This week marks the end of our second six-week story time session at the Green Valley Library. I'm so thrilled to have been the Tot Story Time "teacher" (not all our 2-3 year olds can yet pronounce Miss Stephanie) as we've journeyed together through such Be Creative summer reading themes as Dancing, Singing, Movies, Food Decorating, Writing, and Magic.
Favorite craft: Homemade tap shoes (June 23).
The toddlers loved tap-tapping on peg boards, but the best thing about this craft was just how easy it is. Taping metal washers to the bottom of shoes with library tape made for quick make-shift tap shoes that really worked (even on the tile of the staff lounge when I forgot to take mine off)!
Parent favorite: Cookie decorating (July 14).
While I feared the possibility of food allergies when bringing cookies into this story time session, I was relieved to hear the mom of a boy with a dairy allergy announce to her son, "Yay, you can actually eat these." I hoped oatmeal cookies would be a fairly safe bet (no nuts) and knew they'd also be a slightly healthier alternative to most sugar treats (Yes, I am a health food nut myself, and yes, I wanted one of those cookies when we were done!). The kids decorated their cookies with white and pink frosting and also M&Ms that they formed into shapes, faces, and more. My favorite moment was when one girl, who had stayed downcast through the whole story time (she even made a frowny face on her cookie), ended the day with a cheerful wave and thank you after tasting her creation. It was her father who told me this was his favorite craft so far. And I myself was surprised that, even with the addition of frosting and candy, the children ate their cookies in the program room (so as not to make a mess in the library) with quiet enjoyment. No bouncing off the walls. The cookies were such a welcome treat that the room was actually serene.
Favorite parent quote: "This was fun! Something you can do at birthday parties!"
What amazed me most about this quote was that it followed an early literacy activity where children pasted pictures of objects starting with the first letter of their first names. Miss Stephanie glued a picture of soap, socks, and scissors into her little construction paper book, and the toddlers did likewise. Finding this activity good enough for birthday parties was the ultimate compliment and testament to the fact that learning really can be fun!
Favorite toddler quote: "Teacher! Teacher! What are we gonna do today?"
One adorable little boy has the power to restore all your energy and lift your spirits even on the most stressful of days. Coming back to work the morning after flying in late from a trip (I'd even had to finish planning the week's craft on the plane) I was exhausted, nervous, and ready for the day to be over already. But I couldn't stay stressed for long. Not with one of my regulars bursting through the program room doors 10 minutes early with his mother pushing his own empty stroller behind him. So eager was this boy for story time that he ran straight to the front of the room to examine my books and discover just what mysteries I was going to reveal.
That's what I love about little kids. Everything is new to them, so everything is exciting.
We all look forward to the next six weeks!
Green Valley story times resume the week of August 17.
Sign up your child starting August 1st on www.mypubliclibrary.com!