It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…

Hello and welcome to another fun filled storytime featuring ME the Not So Nice Librarian. With all the hurricane’s that have been beating the heck out of our coast over the last couple weeks; I decided to do a ‘Rain’ themed storytime instead of an Australian themed one – which allowed me to still do my rainstick craft, and might let any of the Littles attending that may or may not have been a little scared if they had seen any of the news lately (my kiddo did, and was very worried that when it rained that we would get flooding like there was on the TV), be soothed by seeing that rain wasn’t really a BAD thing. The kiddos that have been coming to our storytimes have been VERY little; so I have NOT been getting though all of the things I planned on. I’ve been lucky to get through 2 stories before the Wiggles gets the best of them. Which is ok. Little kids were not meant to be still for any length of time. So I just need to keep adapting my program until I find a happy medium. So this time I went with one I’ve read before, an Elephant and Piggie book, Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems.

I figured this was a great book to show kids that rain wasn’t a scary or bad thing. It shows some of the FUN things you can do while it rains. The next book I did, was The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book by Nancy Tafuri.

I knew I wouldn’t have their attention for much longer, so I turned this one into an into an interactive story. In this book a storm is rolling in and 10 animals take shelter in a cave, or a ‘hill hollow’, according to the book. So I found some REAL live pictures of the animals depicted in the book (which adds a non-fiction element to the story and program) and allows the kids to work on their memory and animal recognition skills.

So while reading, when the animal ran to the hill hollow, I would pause and say “Who has *insert animal*? Can you bring them up to the board?” And then we would count how many animals were now in the ‘hollow’. It helped keep their attention through the book; but after the 2nd story, they were done. Which is sad, because I thought they would like the other story I picked. So neither Boom!By Mary Lyn Ray or the nonfiction book Weather made it into the official line up.

I had printed off a 2nd game to play with the kids; but it too didn’t make it to the line up.

Once that second book was done; the kiddos were ready for the craft. And with the addition of the animals in the Big Storm, it had lengthened the program enough that I didn’t feel overly bad about skipping the other books and game.

So Rainsticks! Or glorified shakers… which ever you prefer. This is a really cheap simple craft. If, like us, you have a bunch of left over cardboard tubes from other programs those work AWESOME for this craft. If you don’t, you can make your own tubes out of paper or cardstock. So what you’ll need: tubes rice (or beans work too) newspaper markers and/or stickers and other things for decoration.

First, staple or tape one end of your tube.

Once that’s done, set the tube aside and grab a piece of newspaper. If you’re using paper towel tubes, or something of a similar size, you won’t need a whole sheet of newspaper. in fact, I cut the newspaper into 4-5 inch strips then cut those in half so I ended up with pieces about 4 in x 12 in. That is in no way an exact number, so don’t go grabbing the ruler or anything. Just eyeball it, seriously.

Now twist your strip of paper. It doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect. Basically this is going INSIDE the tube to give the rice something to bounce off of and make noise.

It’ll look something like this after you’re done twisting.

Next, take that twisted paper, find a pen or marker, and twist the paper around the marker in tight coils.

Carefully take it off the marker, try to preserve the twisty, curly-Q shape as much as possible. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next slide your paper curly-Q into the tube.

Add rice. You don’t need a lot. Only a handful really.

Once the rice is in, staple/tape that end closed.

Should look something like this:

 

Now decorate!

I think the kids enjoyed playing with the rice and stickers far more than they actually enjoyed making the rainsticks. Oh well.  Note to the wise… have a vacuum handy; that rice is like glitter, it gets EVERYWHERE!!!

Even the kids at the Mall Storytime were able to get in on the shaker….er… rainstick, action.

All in all, we had fun. The kids really seemed to like their rainsticks.

On the way back to work from my Mall Storytime, I got a call that no wife really wants to hear, but even with all that drama (which I will probably make a separate entry about later) it was still a pretty good day.

Now I need to figure out what to do for my October theme. I’ve done monsters and scary stories in previous years…. and I wanna lean away from a Halloween theme.

Hmmmm…. decisions, decisions.

