Strap your biscuits to your butts, everybody, I have been doing Hands-On Ones & Twos programs for one full year.
Maybe this 1 year mark is not quite as impressive as other fellow librarians entering 15+ years of storytime or classroom service, but I’m pretty proud of this little program. I inherited it from my predecessor and I have really enjoyed getting this program together every other month. And boy-howdy do the patrons love it. Both programs probably cost about $30 depending on the activity/craft. Because lists are the way of the gods, let’s put down some positives of the program:
- I always have a terrific turnout (with registration)
- Little prep time involves finding 2 crafts, gathering supplies, creating a handout. and setting up the day of
- Perfect for in-between storytimes as an activity for families to do during break
- Provides a program for the very young children where most age-focused programs are for preschool+
And the negatives?
- No break in-between storytimes (but 2 half-hour programs probably won’t break you)
- Finding alternate sibling activity–because the crafts are suited for a younger age range (and the supplies are limited), you’ll need to provide coloring sheets and emphasize that there are only enough supplies for the age-appropriate child.
So what did I do to celebrate? Halloween, baby. Halloween.
- Bugs Sensory Bins with orange rice – Dye rice with a jar or with a bag (the bag is my preference–especially if you are doing this part with kiddos. Talk up what they are doing with unique vocabulary like ooey-gooey, slippery, staining & dyeing the rice)
- Pumpkin Jars – I found this one on 1+1+1=1 and thought it was such an AMAZING activity for one-year-olds–tearing paper! I know I encourage process over product, but it also was neat to have a nice product in the end for the adults. Once again, they awwwed at the final product. Note of caution: glass baby food jars are rare nowadays. Luckily, we had a stash upstairs. But, you can do this with any small jar, such as artichokes, those fancy condiments, etc.
- Rice, vinegar, and orange food dye
- Large toy bugs (from Wal-Mart, actually, as much as that pains me to say it)
- Plastic bins & cups/scoops
- 1 tarp
- Orange tissue paper (1 sheet per child)
- Green pipe cleaners (1 per jar) – hot glue onto lid before the program starts
- 20 baby food jars
- Sharpie to draw on jack-o-lantern
- Spiders with pipe cleaners – From Craftulate this was another perfectly age-suited craft for 2-year-olds. Their mission? Stick a Styrofoam ball with pipe cleaners. Were they happy? Darn tootin. They were also pretty proud of themselves for creating their own toy.
- Pumpkin Guts sensory time – Last year, I found out that 1-year-olds hate stickiness and are still pretty shy about exploring their world. So, I kept this activity just for the adventurous two-year-olds.
- Smooth Styrofoam balls for painting or textured styrofoam balls for spray painting
- Pipe cleaners – cut in half
- Googly eyes
- 4 pumpkins
- 2 freezer Ziploc bags
- 1 tarp
And guess who had to clean it all up? The lowly librarian. Totally worth it, though.