Hello everyone and welcome back! This is the first official storytime of the New Year here at my library, and this year I decided to start off with a BANG!… Well, not really, the higher ups kinda frown on that sort of thing.
Instead, I found in a list of ‘obscure holidays to celebrate with your kid’ that February 6th is officially “Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day”….. and what a great idea for a storytime! What kid doesn’t love Ice Cream?
So, to dive right in… I read the standard 3 books. Since our age ranges vary significantly between programs; I’ve taken to selecting several books of varying age levels.
In the morning session I had a lot of littles; if any of them were over 3 I would be surprised. Because of this, I removed the Easy-Reader nonfiction book Milk to Ice Cream by Lisa Herrington.
In it’s stead, I read another Easy book called Ice Cream Soup by Ann ingalls
Which is a very simple rhyming book about a little boy that attempts to make an ice cream cake….and instead makes a huge mess and Hey melted ice cream is still pretty good too.
The next book is a tried and true favorite simply because it’s an Elephant and Piggie book. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I LOVE Elephant and Piggie. And wouldn’t you know, there’s an Elephant and Piggie book about….you guessed it, ICE CREAM!
It’s called Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems.
It’s an adorable book featuring Gerald, who buys an ice cream cone and then can’t decide if he wants to share it or not. Just as he finally makes his decision… his ice cream drops.
After that, we played an Ice Cream Matching Game; initially, I had planned on doing a simple number match up – count the dots on the ice cream and then match them to the number on the cone. However, since we’ve been having so many Littles in our Storytimes recently, I wanted to make sure that even kids that were to young to know their numbers could still come up to the board and play the game.
I got the initial idea from Teachers Pay Teachers, they have the template to download here.
However, in trying to figure out how to make the game Little friendly; I ended up making my own game pieces, based on the above concept. I found an ice cream clipart I liked:
I then printed several of them off on different colored paper. I still wanted to do the number match; so once I had cut all my ice cream and cones out, I drew dots and numbers on all of them. That way, the Littles could match the colors and the big kids could match the numbers.
The funny thing about the younger kids and the games… they have no concept of what ‘let’s take turns means’; so they kinda bum-rush you to get to the board and put up their pieces.
Still, it’s fun and they enjoy themselves and even if it’s disorganized, it still forced them to match colors and differentiate between shades which in turn builds critical thinking and cognative development.
For my 3rd and final book I read Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin:
What could be better than a singing dog, ice cream AND dinosaurs? This is a really fun book written along the same vein as Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. The illustrations are very bright and colorful; the text is repetitive, and is great for getting the kids to participate. Plus, singing the “Love my Doggy Ice Cream, Love my Doggy Ice Cream” is a lot of fun, and even the adults were getting into it, doing a little shimmy in their chairs along with the beat.
Now, most of the kids know, that with Ms. Sara, after that 3rd book comes the really fun part….CRAFT TIME! Only this time, we didn’t do a craft per say…. it was more like a science experiment that we could eat.
We made 5 Minute Ice Cream.
Yes, you read that right. Google it, seriously. It is awesome. I had my doubts initially; I have made homemade ice cream as a kid, and knew for a fact that it took WAAAAAAAY longer than 5 minutes to make. So I sent out an email to all of the branching within my library system, asking if anyone had actually tried this experiment. The response was pretty quick, and positive…. yes it worked, but it normally took longer than 5 minutes.
I did a little more digging and found that most of the ‘5 minute’ recipes called for Cream or Half&Half rather than milk. Yes, you could use milk… but it takes longer. The higher the fat content of your liquid, the faster it thickens.
So, I run the idea by my boss, we get the ingrediants and give it a try. Surprisingly, it WORKED! We used Half&Half and within 5 minutes we had a single serving of soft serve vanilla ice cream.
Now, for some reason, when the kids did it, the consistancy turned out more like that of dippin’ dots, and by the time they had put all their toppings on, it was the consistancy of soft serve.
And it tastes great too! I was floored. Where has this been all my life?!
5 MINUTE ICE CREAM
1/2 cup Half&Half (or Milk, or Cream)
1/4 tsp. vanilla (or other flavoring)
1 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp (approx. 1/2 cup) Rock Salt
Ice (approx. 4 cups; bag needs to be at least half filled)
Quart Ziploc Freezer Bags (Slider Bags)
Gallon Ziploc Freezer Bags (Slider Bags)
Gloves and/or towels
1. Mix the Half&Half, vanilla and sugar in the Quart bag.
2. Seal the bag, make sure to remove the excess air
3. Fill the Gallon bag with ice(at least half full)
4. Add the Rock Salt
5. Place the Quart bag INSIDE the Gallon bag on top of the ice.
6. Seal the Gallon bag.
7. Set a timer for 5 mins and shake the bag, making sure to tip it up-side-down, back and forth, and every which way for at least 5-8 minutes.
**NOTE: The bags will get VERY COLD. Protect little hands with gloves or towels**
8. After 5 minutes, check to see if your mixture has solidified (it should have). If it has, you can either scoop it into a bowl or just eat it straight from the bag. Add your favorite toppings and ENJOY!
(This is my munchkin; he helped me in making the step by step tutorial…it helped that there was ice cream as a reward LOL)
Things to note:
I can’t stress enough how cold this experiment gets, so please, please, protect your hands. Also, you may need to double bag the bags; especially if your Littles are helping you shake it, as some of them did leak.
You need to SHAKE the bag, up and down, flip it upside down, then right side up. If you just shake it back and forth it will not solidify; you’ll need to work it longer.
This experiment was, as you can probably imagine, a great hit. The kids loved it, even the parents seemed to enjoy it. I made sure to print out my recipe and made it available to everyone there; and most took home a copy so they could try it again over the summer.
Now there are dozens of various recipes for this online; all you have to do is Google ‘5 minute ice cream’ or ‘ice cream in a bag’. This one, however, is tried and true 5 minutes. I even set a timer and at exactly 5 minutes we stopped shaking and opened our bags to check.
It can be messy – of course, you have kids mixing things, especially liquids! of course it’s going to be messy! – So make sure to either do it outside or cover your work space.
So, first storytime of the New Year is done and over with; it was a great success if I do say so myself. Everyone had fun; even the parents.
I have no idea how many storytimes I’ll actually be able to do this Spring before Summer Reading is upon us. We have a couple new temps that were hired and are training (Why we needed temps when they could just bloody well give me 40 hours like I’ve been asking for the last 6 years; but oh no, apparently I don’t have the ‘personality type’ for Outreach work…Bam Humbug!) In any case, it looks like the temps will be doing most of the storytimes/programming; so they can get their training in.
In other news: I now work part-time at the local Wellness Center…. well, lets not be coy, its a gym. My husband works there and since we spend so much time there anyway; why not get paid to do so? Plus their filing was attrocious! Oh My Goddess… it was awful. My inner librarian shuddered. But, not to worry…. The Not So Nice Librarian to the rescue! LOL.
It’s been an experience to say the least.
But after a long hard day, its time to relax.
Even as I type this my kitten who isn’t a kitten anymore is demanding attention.
So, I’m off to bed. Nighty nights, my lovelies! Ciao!