Well, until next time; this is the Not So Nice Librarian signing off. Ciao!

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Wombat Storytime

Hello and welcome back to another fun filled season of the Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian…

So, summer is more or less over… can I get a collective whoop from all the parents out there? Are ya’ll as happy school started back up as I am?

Well, normally we wouldn’t really have anything going on until September; but there’s been a lot of shifts in upper admin over the last few months, and apparently they have all decided that we need more programs.  More MARKET PENETRATION! Which, whoopy-effing-do… like we don’t do a sorts of programs and outreach.

That 40 hour position I had been working my ass for over the course of the 8 years I’ve been here…. was given to someone else. Lady from the business office that had been one of the ‘Subs’ or ‘Learning Experiences’ that we had at the beginning of the year.

No, no, it’s cool; I’m totally not even remotely bitter about it…. nope… not at all.

hades

And really, it’s not even that I don’t like the person they chose. I think she’ll make a very good children’s librarian.  It’s just very disappointing after busting my rump for 8+ years.

I do have to give her kudos; she got us some Leopard Geckos which have been a HUGE hit with the kids. I think we’re going to have some sort of mini contest to decide what their names will be….

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Anywho, on to what ya’ll are really here for! Wombats! Or rather, Wombat Storytime!

Ok so Wombats is probably a really random topic for a storytime; but I happened to find a cute craft idea for them and went with it. Then I found another cute craft…. and that’ll be saved for next time. So don’t be surprised if there’s another Australian themed storytime next time I post.

So to start off with, there aren’t a whole lot of wombat books out there; but there were more than I thought there would be and they were SUPER cute.

Since I wasn’t sure if the kids would know what a wombat was; I found a nonfiction book  called Wombats by Sara Louise Kras, that had some really nice pictures that I used to show the kids what a wombat was.

It was a fairly simple nonfiction book and had my kiddos been a wee bit older that attended, I probably would have actually read this book to them. However, all the kids were pretty young, so I just used it for pictures and moved on to the next book.

Next I read Swim, Little Wombat, Swim! by Charles Fuge; which was very cute and wouldn’t you know it, part of a series! This particular story talked about Little Wombat making a new friend and learning how to swim. In hindsight I probably would have used Watch Out, Little Wombat! which was a bit sillier than this one.

I actually had to more or less pull my ‘game’ out of a hat because I totally FORGOT about it. I prepped for this storytime a full 2 weeks before due to the fact that I wasn’t going to be here the week prior – I took a Tai-Chi instructors training class.  So I got to about 20 mins before storytime was about to start and realized sh*% I didn’t have a game! AHHHHHH!

Fortunately a book called Wombat Walkabout by Carol Diggory Shields had come in; which essentially was the ‘5 little monkeys’ of the wombat bookverse.  A really cute story about 6 wombats that go walkabout and what happens to them.

Basically I would read the story and everytime I got to the part of  ‘And then there was…..’ I’d have a kid come up to the board and take down a wombat.  Then at the end when all the wombats come back; I had all the kids take turns and come put their wombat back on the board.  It was simple and each time we practiced counting how many wombats were left.

During the morning session, I had such a young twitchy group that I stopped reading here and let them go on to the craft.  I could tell I was loosing my audience (to normal wiggles) and it was time for a change.  For the afternoon session, I had slightly older and calmer group; so we read Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball, another Little Wombat book by Charles Fuge. It allowed me to engage my audience a bit more; I’d ask them if they liked to get muddy, or sometimes just liked to yell.

Next it was craft time and we made our own ‘Wooly wombats’.

I found a coloring page of a wombat off Google. I cut some yarn in small 1 in. pieces of various colors. Pulled out the glue sticks and markers… and let the kids have fun. The idea was to let them color their wombats then glue yarn on them as ‘fur’.

There were quite a few very rainbow colored wombats wandering around the library after storytime, lemme tell ya.

The books I decided not to use for storytime, I actually set up and let the kids check out.  Diary of a Wombat and Diary of a Baby Wombat were very cute and I’d recommend them if you’re reading to a group of slightly older children.

