Last Week of Summer Reading Club

Summer Reading is almost done, but there is still fun to be had!  Come for an author reading of Prince and Pirate and stay for games and crafts.

Remember, All prizes must be picked up by JULY 29th so get your logs filled out and brought in!  Happy reading!

Get Your Newsletter!


This spring we did a soft roll out of a newsletter for our Children’s Department.  These will be put out quarterly to keep patrons up to date on happenings with the collection and resources we have available.  The first quarter was a huge hit!  We had lots of parents coming to ask us questions about collection items they didn’t know we had.  They also asked us for new books they saw thanks to the newsletter that otherwise would have been missed.


With the next edition about to roll off the presses just in time for school to start, stop in and see what amazing back-to-school resources we have for you and your family!  Newsletters can be found at the children’s desk and we are happy to help you get connected with the resources you need!  Have an idea for something that should be in the winter newsletter?  Let us know in the comments!

You Have What? New Puzzles!

Honestly, we hear the phrase “I didn’t know you have that,” frequently in our library.  Through no one’s fault, there are just little gems of specialty collections tucked away that, without really talking up, can be overlooked.  One such collection is our puzzles.  Many patrons don’t realize that while we have some really cool puzzles to play with while you are visiting the library, we also have some awesome ones you can check out just like you would a book to take home and enjoy!  Even better, we have a fresh batch of new puzzles that have just arrived and are ready to go home with you!

Many of our puzzles are geared at the toddler and pre-k set since the wooden puzzles and block puzzles tend to stand the test of time, but some of the more unique puzzles even capture the attention of some of our school-age patrons.  The magnetic puzzles and mazes are big winners in just about everyone’s book, regardless of age!


If you haven’t checked out our puzzles yet, ask us to show you them on your next visit!  They are just one of many special collections that is worth exploring!

Captain Underpants Party @ MPL


The Captain Underpants books already were flying off our shelves thanks to summer reading, but with the movie out, we knew we had to celebrate so we hosted a Captain Underpants Party!  We hosted a fun mix of games and crafts to keep our active superhero patrons busy.  This event was an hour and a half and patrons could come and go as they pleased so having activities that were open-ended and adaptable to almost any age was the goal.  From the feedback we got from our 150 guests, the things we planned achieved these goals!  The best part?  These are things you could easily recreate if you are having a party, whether it is for 5 guests or 150!  Read on to see what we put together.


Professor Poopypants Name Changer

As people came into the event, we had them start by finding out there Captain Underpants name using Professor Poopypants’ Name Changer.  This was a downloadable from the Scholastic site.

Because we wanted a more colorful sign, we just typed recreated it in Canva which worked very well.  Kids quickly wrote their new name on a name tag and off they went to the next station.


Superhero Masks

Since capes prove tricky in regards to expense (and sometimes liability), we opted to have a mask station where are patrons could create a mask to go with their new Captain Underpants identity!


Hypno-Ring Station

Personally, I’ve always loved when George and Harold hypnotize Mr. Krupp for the first time.  The image of him on the desk pretending to be a chicken before he becomes Captain Underpants just cracks me up!  That said, we knew we had to have a station with the Hypno-Ring.  We created a giant hypnotic swirl on paper and attached to what is usually a ship’s wheel decor piece from our summer reading.  We then thought up some super silly actions for kids to act out.  We created slips for each task, cut them apart and threw them in our handy dandy cauldron.  To get “hypnotized”  kids had to stare into the swirl while pulling an action to act out from the cauldron.  Honestly, I was worried some of the older kids would play the too-cool card and walk past this station but it turned out I was worried for nothing.  We had some super silly actors of all ages at this station pretending to be a hot dog about to be eaten, an angry chicken, a cat taking a bath, and more!

Toilet Paper Stacking Challenge

This station was a lot of fun and definitely easy for any age!  Kids could test to see how high they could stack the toilet paper without it falling and how fast they could stack.  We actually posted a volunteer at this station to time kids.  She also helped with our Pin the Cape Station!

Pin the Cape on Captain Underpants


We blew up and painted a large image of Captain Underpants himself for this version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  Kids would put the blindfold on, spin three times, and then try to pin (er, tape, to be accurate) the cape to Captain Underpants’ neck. I’m sad to say I don’t have an after pictures of this station because this guy was covered in red capes!


Undie Fling

I’ll be honest, this station went best with a parent or grown-up willing to be silly! The objective?  To stand behind the long red line and fling a pair of tighty whities as far as you could.  From that line to the first shorter line was about 4 feet.  Each red line after took you another 2 feet.  A lot of kids got to see a whole new side of their grown-ups that day as they were learning to use the elastic waistband to launch the underpants!  Even if they didn’t get the concept of how to fling them with the technique we were thinking of, a lot of kids were giggling as they threw giant underwear around the library.

