Library Bonanza

Ready, Set, Program!

Curious Kitties: The Great Outdoors

1. Opening Song: Building Blocks Song

Tune: Hello Ladies
Hello __________ (first child in the circle)
Hello __________(second child in the circle)
Hello __________(third child in the circle)
Come build something with your blocks!

2. Importance of scientific observation—make predictions, test, discuss

3. Intro to outdoor science: Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid–This is a fantastic book with rich images made of Plasticine clay. If I were a teacher, I would love to incorporate this book in a duel science/art class. That being said, the text is nothing extraordinary and the vocabulary is about average. Still an excellent choice for storytimes. We had a lot to talk about during the reading!


4. Fingerplay: Dig Dig Dig (tune: Row Row Row Your Boat)

Dig, dig, dig the earth,

Plant your seeds below

A gentle rain

And bright sunshine

Will help your flowers grow.

5. Prop Activity with song above: Give children scarves for their seeds. Have them plant them inside their hands on the ground. Water them with a watering can and pass over them with sunshine and the kids will throw up the scarves when they’re ready.
(need scarves, watering can, and sun cutout)
Note: Children loved the real watering can. I feel like any time there is an opportunity to bring in a real prop, the preschool crowd goes wild.

6. Book: Seeds by Ken Robbins

7. Book: Clouds by Alice K. Flanagan


  1. Station 1: Outdoor Color Match with color swatches
    Supplies: Color swatches, binder rings, hole punches
    Note: You’ll need to plan in advance to go to your local paint store (I used Sherwin-Williams) and ask for free color swatches. Once I said that it was for an educational storytime, they seemed quite enthusiastic to donate them. The sturdiness of the swatches and the binder rings gives this simple craft a boost up in usability.
  2. Station 2: Cloud identification windows
    Supplies: printed and pre-cut cloud pictures, popsicle sticks, tape
    Note: Because of the preschool crowd I pretty much had these pre-made for them so the kids didn’t have much to do with them except after they left. I spent a decent amount of time cutting out the middles with an exacto knife so beware. Although I didn’t, I would suggest laminating these in advance.
  3. Station 4: Seed Sorting
    Supplies: 2 cookie trays, ice cube tray, seeds
    Note: This is such an open ended play idea that some kids spent a long time here, eventually laying out the seeds on the cookie tray and creating pictures or patterns. Perfect opportunities for talking!
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Curious Kitties: 5 Senses

Right now, as we speak, there is a nonfiction book series on our body senses that has 6 books–yes, six. They actually made a book on intuition just so they could make six books in a series.


While I didn’t focus on intuition, I did do a program on the other, more scientifically based, senses for ages 2-5. Let’s see what I did!

Opening Song: Building Blocks Song

Tune: Hello Ladies
Hello __________ (first child in the circle)
Hello __________(second child in the circle)
Hello __________(third child in the circle)
Come build something with your blocks!

  1. Importance of scientific observation—make predictions, test, discuss
  2. Intro to 5 senses book: My Five Senses by Aliki
  3. Flannel: Five Senses Song
  4. Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? 
  5. Song: Little Wheel a Turnin’ by Laurie Berkner
  6. Book: Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?

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  1. Station 1: Taste and Smell with food
    Supplies: Dixie cups, cinnamon, salt, sugar, lemons, coffee grounds
  2. Station 2: Sound and Sight with bell brushes
    Supplies: brushes, pipe cleaners, medium sized bells, acrylic paint, large painting sheets
  3. Station 3: Touch with Texture hands
    Supplies: Markers, cut out hands, cotton balls, tape, sandpaper, noodle, glue
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Curious Kitties: Candy Math & Chemistry

Bring out the esplosions, its time for Curious Kitties!

OPENING SONG: Building Blocks Song

Tune: Hello Ladies
Hello __________ (first child in the circle)
Hello __________(second child in the circle)
Hello __________(third child in the circle)
Come build something with your blocks!

Importance of SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATION—make predictions, test, discuss

BOOK: Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy


FLANNEL: Bubblegum, Bubblegum in a Dish — The kids loved predicting what number came next

ACTIVITY: Blow up balloon with pop & nerds
Supplies: Funnel, balloons, bottled pop, nerds

Science = Tiny bubbles of gas, called carbon dioxide, are trapped in the popping candy. When you put the candy in your mouth, saliva breaks it down and releases the carbon dioxide, which makes a popping sound. Vinegar is acidic and breaks down other molecules faster, causing a bigger reaction!