The next day I had to do the Storytime at the Mall; which I actually had a couple kids for! YAAAAY! Normally we don’t have anyone show up for that; so having even one family was awesome.

Those kiddos were really young, so I was glad I had the foresight to bring a cute wombat themed boardbook called Once I Heard a Little Wombat by Renee Treml. Which basically went through a list of different Australian animals; there was a lot of repeating words and rhyming. We also did the Wombat Walkabout game and some coloring sheets that a coworker had found from years ago that had koalas on them!

Over all, not a bad start for our after summer storytimes. It’ll probably be another month or so before I update as there are now 4 people in my department that are doing storytimes and we rotate each week.

Like I said, it’ll probably be Australian themed again; I found a really easy, cute Rainstick craft I want to do.

So until next time! Ciao!

 

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Snakes Storytime 2017

This week was the 3rd Annual Snake Storytime at my library. This is a program I do every year (hence the ‘annual’ bit), each year is a little different; but I always try to impart some of my love and respect for our slithery garden companions.

This year, my crowd was a bit younger; so for my first book I read The Greedy Python an Eric Carle style book written by Richard Buckley. 


This story has the traditional Eric Carle bright crayon-like illustrations and rhyming words. Its about a snake that eats waaaay to much and just ’bout explodes. The ending has a funny little twist that the kids really seemed to enjoy.

My next book was a Nonfiction book on Garter Snakes written by Julie Murray.

This was an easy to read book that discuss various simple facts about the common Garter snake. The pictures were big and colorful and the facts were easy enough for young kids to comprehend. It opened the way to talking about Snakes more and allowed me to bring out some of my show-n-tell items (more on that later).

After that, was our Make a Snake game using shapes.

Since my crowd was a lot younger then previous years; I shelved the snake identification game…. and went with something more toddler friendly.

I chose 3 different shapes that I thought young children would be able to easily recognize; but weren’t the standard circle, square, triangle.

I went with a heart, oval, and diamond.

I got the template from DLTK’s Growing Together; it was actually a paper craft that I turned into a shape matching game.

I printed the shapes onto colored paper. Then, to make the heads stand out a little more, I added some red glitter to the tongues and google-eyes….because who doesn’t like glitter and google-eyes???

I printed off regular shapes  -sans glitter and google-eyes; on different colored paper. I then handed those out to the kids and had them take turns coming up to the board and putting their shapes next to the snake head. (Just a note: toddlers do NOT get the concept of coming up to the board one at a time. It normally turns into a free-for-all as they all rush the board for their turn.)

After that was our 3rd book; a personal favorite and one that’s enjoyed by both younger and older children – Elephant and Piggie’s Can I Play Too? By Mo Willems.

I love Elephant and Piggie….as I’ve said on many, many occasions. This features a snake and the age old question burning every in child’s mind….. can a snake play catch???  If you’ve never read it, I won’t spoil the ending for you.

Next we did our craft: Snake Finger Puppets.

I got the idea and template from Mr. Printables. The templates come in the 4 colors shown and in a blank version that kids can color and make their own snake patterns.

Folding is a little complicated of a concept for the real young ones; but this craft was to cute NOT to do. So to make things a little more user friendly; I added glue dots where glue needed to go, and a red dot where the piece needed to be stuck.

In hindsight, I probably should have made the dots different colors, because somehow the kids were sticking the glue dot on the red spot on the opposite side of the snake, instead of the dot right next to said glue dot.


Anyway, despite the small road blocks we had; all the kiddos left happy with snakes hissing from their fingers.

Now originally, the template produced a smaller snake. Like so:

I worried that the smaller size would make it more difficult for little hands to work with it…. so I blew it up a couple sizes to make giant snakes…

Now normally, this would be where my program normally ended; but for this Storytime, I had show-n-tell items.

Being the odd ball, pagan, nature lover and mother of a little boy that I am… my mom is always sending me weird things she finds out on her walks so I can show my little munchkin.

One of the items she sent me was a dried ‘petrified’ baby snake; pretty sure its a ring-neck snake.


Not that my mom isn’t totally justified sending me weird crap. I love it. While camping last summer my son and I found a baby snake skeleton, complete with jaw bones (well, we actually found 2 but I could only find one, which was a miracle and a half, since we literally just moved).