Turbo Toilet 2000 Turd Toss

Yeah… you read that correctly!  The Captain Underpants books are well-known for their toilet humor and we couldn’t help help but go there!  Using a toilet seat, round trashcan, card stock, and some good ole’ duct tape, we created our own version of the Turbo Toilet 2000.  We then created “turds” from scrunched up newspaper covered in wrinkled brown construction paper that was wrapped up in packaging tape so it was durable but gave a squishy feel.  Kids had a chance to see if they could get 5 turds into the toilet before their turn was done.  Hands-down, we got the BEST feedback about this station from parents and kids alike!

Jerome Horwitz School Sign

We have a magnetic pillar in our department that we have done some fun stuff with in the past, but this may have been my favorite!  We created a school sign like in the books and put out magnetic letters for kids to leave their own silly messages!  We had tried to use smaller letters but the magnets didn’t quite cut the mustard so we ended up with large foam letters instead and the kids still had fun with them!

Coloring and Activity Pages

These printables were all free on the Scholastic website.

Doodle Stations

Have you ever tried Doodle Stations before?  We throw them up at events periodically because they are a HUGE hit with patrons, young and old.  Basically we cover table tops with white craft paper or butcher paper.  We set out colored pencils and leave a note letting patrons know we want them to draw on the paper.  We get some awesome art work doing this!  Check out these examples!


The activities you just scrolled through are located all throughout our department.  It prevents congestion and chaos in a main meeting room and still encourages people to check out the collection.  It also meets the needs of kiddos with special needs or families with very young children.  We keep more challenging crafts or activities where materials could be messy in our Children’s Program Room.  For this event, we had three activities in our program room.  We had the fidget spinners craft we gave you in our sneak peek, a Captain Underpants Bookmark, and a Playdoh Poo station set up for kids to explore at this event.  Even the big kids LOVED the Playdoh!  And who doesn’t love a fidget spinner these days?!

Throwing this together during Summer Reading was not an easy task, but it was worth it!  Our community absolutely LOVED our Captain Underpants Party!

Watercolor Effects

Here are some fun and easy ways to experiment with watercolor paints. The paints we used here at the library are liquid watercolors, but the same effects can be done with dry watercolors and water. Even though most watercolors wash out, it’s still a good idea to cover up or wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. That goes for whatever surface you’re painting on as well. These watercolor techniques are a lot of fun, but they are messy too! (But that’s part of the fun, right?)


  • Paint a swatch of color, or paint the whole page, with a brush and a mixture of different colors. Make sure that the paint is wet (this means you need to work quickly!)
  • Sprinkle some salt over the wet paint – table salt works OK, but I found kosher salt makes a better effect due to the large size of the salt crystals
  • Allow the paint to completely dry before brushing off the salt, revealing a cool speckled pattern in the paint
  • The effect is caused by the salt absorbing the pigments in the paint.


  • Paint a swatch of color, or paint the whole page, with a brush and a mixture of different colors. Make sure that the paint is wet (this means you need to work quickly!)
  • Fill an eyedropper with isopropyl alcohol (91% works best) and drip it onto the wet paint
  • If you don’t have an eyedropper, Q-tips are another option – just dip them into the alcohol and touch them to the paint.
  • Unlike the salt, the effects of the alcohol drops will take place immediately
  • Watercolor and alcohol do not mix, causing the colors to “run away” from the alcohol; this can also cause a fisheye effect.

Plastic Wrap:

  • Paint a swatch of color, or paint the whole page, with a brush and a mixture of different colors – just keep it wet!
  • While the paint is still wet, lay a piece of saran wrap over the paint.
  • Don’t smooth out the wrinkles – the more the better! You can move the wrinkles around overtop the wet paint
  • Let the paint dry completely before removing the saran wrap
  • The web-like effect is created by the pockets of paint caught in and outside of the wrinkles of the saran wrap.


  • No brushes needed for this one! If you have liquid watercolors, you can pour some drops directly onto your paper. If you don’t have liquid watercolors, mix some water with the dry paint and drip it onto the paper
  • Take a drinking straw and blow hard over the paint – don’t touch the straw directly to the paper, but just about an inch or so above
  • Experiment by blowing the paint in different directions. See how a big puff through the straw effects the paint differently than a little puff of air
  • Be sure to rest in between breaths – it’s easy to get light-headed doing this!
  • The result reveals trails of colors spreading all over the page.

Proper brush cleaning:

  • Don’t let the brushes sit in water; this weakens the bristles and harms the overall integrity of the brush.
  • Use a mild soap on brushes – try putting some soap in your hand and gently move the brush in a circular motion on your palm.
  • Rinse the brush under warm running water until the water runs clear.
  • Pat dry on a towel – don’t squeeze too hard or pull on the bristles as this damages them
  • Set on a towel to dry

Helpful Links:

Summer Reading Club 2017


We are setting sail for reading fun this summer!  Haven’t registered yet?  No problem!  Click here to register children ages 0 to 6th grade.  Don’t forget to print out your log so you can keep track of the days you read.


Besides awesome books and prizes, we have some amazing programs to check out this summer too!  Visits from Captain Underpants, Frog and Toad, amazing athletes and creative artists are just around the corner.  Want in on the fun?  Check out our calendar.