Halloween fun!

We are busy planning our upcoming Halloween events and found these pics from last year’s festivities.

We always have so much fun decorating and planning games and crafts, so we wanted to share some ideas with you for your next spooky celebration!

Witch finger pens

These pens were a big hit!  To make them, you will need

  • air dry clay or Model Magic
  • an acrylic nail
  • nail polish
  • a pen

You start by rolling some clay or Model Magic into a snake shape the length of the pen.  Then flatten the clay and begin gently wrapping it around the pen.  Once the pen is covered, you can mold the knuckles and carve lines, making it look like a real finger.  Once that is complete, press the nail into the end of the pen and let it dry overnight.  You could also paint the finger nail green for a more witchy effect!

This blog does a great job of illustrating process  https://www.theidearoom.net/severed-witch-finger-pens

Candy corn man

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This adorable candy corn dude was so much fun to make!

All you need for this craft is

  • orange, yellow, black and white construction paper
  • googly eyes
  • glue stick
  • a marker

Start by cutting out a white piece of paper for the body.  Then you will cut out a yellow strip for the midsection and an orange strip to fit the bottom.  You can also cut out boots and gloves from the colored construction paper.  Cut 4 black strips and crimp them for the arms and legs.  Glue the pieces together as shown above, put on your eyes and draw a smile!

Here is a link to a similar design that includes a free template https://www.bloghoppin.com/2014/10/candy-corn-guy-free-download-craft.html

Paper plate ghosties

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These paper plate ghosts were fun and simple.

You will need

  • paper plates
  • black and white construction paper
  • white streamers
  • yarn

Begin by tracing and cutting out the mouth and eyes on black paper and arms on white paper.  We cut our streamers 12 inches long and then down the center lengthwise.  Glue the pieces on the paper plate as shown above.  Finally, punch a hole in the top and attach yarn so you can hang your ghost.

Here is a blog that contains more detailed instructions and a free template for the mouth and arms – https://craftsbyamanda.com/paper-plate-ghost/

Hand print scanner

During the Ghostly Night, we set up a mad scientist lab.  The kids had to scan their handprints to enter the lab using this squishy scanner.  It would be really fun for a spy themed party too!

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To make one, you will need

  • a gallon-sized zipper bag
  • neon paint
  • glue
  • baking soda
  • contact solution

Start by adding glue to the bag.  Then add the paint until it is the desired color.  Put about a teaspoon of baking soda.  Squirt some contact solution in, seal the bag, and knead the slime until it is holds its shape.  You may need to add more contact solution if it is too sticky.  Once the slime is set, tape the bag to a wall and scan your hand!

Once inside the lab, the mad scientists experimented with more slime, building molecules, and making a Frankenstein hand by mixing baking soda and vinegar.

Frankenstein’s hand

Frankenstein hand

This super easy experiment uses

  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • a plastic cup
  • a latex glove

Start by adding 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a plastic cup and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the glove.  Then carefully attach the top of the glove to the opening of the cup without mixing the baking soda and vinegar.  When the glove is securely attached, begin tipping it up to slowly add the baking soda from the glove fingers into the cup.  Frankenstein’s monster’s hand will come alive!

Spiders in the pumpkin patch

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In place of our usual blue blocks, we had a pumpkin patch where the kiddos could hunt for spiders.

If you are feeling particularly brave and would like to try this at home, you can use

  • shredded paper
  • leaf cutouts or artificial leaves
  • plastic pumpkins or stuffed pumpkin bags like we used
  • plastic spiders or spider rings

Taping a tarp down first makes for much easier clean up.  Spread out the leaves, shredded paper, and pumpkins.  Mix in your spiders and watch your guests have fun hunting for them!

This would also make a great sensory tub activity if you wanted to do something similar on a smaller scale.

See you soon at Ghostly Night Tuesday October 22 from 6-7:30pm and PreK Halloween Wednesday October 23 at 6pm or Thursday October 24 at 10am!

Miss Tess

 

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Create with the Figge – Found Objects recap

Kelsey from the Figge visited us July 11th, shared with us the fantastic art of Vanessa German and showed us how to make Found Object art.

We used clothespins, fabric, buttons, feathers, ribbon and more found objects.

Check out these amazing works of art!

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Thank you to Kelsey, the Figge and everyone who came!  Next month’s Creativity Lab is August 8th at 6 pm with no registration required.

Miss Tess

Showstopping Sculpture winners

Winners

Congrats to the winners of our Showstopping Sculpture contest!

Family Division:  The Aukee Family for Ice Cream Summer

Grades 4-6:  Kaylin H. for Sparkle

Grades 1-3:  Pierce B. for BB8 Recreate

PreK-K:  Grayson B. for Mr. Mouse

The winning sculptures will be on display in the Children’s Department until July 27th.

Thanks to everyone who participated!  You can stop in to get your sculpture any time until August 10th.

Miss Tess

 

A Day of Aqua Fun at Riverside Park

On Wednesday, July 10th, we had a great Themed Park program at Riverside Park East Shelter.

It was a gorgeous day!  We read the books I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry and The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino.  We also danced to the songs The Animals in the Ocean by the Kiboomers and, of course, Baby Shark by Pinkfong!

Then Emily from the Parks Department led us in some super fun games of Drip, Drip, Splash (a version of Duck, Duck, Goose with water and sponges)

and a water balloon toss!

