We partied at the Gordon-Nash this weekend, and celebrated the coming year with a "Noon Year's Eve" gathering! There were stories and games, hot cocoa and munchkins, calendars and beads, funny hats and noisemakers as we all counted down to 12 noon. Thanks to families who braved the cold to come out and take part in the fun!
As I have in year's past, today I read Christmas books and stories to small groups at Bridgewater-Hebron Village School's Day Before Holiday Break Celebration. I'm amazed that students remember books I've read from one year to the next, and request them! This outreach opportunity is starting to feel like a holiday tradition - one that I anticipate and enjoy! Thanks to B-HVS for asking me back!
It's so close to Christmas! We counted just four more days! It's time to read lots of fun Christmas books! First, we read Grumpy Badger's Christmas by Paul Bright, a story about Badger, who wants to sleep rather than celebrate Christmas with his animal neighbors. Next we read Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson. In this story, Bear is trying to stay awake to experience the holiday with his friends. In Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson, Fletcher worries that Santa won't find the new home of The Rabbit Family, so he tries to help point the way. Our last book, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry, told about how a tiny snip off the top of a Christmas tree brought holiday joy to so many.
See these cute little Christmas mice? We made these for our craft! They hang by their pipe cleaner/candy cane tails on a Christmas tree!
These kits were given to us many Christmases ago by a good friend of the library. Thanks for thinking of us, T.P.!
With snowy weather here at last, NHCS Kindergarten can no longer walk to the library once a month - but I can go there! I brought this book with me, The Great Spruce by John Duvall. It tells about a young boy who has a favorite evergreen tree and the compromise he suggests when folks want to cut down his tree for their far-away city's Christmas tree. There were notes at the end that showed how the author had a personal connection to this very story!
We made a quick two-triangle Christmas tree, then decorated it with stickers and gems. But before we did that, we made special top-down and bottom-up cuts so the tree could stand and be three-dimensional! We added yarn at the top so we could hang it up at home!
There are so many holidays this time of year - and in most, gifts are given to those we love. So this week, we read stories about friends who give to others. The book How Kind! by Mary Murphy showed how acts of kindness can influence others to do the same. Pip & Squeak by Ian Schoenherr told about two mice trying to find the perfect present for their friend Gus. And A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards told of Mrs. Goldman, who generously knitted hats for everyone, and Sophia, who thought knitting was so hard that all she made were pompoms! Can you guess who makes a hat for Mrs. Goldman in this story?
At craft time, we got to work making a gift for someone special! Using a pipe cleaner for threading, we strung on beads, buttons, baubles, and other colorful and shiny trinkets. What did we make? A bookmark, a rear view mirror hanger, a window gem, a tree ornament..... there were lots of ideas! Before we left, we wrapped out gift in tissue paper, tied it with ribbon, and made a tag.
First, we read about stars. Stars, by NH Author Mary Lyn Ray, told about lots of different kinds of stars and how a star can make you feel special. Henry's Stars is by another NH author! His name is David Elliot and he writes about Henry, who sees the shape of a pig in a formation of stars even if his friends do not! Finally, we read a little nonfiction book called Stars by Jennifer Dussling, which gave us some facts about the real stars in the sky.
Then, because stars are beautiful this time of year, we made our own star. But ours were not made of gas like real stars - ours were made from decorated lunch bags! We colored them, then glued several bags together. Next we opened them into a fan shape on the table so we could have fun decorating them with stickers and jewels.
When we were finished, we opened it all the way and stapled it together. What a BIG star!! These will hang at our houses for the winter holidays - and maybe even longer!
Storytime this week was with Lucy, who read us stories about birds. In Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins, hard-boiled eggs turn out to be live baby geese who won't migrate and want to stay with their new mother. Duck at the Door by Jackie Urbanovic tells of Max, a duck who decides to stay behind when his flock migrates and moves in with Irene and a houseful of pets. The final book, A Year of Birds by Ashley Wolff, tells of the various birds that are in Ellie's yard throughout the year.
Then we made a bird feeder using pine cones from evergreens in our area. After we tied yarn to the top, we spread the pine cone with peanut butter and then rolled it lots of bird seed. Birds will love these!
We also saw huge pine cones that Lucy's mom sent from California. They we so much bigger than the ones we have here in New Hampshire!
Since this week's was the last storytime before Thanksgiving, today we read about being thankful and, of course, about turkeys! We read Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, about Bear and his bare cupboard and his friends who, one by one, contributed to his fall feast. We read Eve Bunting's A Turkey For Thanksgiving and listened and responded as Mr. Moose and his friends found a turkey for Mrs. Moose's Thanksgiving dinner. We finished with This is the Turkey by Abby Levine about a boy and his family getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
Then we made a turkey from a plate, colored paper feathers, and a toilet paper roll for the head and body. We chose our own colors for feathers and some of us notched them or snipped them with scissors to make them look real.
The turkey had googly eyes and an orange paper beak. We also added red crepe paper for the turkey's snood and wattle! See?
In Math Club this week, we investigated pitch and volume in sounds. We began by experimenting with the sounds made when we blew across the top of a fat milkshake straw. After we practiced blowing across the top to produce a sound, we placed the bottom of the straw in a cup of water and noted how the pitch of the sound changed.
Then we taped milkshake straw of various heights together to make a "pan flute"! It really worked, with the longest straws making a lower pitched tone and the shorter straws making a higher pitched one.
Before we left Math Club, we played our flutes as loudly as we could from different distances. We measure the volume of the sound in waves using a sound meter on an iPhone. Before we left, we packed up our pan flutes so we could make music at home!
Have you ever watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? It happens in New York City every year, it's full of floats, marching bands, and giant balloons, and it's always on television Thanksgiving morning. At this month's STEM Storytime, we read Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet, and learned all about Tony Sarg, the person who invented and engineered the parade's giant balloons. We learned his balloons were inspired by his puppet collection! So we engineered a rod puppet a bit like the one that Tony had.
We fastened together shapes using tape for immobile parts and brads for the arm part that moved. We gave our puppet a face, hair, and clothes from crayon or paper. We attached a milkshake straw rod to the puppet's hand so it could move its arm and a cardboard handle so we could hold it.
Each puppet looked different - but they all could wave! We took our puppets home to embellish them more and to make our own puppet shows!