I, of course, kept the skeleton… because…well…because its cool alright! I woulda kept it even if I didn’t have a kiddo… but I do, so I have an excuse!

Anyway, later that same summer, we were walking along the outdoor track at our local gym when we found our 2nd petrified snake… this time a garter snake (I think).

Now before anyone asks; no, I didn’t put the them through the laminator… I used clear book tape. This way the kids could pick up the pieces to get a better look without destroying them.

I also had a magnifying glass available for them to get a better look.

And, as I had for the previous years, my rattlesnake head made another appearance.

Kids always like him; its a pity his mouth doesn’t open. The kids always want to see his fangs. Oh well… eventually I’ll get a rattlesnake skull with fangs and a tail rattle.

I also updated my Oklahoma Venomous Snake guide; this year I added a section on ‘Snakes and Your Dog’ that talks about what to do if your furry family companion has a close encounter (just in case you’re wondering….the answer is TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VET!!!!.

And as usual, I made sure there was a cart full of books for the kiddos to check out for further reading.

Well, that’s all for this week! I hope everyone had a great Spring Break! Mine was spent working on getting our new house set up… feels more like I’ve just been moving one pile of crap to another part of the house. But, I don’t mind really; I love we’re someplace new – hate the actual moving process. With all the warm weather we’ve been having; my mind has been fixed on getting my garden ready; since I now have the space for one. I know, technically it’s still to early…. but it FEELS like spring! It was freaking 90 degrees yesterday! Surely it’s time to start shopping for plants….right?

‘Til next time my lovelies. Ciao!

 

 

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Gardening Storytime

Hello, hello my lovelies; sorry it’s taking so long to update, its busy, busy, busy here. My family and I just moved into our new house, still a rental – but about a gazillion times better than what we had before. So YAAAAAY!!! Needless to say between house searching, packing, working, sick child, sick Momma, moving, and now UNpacking and setting up our house…. things have been insanely hectic.

Add on top of that the weird, confusing weather that we’ve been having here in good ol’ Oklahoma… and yea, my internal clock is all kinds of screwy at the moment. February was very warm – like I’m talking we got into the 80s at some point, only for the temperature to then plunge into the single digits within the same 24 hr period. Like I said…wonky weather.

Anyway, due to all the warm, spring-like weather, my internal gardener is telling me TIME TO START GARDENING!!!! LOOK SEEDS! WE NEED TO PLAN! Even as logically I know we still have a least another month where we could have wintery weather. It’s still to early, dang it!

Not that that matters, of course. So in an effort to sorta curb the impulse to go spend huge amounts of money, I don’t have, not seeds and plants I don’t really need at the moment… I decided to do a Gardening Storytime!

The first book I read (both for the Mall Storytime and the regular Preschool Storytime) was Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers:

This was a simple, repetitive book that illustrated different plants that grew UP, those that grew DOWN, and those others that grew AROUND and AROUND.

The Next I read, called Garden Friends, I only read during the Mall Storytime, and switched out when I did the Preschool Storytime, as the book fell a little flat. Not due to being a bad book in any way; but it was a book I was hoping to get more child participation in, discussing different insects and critters that lived in and helped the garden. Sadly, the children I got during the Mall Storytime were shy and refused to interact with me outside of the game.

Since, I didn’t get a whole lot of participation with the 1st nonfiction book, I decided to switch it out with Planting a Garden in Spring by Jenna Lee Gleisner:

This was also a very simple nonfiction book that talked about the different steps in planing a garden. Still, not a whole lot of interest, least not until the afternoon session, then the children were a little more engaged.

After that, we had our game Find the Garden Tools; which I apparently ‘lost’ in my garden.

I found clipart of some various fruits and veggies I thought children would recognize on sight – broccoli, pumpkin, strawberries, corn, watermelon, carrots, tomatoes and a pepper.

Then I found a picture of some typical garden tools and ‘hid’ them in my garden. The children then got to take turnS trying to find the tools.

I think this was their favorite part of the session honestly. We played it at least 3 times before we moved on to the next book.