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We ended the afternoon by painting with watercolors.

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Join us for the Super Silly Themed Parks visit Wednesday, July 24th at Prospect Park starting at 10:30 a.m.  We’ll be reading funny books and playing wacky games!

Miss Tess

 

Messing Around!

Miss Marta and I had a blast at Messing Around last week and we hope you did too! If you weren’t able to make it or would like to try any of these stations yourself, here’s a breakdown of what we did.

Here’s what the room looked like before…

And here is after! Click on any of the pictures for a larger version.

Phew! What a mess! But everyone had so much fun that it was definitely worth the time we spent cleaning up afterwards.

Moon Sand: Also known as kinetic sand, we have used this in programs before. It can be molded like wet sand but never dries out, and you can buy it in lots of cool colors.

Pudding Fingerpainting: For this station we made vanilla instant pudding and added neon food coloring. If we did this program again I would use white chocolate pudding instead. I forgot vanilla pudding is yellow, not white, and so the colors came out a little wonky. Still lots of fun to finger paint with though (and pretty tasty!).

Crunch-up Bins: This station was the easiest to set up; all it takes was some different types of cereal (we used Froot Loops, Cheerios, Rice Chex, and Frosted Flakes) and saltines in a bin and a hammer to crunch them up with! This station seemed to appeal most to the youngest kiddos in the room.

Jello Dig: I made 3 family sized boxes of strawberry Jello and dropped some small toys in the containers before putting it in the fridge to set. Children could then dig through the Jello to pull out the cars, blocks, and dinosaurs or just squish it in their fingers.

Shaving Cream Color Mixing: Just a bin full of shaving cream with some Crayola paint. They could squirt a little paint onto the shaving cream and mix it up. This is a fun sensory experience, but because it needs to be dumped out and given fresh shaving cream after every use, it works best for using one-on-one. I would probably leave it out for a program like this again.

Puffy Painting: I LOVE puffy paint! It is super easy to make – just equal amounts white glue and shaving cream with food coloring – and dries really vibrant with the coolest texture. With this kind of paint, less is not more. To really get the best puffy texture to your finished painting, you’ll really want to load up the brush with paint. It does take a while to fully dry, but if you set them out overnight that should be plenty long enough.

Fizzy Cloud Dough: We got the recipe for fizzy cloud dough from Powerful Mothering. The original recipe calls for a cup of flour, a cup of baking soda, and a 1/4 cup vegetable oil, as well as some vinegar to squirt on it to make it fizz. It also needs either powder or oil-based (the kind usually used for candy) food coloring if you want different colors. We quadrupled the recipe for each color for a group setting like this (not all of what we made is in the picture). The cloud dough by itself is pretty fun to play with, a lot like the moon sand. But when squirted with the bottles of vinegar, it fizzes and foams! The kids enjoyed mixing it up into a big gloopy mess.

Shaving Cream Pool: Just what it looks like, a kiddie pool full of shaving cream! We also threw in some play food, bowls, plates, and utensils. This station was VERY popular. I think we used approximately 15 cans to fill it up as much as you see in the “before” picture.

Dinosaurs in Sand: also just what it looks like! The dinosaurs stomped around in a sandy environment that kids pretended was a desert or beach. I thought about adding some water to the bin or making “mud” out of instant hot cocoa mix and a little bit of water to make this a really messy station, but the kids enjoyed it regardless. Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

Ocean Water Table: Multi-colored water beads, some water, and a set of sea animal toys for kids to play with and explore. A lot of the younger children seemed to enjoy squishing the water beads as much as anything else though. We also wanted to have a calmer, less messy station for those who might get overwhelmed by the other things we had available.

Chalkboard: Can’t go wrong with chalk on a chalkboard. I’ve found with programs like this it helps to write or draw something before the kids come in so they know it’s okay to use it.

And that’s what we did at Messing Around! I had so much fun with this program. If you’re ever feeling brave enough to tackle a messy program at your library or try one of these activities at home with your own kids, I think it is well worth the time cleaning up. We saw lots and lots of smiles and excited faces from little ones thrilled with the opportunity to dig in and get messy.

Miss Jessica

 

Gel Print Butterflies and Children’s Book Week

We made these beautiful butterflies in April’s Creativity Lab!  We used gel plates, acrylic paint, and different items to achieve these unique designs and textures.

The butterflies made a great display for Children’s Book Week, which we will celebrate for two weeks – April 29 through May 11.

Children's Book week

Over the weeks, we’ll have some great programs and fun activities.  There will be lots of Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired games and crafts out around the department, so drop in and enjoy!

Our next Creativity Lab will be on Thursday, May 9th where our friends from the Figge will teach us how to make Tiffany-inspired window art.  Be sure to register for that one!

Miss Tess

 

Cupcake Decorating Recap

We had a wild Valentine’s Day at MPL!  During Creativity Lab, we decorated cupcakes provided to us very generously by Brandy at the Java Lab.

We also made cupcake boxes and gift bags for those who wanted to give their cupcakes as Valentine’s gifts.  How sweet!

Check out the masterpieces-

So much creative energy!

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This frosting unicorn would look great on a cake!

Some of the older kiddos took part in the PNG dissection class here at the library that evening and dissected a sheep heart.  Don’t worry – they washed their hands before decorating!

Join us for our next Creativity Lab on Thursday, March 14th at 6 pm for grades K-5.

Miss Tess