Sunday, July 5, 2020

2020 Summer Program: "Imagine Your Story"

It's been quite a year so far for all of us. In January, when I ordered materials and began planning for this summer's reading program, I never dreamed we'd be where we are today.

In trying these months to repeatedly adjust my plan for a summer program for kids, I was really hopeful that I wouldn't have to involve any online or virtual programming. But with the way things are, that's exactly what will be happening. 

This summer, I will offer children weekly at-home activities in the name of the Gordon-Nash. Some will involve reading, some will be craft-related, and there are a few interesting STEM activities as well. There are photography and LEGO challenges, fun Bedtime Math games and activities, and a virtual Storytime. To start the activities for Week One, click here:

I hope there is enough here to allow you and your child to make choices about how your family will participate. As your child completes activities, let us know. You can save your papers to turn in at the library at a later date, or you can show them if you check out books at the New Hampton Community School's Curbside Library on Tuesday mornings. You can also take photos of activity sheets, craft creations, models built, and experiments performed and email them to me (email address below) or post them to a weekly post on the Gordon-Nash Library Facebook page. When the program is finished, small prizes will be awarded to all who have actively participated.

One of the STEM challenges this summer involves videos and craft material from the Children's Museum of NH in Dover. They have supplied us with videos of their engineering challenges and with the materials kits they would have used had they presented in person at the library. I have kits for 50 children. If you would like kits for your child or children, just let me know by filling out and submitting this quick form at

I hope you will find creative ways to keep books in the hands of your children. The New Hampton Community School is generously offering their students Tuesday morning curbside pickup of books selected from their online catalog at Share personal books with friends. Borrow from other libraries. Download to Kindles. If there is a book that someone is really anxious to read, let me know - and maybe we can make that happen. Lastly,  I hope that you continue to read to and with your children this summer and make literacy a family affair.

Please reach out with questions and concerns. My email is below. If you leave me a voice mail at the Gordon-Nash (677-3479), I'll get your message and call you back.

I hope to see you soon at the library. Take good care.

Chris Hunewell (

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

For Independent Learning: Kourtney LaFavre's If Sun Could Speak

Kourtney LaFavre was a much-loved first grade teacher at the New Hampton Community School for many years. She still lives locally with her husband and four kids, and is now a writer. This year, she came back to the New Hampton Community School with her soon to be published book, If Sun Could Speak, and she read her story to students. Mrs. LaFavre helped kids understand the placement of the Sun and planets in the Solar System by acting as planets themselves. She answered questions about her work. She presented the audience with a quick writing challenge and worked with students individually to get them started on their own writing.

If Sun Could Speak has since been published and is now available through links on Kourtney's website at In the "Book Activities" section of this website is a recording of Kourtney reading her book. She has also posted activities for kids to have fun and to experiment with the power of the Sun. Additionally, there's a link to her Pinterest board for more ways to have fun with the sun.

A great way to learn - with a wonderful website, a fascinating STEM story, and lots of exciting and fun activities to do during these warm Spring and Summer months. Check it out!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

For Independent Learning: The Library of Congress

If you're missing the library (like I am!), check out this website of a fabulous library that belongs to all of us: our National Library, The Library of Congress in Washington DC!

There are lots and lots of fun things for kids and families to investigate at their website, like classic books to read, activities and information from DogMan author Dav Pilkey, a braille activity sheet, stories and read-alouds from the Imagination Library and so much more!

Check it all out at The Library of Congress website at!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

For Independent Learning: The Little A Theatre

Quite by accident, I found this small theater group in London who does puppetry for children. Much of their work is based on children's stories and picture books that we all love. I first noticed that most of the set design and puppetry looks like it was made from found objects - cardboard, markers, sticks. Then I saw a sign at the end of the show that said it was all made by the artist "entirely from stuff I found in my flat during lockdown!" I thought "Kids could do that!" and I wondered if watching this group perform that might inspire some of you to create your own puppets and shows. What do you think?

After you watch their version of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, check out other performances by Little A Theater on their YouTube Channel. They're so much fun to watch, and very creative. I bet you could do something like this! And if you do, leave me a comment so I'll know!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

For Independent Learning: The New Hampton Nature Trail

Today was a beautiful Spring Wednesday, and I took my first walk of the year on our New Hampton Nature Trail. I walked the trails, I did some of the exercise stations, I sat and read my book, and I took lots of photos. What a great place to relax, rejuvenate, and learn!

All along the trail, there are woodland flowers and plants, many with tiny signs giving the name of the plant.
There are little streams and even a vernal pool, with lots to notice! Can you find the eggs?

Look at this long tree trunk! Do you suppose creatures live here?
What sort of bird made this nest in the grasses?
A beautiful walking trail - right in our own community! 
Don't forget the importance of social distancing! But get out!
The New Hampton Nature Trail website has maps and lots more information! Here's the link!

And here's a not-so-great video. Next time, I'll remember to turn my phone!

Monday, April 20, 2020

For Independent Learning!

Need some inspiration for Independent Learning Day/Week? Check out these links - I'll add more as I find them!

The Exploratorium.
"Ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception." Online experiences and activities for kids and adults. It's one of my favorite spots on the internet! Be sure to check out "Tinker Around Your House!" And I'm going to see if I can make some cranky contraptions!

The Museum of Science at Home.
From the Boston Museum of Science. Live presentations, engineering projects, podcasts, kid-friendly activities, and STEM!

Boston Children's Museum
Daily activities emailed to your house - as well as an archive of previous activities. Lots to choose from here!!

Squam Lakes Association
"Share, Learn, Adventure". Videos, photos, activities, games, and prompts to help you explore and learn about a variety of nature topics.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

LEGO Challenges

I sure am missing LEGO Club, and I bet kids are too. Here's a free LEGO Challenge board by a Massachusetts teacher! Do some or do them all!