For the Mall Storytime and my morning session of my Preschool Storytime, I read A Green, Green, Garden by Mercer Mayer:

Who doesn’t love a Little Critter book? They were some of my favorites as a child, and even as an adult, Mercer Mayer has a special place in my heart. This book in particular, tells about how Little Critter was working on making a ‘green, green, garden’. It tells about the various steps included in growing a garden, including going to the store to get seeds, tilling up the ground, getting rid of the rocks…. and how much waiting was involved. Little Critter was NOT happy about all the hard work and waiting that went into a garden. But, his folks kept telling him to be patient and after a while he got the green, green garden he was wanting…and oh look, he got a red, yellow and orange garden too.

I decided to switch out some of the books for my afternoon Preschool Storytime session since I had older children that would probably get bored with the overly simplistic books I had chosen before.

So I chose to read Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming:

This was a cute book that the older children enjoyed. It’s about a man who decided to grow a garden, but right off the bat, three bunnies start nibbling on his plants. So he builds a fence, and as the bunnies keep getting into his garden the methods the gardener constructs to keep them out gets more and more extravagant until finally the bunnies can’t find a way in. The ending was rather funny and the children seemed to enjoy the clever way the bunnies ended up getting into the garden; especially since the older kids had to actually pay attention to the pictures or it would have been very easy to miss what happened.

After all the books were read we did our craft; which this week wasn’t really a craft. We made our own very simple, portable greenhouses with plastic bags, wet cotton balls and seeds.

The principle was pretty simple really; I got the idea from here. Basically, the kids get a plastic ziplock bag; they wet down 4-5 cotton balls and drop them in the bag, then they sprinkle 3-4 seeds onto the wet cotton balls, seal the bag and tape it to a window.

I had 4 different seeds the kids could choose from; I had initially wanted to get them Mint, since it’s such an easy plant to grow, nearly impossible to kill and kids LOVE how the leave taste…. but alas, there weren’t any Mint seeds available at the time. So we went with:

Zinnias

Parsley

Green Beans

And Sunflowers.

Afterwards, I explained that when they got home they needed to tape their bags to a window where they’ll get plenty of sunlight and warmth.

I decided to leave my seeds up so that when the kids come back for the following weeks storytime, they could see the seeds growing.

After a week, this is the progress of my seeds:

You can see just a hint of roots right now.  As the seed grows the kids will get to watch the progress of their baby plant, they’ll be able to see the roots spread and the leaves start to sprout.

The kids seemed to really enjoy the idea of taking home their own plant; and since there were not a lot of children in the sessions; we had plenty of seeds so each child was able to take home a bag of each.

I’m hoping I’ll get updates on how their plants are going as the weeks pass.

As usual, I made sure there was a variety of gardening and plant themed books available for them to check out afterwards.

I don’t have another storytime until the 20th; so I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. I know in April I’ll be doing my Snake storytime again; which I’m thoroughly looking forward to, since this past summer while camping we found several baby snake skeletons and a dried up, petrified baby snake.

Does anyone have suggestions of things they, as a parent, would want to know about snakes? This is an annual storytime I do and this will be its 3rd year; every year I try to add some new information…. so far I’ve gotten the different types of venomous snakes in this state, how to identify them, and what to do if you are bitten. What else can I add?

Well, until then! Ciao!

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Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Storytime

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.

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In it’s stead, I read another Easy book called Ice Cream Soup by Ann ingalls

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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.

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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:

ice-cream-clip-art

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:

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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.

Bummer.

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

You’ll need:

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

Directions:

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!

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Chameleons Storytime


I hope everyone had a decent Turkey Day…or Black Friday shopping spree?…Maybe got to at least visit with family and friends?

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend, even those that don’t celebrate that holiday.

Sorry it’s taken me so long to write this, my last storytime of the year, but admittedly this as been an awful last few weeks… and honestly, I’ve just been to depressed and angry to do anything really library related.

If you read my previous post, you know that a few weeks ago a dear friend passed away. Also during that time, I had a job interview for a position in my library, in MY department, that I’ve been begging for for 5 of the 6 years I’ve been working there.

