Happy St. Patrick Day!

Very rarely does storytime actually fall directly on a holiday. This week was different and storytime was on St. Patrick’s Day! I didn’t feel like I could ignore the holiday so we went all out with a St. Patty’s day theme!

The first thing I will say about this theme is it is really easy to find a craft for this theme. There are tons of leprechaun, rainbow, and pot of gold craft ideas out there ripe for the taking. The second thing I will note is that the St. Patrick’s Day books that are around don’t always make the best books for storytime.  Sure, there are tons of books about the green holiday but many of them are a bit wordy, lacking bold pictures and just not quite what I look for when choosing a book for storytime for my 3-5 year olds. This week I was able to find two books that suited my needs. I am sure there are lots of other great books out there for this theme, but it was hard to get them because many were checked out for the holiday.

Ok, enough of me….. on to the books!!!

The first book we read this week was It’s St. Patrick’s Day by Rebecca Gomez, illustrated by Mary Morgan.

Initially, I had some reservations about this book. It is an easy reader so it’s small size could have made it hard sell in storytime. Luckily, it has some awesome rhymes so that held the kid’s attention.

The next book we read was not about St. Patrick’s Day but is about a green creature. It was Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems.

I love Mo Willems. I think every children’s librarian loves Mo Willems. This book is just awesome- that’s the only way to describe it. Reading pop-up books in storytime is a great way to pull the group back together because they are so fun to look at. This one is extra special because it is a pop-OUT book that is lots of fun.

We finished with The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater, illustrated by Ethan Long.

This was a great closer. It’s got great illustrations and also rhymes. The kids were really into the rhyming today so that made it even more fun.

While we are on the subject I just want to take a moment to talk about how great the kids were today. We had been on a break so I wasn’t sure how many kids would show up. All of my regulars came as well as some new faces. They were all so happy to be there and some were even dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day. It really is days like this I feel so lucky to have the best job in the whole world. If you are someone who works with children, you will know what I mean. Storytime is one of my most favorite parts of my job and I know how blessed I am to get to do it.

For our craft this week we made pots of gold.  The template for the pot is here, from DLTK’s crafts for kids. To make the gold pieces, I glued gold tissue paper on card stock and cut out the circles with our die cut machine. They turned out really nice. The thing that impressed me most is that the kids decided to draw their own rainbows on all on their own. I didn’t even mention it. They were all fantastic. I wish I could have taken a picture of everyones!

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Crafts that didn’t make the cut

I am on a storytime break until the week of March 15, so I decided rather than simply announce my break I would do something new. This week I am going to discuss crafts that appealed to me but didn’t quite make the cut for storytime for one reason or another.

The first one is the Coffee Filter Shamrock. I found this on Free Preschool Crafts.

I loved this craft and really considered it! It is so simple and neat. The reason I chose not to go with it is the drying time. While it would not take very long for the children to complete the craft, it would take a while for the coffee filters to dry.  I am only with the storytime kids for 3o minutes, 20 of that is taken up with books,  songs, and games leaving only 10 minutes for crafts. that really isn’t a lot of time and while we can get a lot done in that time frame, coffee filter shamrock will have to wait. I think this craft would be better suited for a longer program. Maybe something at least 45 minutes long and the shamrock could be made first so that it could dry during the rest of the program.

After doing a bit of digging on the internet, it seems you can make anything with a coffee filter: flowers, earths, rainbows. I love this idea and will try to use coffee filters someday.

Another craft I immediately liked when I discovered it was the Paper Plate Flower Craft. This one came from Enchanted Learning.

The reason I like this craft is it is so cute. I think it would make a very lovely gift for a parent or grandparent (or librarian!) the problem with it is what makes it so lovely: the handprints.The kids who come to storytime are 3-5 years old. Most of them have a hard time tracing their hand by themself. They also need help cutting the handprint out. So this makes a great craft for parents to do with the children, but since parents aren’t always there for storytime (at my library, parents can choose to accompany their child or send them in alone) it make a lot of work for the librarian. I think I would use this for a family program.

There you have it! Maybe you will be able to take advantage of these cute crafts that didn’t quite make it.