Thursday, July 27, 2017

All Types of Homes

After hearing about Animal Architects this week, today we read about homes of all kinds. We started with If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen, about a boy who makes up plans for a fantastic house with a high-tech kitchen and other rooms full of fun. In Ned's New House by Kevin Tseng, Ned the worm leaves his apple home and tries living in other fruits and vegetables. Where to Little Wombat? by Charles Fuge, was about a small animal investigating the homes of his animal friends. And finally, In The Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming showed what sorts of creatures live in grassy areas.

We made some tall, tall grass by folding green paper to make a flap, then cutting into it down to the fold line. Then we made insects and other small critters to live in our "grass".

Caterpillars, bugs and beetles, snakes, bunnies...all sorts of critters, living the the tall, tall grass!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Animal Architects: Building Habitat

Naturalist Eric from the Squam Lakes Science Center came to the Gordon-Nash to tell us all about the building that animals do to make their homes. He brought with him three live animals - a woodchuck, a kestrel, and a porcupine.

Eric showed how woodchucks make a burrow with two openings and several small "rooms" for different purposes. He told us about kestrels, how they sometimes live in holes made by woodpeckers, and how non-native starlings now compete for those same nesting cavities in trees. He demonstrated with a giant model of a porcupine quill how the quill can get lodged in skin or animal fur. He told us that porcupines don't shoot their quills just like we could never shoot our hair out of our heads! He said that most animals are afraid of porcupines - except dogs and fishers! Eric told us so much more about these three animal architects and how they create places to live!
When the presentation was all over, Eric let the audience see and touch fisher and woodchuck pelts, kestrel wings and talons, and see porcupine quills up close but in a protective box.

Eric also reminded us that animals and people both need the same things in order to survive...
Thank you to Eric and the Squam Lakes Science Center for this fun and informative program. Also, sincere thanks to The Cohen Family for generously funding this wonderful program!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trucks for Storytime!

After seeing all those construction and emergency vehicles Tuesday night, we followed up with a storytime session about trucks on Thursday. We read I'm a Truck Driver by Jonathan London that showed a boy or a girl driving lots of different kinds of trucks and heavy equipment. We also noticed the cat or dog on each page! Where is my T-R-U-C-K? by Karen Beaumont was a funny story about a boy who lost his favorite toy truck. Wait until you see where he found it! Finally, we read Miss Cathy's favorite - Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman, about Mr. Gilly, who collects trash. Here's a link to a video of the story if you want to hear it yourself! Don't forget to join in when you hear “Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town!”

We used foam pieces and cnstruction paper rectangles, scrap circles and other small objects to make a truck, and some made a ribbon road for it to travel on. Some used the materials to make a different kind of vehicle. During the crafting, there was lots of excited talk about all different styles of trucks and heavy equipment!


Trucks and emerency vehicles, and the people who operate them! The most exciting part of the evening was when the fire truck got called to go to a fire, right in the middle of our program! The firefighter even hit the siren on the way out!

Thanks to all who donated vehicles and volunteered their time. It was a great night! Watch below!

Friday, July 14, 2017

More Stories of Kindness - and lots of animals!

Storytime this week featured more stories of kindness and an opportunity to make a stand-up or a puppet animal. Real Cowboys by Kate Hoefler told, in beautifully poetic language, how kind, gentle, and thoughtful cowboys really are. In A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, animals go to visit their kind zookeeper when he is at home and sick. And in The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen, kind island folks help to protect stranded circus animals when their mean keeper comes back to get them.

We made animals from cardstock, decorating with markers or crayons, and adding dots for spots and eyes, and yarn for tails and manes. We used clothespins for sets of legs. Some of us added a craft stick holder to our animal to make a rod puppet like the ones we saw in Tuesday night's puppet show. 

CactusHead Puppets!

Tuesday night, CactusHead Puppets of Massachusetts entertained us with the story of The Pied Piper of Hamlin. They used hand puppets, rod puppets, and shadow puppets to tell the story. Most children agreed the funniest parts involved the dancing rats!

When the show was over, Megan and John came out from behind their stage and answered many questions from the audience. They even had some questions from adults! Folks big and small wondered how these puppeteers had achieved some of the effects that made the show so captivating - the flute playing, the shadow puppets moving, the doors on the set opening and closing. Megan and John were so thorough with their answers, they even took part of the set down so kids could see what they were explaining!

Thanks to Megan and John from CactusHead Puppets for making this evening performance so special, and thanks to the Friends of the Gordon-Nash Library for funding it. Finally, thank you to all the families who came to the library to see this wonderful show!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Stuffed Animals Sleep Over

Building a Building!

To go along with our Summer Reading Program theme, this week for Storytime we read about building. We read Rainstack by Onur Tukel, about animals that used a machine and then their instincts to make it rain. The rhyming book, Ready, Set, Build by Meg Fleming was about a dog building a house for himself and a special friend. Build, Dogs, Build by James Horvath was a funny book about dogs constructing an apartment building. Even though I knew this part was coming up, I laughed until tears came from my eyes when I read the part about the truck having to stop quickly. It was so funny! "Fetch, Dogs, Fetch!"

Then we set to work building a structure on paper. We used lots of available materials - small pieces of cardboard, pipe cleaners, wide and narrow craft sticks, pieces of straws, and sections of craft foam, with peel-and-stick foam stickers for embellishment (and in some cases, for adhesive!)
Most storytimers made houses, and a few even built "up", in three dimensions! It took some pretty creative 3D engineering to do that! See?
These clever kids all had fun building a building. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Fort Night!

During the busy Fourth of July week, families were invited to relax and play at The Gordon Nash Library's "Fort Night" as part of our Summer Reading Program. Families brought sheets from home and built a fort anywhere they chose to in the library. Some were in the stacks, some under tables, others suspended between chairs. After their forts were built, families chose activities to take into their forts. There were joke books, riddle books, and puzzle books to choose from, dice games to play, crafts to do, and building with glow sticks. Juice boxes, water, crackers, and fruit were available, generously donated to the event by Hannaford of Bristol.
Before the evening ended, glow stick creations were set up in front of the windows in the Children's Room. All night long, they glowed in the dark under the almost full moon.
It was such a fun night! Thanks to Hannaford for their kind donation of refreshments that made a wonderful night that much more special. Special thanks to all the families who took time in a busy week to come have fun with their children.