Despite everything, I got my shit together and did an awesome interview.

Then, barely a week later, I get my call back telling me that they WOULDN’T be recommending me for the position. It’s an outreach position and the wanted someone who was aggressive and outgoing because apparently with library outreach, you have to shoulder your way in to a few doors…and they felt that my somewhat shy personality would make doing that uncomfortable for me. Oh and after only 30 mins with me during and interview, they felt that I was better suited to working with older children….. doesn’t matter that I’ve been doing effing TODDLER storytime for 6 blessed years….. But hey, they apparently knew me better than my immediate supervisor, who was pushing for me to have this position.

Needless to say, I was – am – beyond pissed.

On top of that, the woman I spoke to tried to comfort me by telling me that she knew I wanted a 40 hr position and she would personally look for me one. Really? You’re going to go out of your way and look for a 40 hour slot for little ol’ me? Wouldn’t it just be bloody easier to give me the effing position I applied for? The one I have LITERALLY been requesting for 6 years?!?! But, oh no…. I’m gonna trust that you have my best interests at heart.

Then to just add to my already shitty month, our new puppy catches some sort of illness and passes away before we can get the money together to take him to the vet.

It’s probably just as well that I had a week of vacation following that; because I simply was NOT in a good mindset.

Even now, a week later and a half, I’ve having a really hard time climbing out of my proverbial hole and giving a shit.

But, I’m here, and I realized still had one last storytime blog post to make for this year. So… Chameleons….

I started with Leon the Chameleon by Melanie Watt

Which was a cute, simple, story involving a chameleon that couldn’t quite seem to blend in. No matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn’t turn the right color. On a green leaf, he’d turn red, in blue water he’d turn orange…. always with the opposite colors. Until one day, that mismatched ability of his comes in handy and saves the day.

Next I read a nonfiction book called Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley

This was an easy-nonfiction that described a Chameleons journey from one tree to another in search of food. It had nice colorful pictures of real animals that live in the jungle with the chameleon. There were several places were I was able to talk about camouflage with the kids and ask them if they could find the hidden animal in the picture.

After that we had a matching game. I had different color leaves, some plain and some with poka-dots; and different color chameleons, some plain and some with poka-dots. I would hand out the chameleons to the children and they had to come up and place their chameleon on its matching leaf.

Here’s the link to the pdf

chameleon-matching

After that I read Chameleon Sees Colors by Anita Bijsterbosch.

Another cute, easy story. Chameleon had only ever seen in black and white, until one day, he sees….. and then it goes through a bunch of different animals, similar to Brown Bear, Brown Bear. However, at one point you only see a small faction of the animal and it’s color… so its fun to ask the kids what they think Chameleon sees, and when the animal is revealed, what sound it makes.

I also switched out Leon for Rex by Ursula Dubosarsky, for my afternoon session, since I had more older children.

Rex about a school class pet that gets to go home with a different student everyday and the children have to write down, or draw, what Rex did with them while he was at their house…. some of the drawings are down-right hilarious. At one point, poor Rex looked more like Godzilla than a Chameleon.

For the craft, I did a color changing chameleon.

It was fairly simple to do; all you need is:

paperplates

markers/crayons/paints

round head fasteners

optional

google eyes

glue dots

You’ll need to find a chameleon that has a decent shillohette. Once you’ve found one you like – a simply Google search will pop up dozens- then you’ll need to trace it on to the inside of a paperplate.

Then cut it out.

Next put a hole in the center of that plate, the scissors work well for doing that.

Actually go ahead and grab a bunch of plates that don’t have a chameleon and put holes in those too.

You see, the children color the 2nd plate however they wish – preferably in a rainbow of colors. When they’re done, you’re going to set the 1st plate with the chameleon cut-out on top of the 2nd rainbow plate, and fasten them together with your fasteners.

The top plate can be moved around the rainbow plate, giving your chameleon a rainbow of different looks.

Now for mine, I made sure to include a place for the eye so I could place a googley eye there…. but you don’t have to do that by any means.

