, Tess and her husband have 2 children ages 10 and 11 and a 1 year old puppy named Belle. She likes to read Science Fiction (is a fan of Lemony Snickett and Harry Potter!) and enjoys crafts and old coins.

She will be helping us with different programs and our blog – so be on the lookout for her first post!

Miss Christina

Play at the Library

One thing we pride ourselves on is providing an environment that helps build community.  Not only do we offer an awesome collection of items people can check out and take home, but we provide spaces, toys, and activities that encourage kids and parents to socialize and play with others in the department.  We frequently hear surprised patrons if it is their first time here. “I didn’t realize you had so much!”

 

Here are just a few activities you will find on your visit…

 

We have an amazing puppet theater with a stash of puppets that stay in the department just to make up creative, fun  stories to share.

 

We offer a variety of blocks from large foam blocks to make big structures, to Lego Duplos, to Bristle Blocks.

 

We keep board games near the children’s desk and if you ask the librarian you can select a game to play during your visit.  Coloring pages, crayons and occasionally other craft projects can also be found at the children’s desk.  You can use these in the library or take color sheets home with you!

 

Our magnetic pillar is a big hit!  Currently we have letters out, fun for leaving messages for friends or practicing ABC’s but we do swap these out with different activities from time to time so come in and check it out!  We also have games attached to the walls for the very young.  These games feature nursery rhymes and songs and are very durable.

 

Our oversized stuffed animal collection has been a favorite for many years.  Let me give you some insider info on these!  If the animals are on the floor, they are there to curl up and read with or play with.  If you see some on top of the shelves, we ask that they stay there.  These are animals that may be old and have had many visits to the stuffed animal “hospital” and can’t be played with anymore but still like to be out on display.

 

The AWE computers are a great resource!  These have no internet connection, touch screens, and are preloaded with fun (and sneakily educational) games so any kiddo can play, from the very young to the middle grades.

 

We do have some toys we DON’T want you to play with in the library, but that is only because we want you to take them home instead!  We have some awesome kits, puppets, and puzzles in special sections of the library.  These items will be in special containers, like bags, totes, or boxes and will have a barcode.

These check out for 3 weeks like a library book and cost nothing to check out and play with.  We encourage you to NOT play with these items at the library unless you have asked the librarian and there will be a grown-up supervising the play.  As harsh as this may sound, it is with good reason, I promise.

If a puzzle piece, puppet, or pieces from a kit go missing, then we can’t let kids or their families check them out.  They sit and wait until we can locate the pieces.  If those can’t be found, the kits end up being withdrawn from our collection and the community loses that resource.  We want to make sure anyone who wants to enjoy these has access so before grabbing one and opening it up at the library, talk to the librarian at the children’s desk first!  We are happy to let a child play with them as long as they are only being used one at a time, under the supervision of a grown-up.  We just ask you bring it back to the desk if you aren’t taking it home so we can check the pieces and reshelve it.

 

Miss Marta

Choose Your Own Adventure

Here’s  quick recap of some of the fun we had last Saturday at our Choose Your Own Adventure program and winter reading kickoff! If you haven’t signed up for our winter reading program, there’s still plenty of time- the program doesn’t end until February 10th! Sign up today!

We had each kid choose their own path through our event, which took them to six different locations around the world, where they learned about the culture, did some crafts and activities, and then moved on to the next stop. In ancient Egypt kids could make their own cartouche in hieroglyphics, build a pyramid, and learn how to make a mummy.  In the Alps they threw snowballs at the Yeti (Yes, we realize the Yeti is actually from the Himalayas, but he must have been vacationing in the Alps!  That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!), they got to play with sensory snow made out of baking soda and white conditioner, and they were able to learn how fold mountains like the Alps are created with a hands-on experiment.  At the Great Wall of China they made chinese lanterns and created their own version of the Great Wall by dipping packing peanuts (the kind made out of cornstarch) in water and stacking them up to build a wall on a piece of cardboard.  In ancient Greece, they learned about Greek art and architecture by creating mosaics and exploring the post and lintel method of building.

A trip around the world wouldn’t have been complete without a stop in the Serengeti!  Here kids went on a safari through the grasslands to find lifesize animals and identify some endangered species.  They also made a stop in the Amazon jungle, where they had to cross the River without falling in, because there were some dangerous animals swimming close by.  They also got to customize their own parrots, using bright colors and feathers to deck out their wacky birds!

Miss Janna

Behind the Scenes…

Here at Moline Library, we love to put on amazing events!                                                    …but those events are a LOT of work! Here’s a sneak peek of what we’re working on for Choose Your Own Adventure, Saturday, January 13th.

We’ll be transforming our Children’s Department into an Egyptian tomb, A Greek temple, The Great Wall of China, the Amazon Rainforest, the Serengeti Desert, and the Alps for an around-the-world adventure.

Take a peek at our work in progress-                                                                                               …and don’t forget to come to Choose Your Own Adventure!

We will post photos after the event so you can see how it all came together.

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Making coffee-stained “stone” for our Egyptian Temple

 

Egyptian pillar

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And yes, we know monkeys don’t belong in the Serengeti, but we stuck them up there to keep Mr. Zebra company! 🙂

Miss Janna

A New System For Our Kits!

Since we are always trying to improve things here in the Children’s department, we have revised the way our kits are shelved. Kits with lots of pieces or that are a little pricier or more easily damaged than others will be shelved behind our children’s desk. On the regular kit shelf, we have place a binder with the information about each kit that you can bring to the children’s desk, where you can trade in the binder and be given the kit. Binders will look like this:

When you find a binder you would like to receive the kit for, bring the binder to the children’s desk and we will give you the kit to check out.

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This new method of shelving and checkout applies only to new kits that contain lots of pieces or are more costly, but the majority of our kits will stay the same as they always have been.

Miss Janna