Note: What I thought was going to go a little something like this:


didn’t turn out so bad! Before I put nerds inside the balloon, I used a controlled variable by putting nothing inside the balloon. I explained to the children that there was nothing in the balloon and I asked them to predict what happened next. One child said it would explode so I told the group that we were going to try his hypothesis. AND EVERYTHING ESPLODED! But, really, nothing happened. So then I used a funnel to place about 1/3 nerds inside the balloon. Pushing the balloon’s opening over the mouth of the bottle and holding it in place is sufficient enough, but test before you demonstrate! It worked! The children got giggly and the balloon filled with pop. WORD OF CAUTION: twist or pinch the balloon’s end before pulling it off otherwise it will explode a little before you stop it and a child might almost start crying.


Cute patron aside: With a bottle of Coke in my hand, I asked the audience what I was holding. Many said soda/pop, but one 3-year-old girl said Diet Coke. Mom’s preference?

BOOK: How Many Jelly Beans by Andrea Menotti — Although the large number concept is too advanced for this age group, this book visually shows 1,000,000 jelly beans which definitely makes an impact on their perception of how big is big. Librarian note: Make sure you have a helper hold the book while you fold out the 1,000,000 spread!



  1. Station 1: Counting & sorting jelly beans
    Supplies: jelly beans, cups
  2. Station 2: Dancing candy hearts
    Supplies: Clear cups, candy hearts, baking soda (2 tbsp ), vinegar (3/4 cup), tablespoons, ¾ measurement cups [Librarian note: For 40 kids, I purchased one box of baking soda and 2 large jugs of vinegar (I needed 1.5 gallons)
    Librarian note: Pour vinegar into the water at a semi-slow rate. Too fast causes eruption and two slow causes a very small reaction. Provide coffee stirrers for children to tap the hearts that are stuck to the bottom.
  3. Station 3: Nerds, water, & chromatography
    Supplies: 40 coffee filters, nerds, eye droppers, baking pans
    Librarian notes: Give each child their own Dixie water cup and put in the LEAST amount of water possible (about enough to cover the bottom). This craft is heavily reliant on using a small amount of water. A child’s love of eye droppers + difficulty with self-regulation + desire to do something over and over again once it is mastered = a goopy mess. The final product is worthwhile, though, because parents can discuss how the water helped pull off and separate the color from the candy. Moral of the story: keep cups of water available for children to play with the eye droppers by themselves.

Candy Chemistry2

Candy Chemistry

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Curious Kitties: Measuring Your World

Curious Kitties–the math and science storytime! Or, mainly science. In the past I have done programs that are more science-focused than math. I’ve done my body, weather, and animal adaptations. Math is definitely used in these programs as it is applied to science by measuring and comparing numbers, quantity, and space. For these preschool programs, this is where math is its strongest, particularly for this age group where intangible equations aren’t their hot spot (kids these days). But, I wanted to create a program strictly focused on the act of measuring and comparing data.

  1. Opening Song: Hello Blocks – This actually went more smoothly than I thought. A few 2-year-olds put their blocks up before I called their name. Some of them listened when I told them to wait, while those that didn’t I made them leave storytime forever. No, I’m not serious, but their participation was thanked and we moved on.
  2. Importance of scientific observation—make predictions, test, discuss
  3. Intro to measurements book: Just a Little Bit by Ann Tompert – I LOVED this book for describing weight. I didn’t read all of the text (remember, I have 2-year-olds in this class) but the repetition and images allowed me to picture walk through several of the pages.
    just a little bit by ann tompert
  4. Flannel: Opposites (In order to compare measurements a good first step is understanding opposites)
    **Note: set up flannel before the program starts. You’ll thank yourself right around now**

    Source: unknown
    An elephant is big, a mouse is small.
    A flower is short, a tree is tall.
    A kitten’s fur is soft and fine,
    But prickly is the porcupine!
    The clouds are up, the grass is down.
    Happy is a smile, sad is a frown.
    A rabbit is fast, a turtle is slow.
    You’ll see opposites wherever you go!

  5. Book: Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
    Inch by inch
  6. Activity: Dinosaur Footprint measurement–How big is a dinosaur footprint? Let’s see how many of our footprints fit inside one dinosaur footprint!
  7. Flannel: Polka Dotty Monster (identifying, comparing, contrasting)
  1. Activities
    1. Station 1: Comparing weights
      Supplies: Pan balance scale, animal figurines, playdough and ping pong ball
    2. Station 2: Measuring size with cut out footprints & 1 inch papers for fingers
      Supplies: construction paper, markers, scissors, rulers, construction paper
    3. Station 3: Learning quantities
      Supplies: three cups, pasta
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A Child’s Imagination Is a Beautiful Thing

Everyone needs to hear this child’s brilliant and effective engineering feat:

If I made a house, I would make it of a rainbow force field

That is all. Carry on.

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