I also had books on chameleons for kids to check out, and I actually had some little sticky lizards I gave to the kids at the end of the program.

All in all, it went well and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

So, until next time…. Ciao.

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Do Not Stand at My Grave

Six years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful young woman, Justine Aliff. A beautiful and kind soul with a snarky, quirky, disposition.

Last year, she was diagnosed with cancer, and last week, after a grueling battle with the illness, she lost that particular battle.

Today we said our final goodbyes in a simple and lovely memorial service.

Justine was a wonderful person, one of the few truly  good souls in the world.

It took us a while to warm up to each other, not because we didn’t like each other, but because we were both quiet bookworms and had our noses stuck in various reading materials. Once she was working at the Children’s desk, that never stopped her from randomly reading me a passage from her book either because the wording was beautiful and inspirational…. or because it was funny and she simply HAD to share it with someone.

Working with Justine was a blessing and made each day better. She was a sympathetic and supportive ear in the midst of the drama that has played out in my life the last few years.  A lot of shit has been done to us by self-proclaimed ‘good Christain folk’; and admittedly its been enough to cast the entire religion in a negative light for me. Justine would always get…almost personally offended at what was done…. not necessarily because something bad happened because lets face it, shit happens; but because the ones who caused it claimed to share her faith, and in her opinion that wasn’t how a child of God should act.

She gave me hope in a religion that I had long ago lost faith in. We didn’t share the same faith, Justine and I; but we had a mutual respect for each other that allowed us to talk about religious things without judgement. She gave me faith that people of different religions could indeed be friends.
I’m sure if I had ever asked her to tell me about Jesus, she would  have jumped at the chance. But, she respected my beliefs and I respected hers. In fact, when I became a Minister  for the state of Oklahoma, we shared in the irony of someone who is …admittedly not very religious becoming a member of the clergy…and in the same breath she was assuring me I would do fine officiating my friends wedding. When I stressed about what I should include…she just smiled and laughed a little, then said, ‘Why don’t you ASK her what she wants’. The ‘silly’ was implied at the end of the statement, but she was to polite to tell me I was being ridiculous and uh duh, ask you friend what she wants in her wedding.

Most of my memories of Justine are work related. We were colleagues and friends, but it wasnt until last year that we actually decided to do anything outside of work together.

We realized we shared a love of hiking and nature, and that we had both always wanted to particilate in a 5k race. So in September we decided that we were going to do just that. There was a Glow Race going on in town, the ‘Family Run’ (3K) was free and we thought that would be a great place to start and we could work our way up to an official 5k, and maybe some of those obstacle courses. We had missed the Inflatables 5K Obstacle course, so we’d practice so that by the time it came back around, we’d be able to complete the course.

I very nearly didn’t go to the Glow Race. It was late, my son was sleepy and cranky, and I wasn’t feeling the best either. But, I decided, fuck it, I’m GOING to do this. I always let something come up to prevent me from doing these types of things and dammit, I’m going out to dinner with my friend then we’re going to this damn race.

So we did and I’m so thankful that we did, because not only did we have a blast. We had a nice dinner, ran the race…we actually RAN part of it, and we even went the whole 5k! Afterwards we took pictures and there was a DJ playing music from high school… we danced the Macarana and the Cha, Cha, Slide.

So yes, I’m very thankful I decided not to cancel because not only did that become a favorite memory of Justine….but because in the next month we found out why she had been having trouble eating.

It would, also, be the last time I ever got a chance to go out with her. I’d see her many times over the next year, of course, at the Library Holiday Decorating party, or she’d stop by to visit, and of course I’d chat with her via text and facebook; but that would be the only time we ever got a chance to hangout.

Breifly, we had thought she had beaten the cancer and that soon she’d be back on her feet in time for the next Glow Run, or maybe even the Zombie Run…. but it wasn’t meant to be.

She was far  more optomistic about her illness then anyone I had ever met. Everything it threw at her had some sort of silver lining. She saw it as an opportunity to see her friends and family one last time and to go take that trip with her husband.

She was a wonderful, sweet, caring person that will be dearly missed. I am honored and blessed to have had know her.

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Filed under Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian, Uncategorized