Monthly Archives: March 2015

Storytime: St. Patrick’s Day


10 lucky lep green lucky tucker night before st pat

Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling (toddler storytime only)
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Lucky Tucker by Leslie McGuirk
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing (family storytime only)


“If You’re Wearing Green Today” (from Sunflower Storytime)
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you’re wearing green today, dance a jig,
If you’re wearing green today, dance a jig,
If you’re wearing green today,
Dance a jig, then smile and say,
“Have a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day”

Additional verses:
If you’re wearing green today, clap your hands….
If you’re wearing green today, spin around….
If you’re wearing green today, shout “Hurray!”….
If you’re wearing green today, stamp your feet….

“Michael Finnegan” (my condensed version)
There was an old man Named Michael Finnegan
He had whiskers On his chin-ne-gan
The wind blew them off And blew them on again
Poor old Michael Finnegan, Begin Again

There once was a man named Michael Finnegan,
He kicked up an awful dinnigin
Because they said he must not sing ag’in,
Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag’in)

There was an old man Named Michael Finnegan
Heard this song And began to sing again
Hurt my ears So don’t begin again
And that’s the end of Michael Finnegan!
And that’s the end of Michael Finnegan!

“Eensy Weensy Leprechaun” (from SurLaLune Storytime)
(Tune: “Eensy Weensy Spider”)
An eensy, weensy leprechaun
came out St. Patrick’s Day
to look for the gold
That was hidden far away.
Over the rainbow
was where he was told
so, with the wink of his green eye,
He ran for the gold.

1. St. Patrick’s Day Slime – I made two kinds of slime gold glitter slime and clear slime with St. Patrick’s Day confetti. Most of the children loved it, and those who did absolutely adored blowing slime bubbles. My recommendation for the glue/liquid starch slime is to slowly add the starch in. I found that I needed slightly less starch than glue (a 1 to 3/4 ratio). Additives like liquid watercolor or shimmer changed the ratio slightly.

slime4edslime2edslime 1ed

2. Spin Art Shamrocks (from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas) – I bought a bunch of salad spinners from IKEA for $4 each, made some shamrock templates, and had the children give them a whirl in the spinner.

spin shamrock

Storytime: Balloons


balloon trees balloons3 too many balloons

Balloon Trees by Danna Smith (family storytime only, popular with the caregivers)
Balloons, Balloons, Balloons by Dee Lillegard
Too Many Balloons by Catherine Matthias


“Yellow Balloons” (from SurLaLune Storytime)
(Tune: “Frere Jaques”)
Yellow balloons, Yellow balloons,
Floating up, Floating up,
Never let them touch the ground,
Never let them touch the ground,
Keep them up, keep them up.


Unnamed (from Anne’s Library Life)
I’m going to blow up this balloon
And never, never stop.
I’ll blow and blow and blow and blow and POP!
(Hands make the shape of the balloon and get bigger, then clap loudly on the pop.)

*This one sent multiple children into fits of giggles each time we did it.

1. Inflate a balloon – A very common experiment – pour vinegar into an empty water bottle, baking soda into a deflated balloon (use a funnel), attach the balloon to the bottle (don’t let any baking soda fall out), then hold the balloon up so the baking soda falls into the vinegar. The resulting reaction will blow up the balloon.

2. Dancing Balloons (from Babble Dabble Do) – This is a very simple activity requiring only a circular fan and balloons. Poster board tube optional (very useful if using water balloons). Our experience:
*We were able to get three latex balloons to float in the air current, but it could not support more than that at a time.
*Water balloons need the poster board tube to keep the air currents focused. I cut an opening in the bottom of the tube large enough to push a water balloon through. Doing this caused the balloon to shoot out of the tube. For whatever reason, the water balloons became very static-y. After popping out of the tube, they’d get stuck in hair, on clothes, to the tube – this was one of the highlights as far as the toddlers were concerned.
*Blowing bubbles into the air current was also a hit.

balloons 1 ed

balloons 3 ed

Read Harder – February Progress

February saw a total of eight books read between the three of us. I don’t know how March will shape up as my reading is almost at a standstill because of schoolwork and Girl Scout cookies. My husband, though reading, is not reading books that fit into his unread Read Harder categories. Sophia, on the other hand, has already read two books for this challenge so far this month.

Without further ado, our stats and books, color-coded to make it easier to know who read what:

Me 7/24 (2 in Feb)
My Husband 5/24 (2 in Feb)
Sophia 7/24 (4 in Feb)

#1 – Author under 25

bone season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

#5 – LGBTQ

paying guests

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

#7 – Takes place in Asia

dowager empress cixi

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang

#10 – Microhistory

amb brew severed

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle
Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Found by Frances Larson

#11 – YA


Hellhole by Gina Damico

#18 – Recommendation

station 11

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

#20 – Graphic novel

WD 22

The Walking Dead Volume 22: A New Beginning by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

Storytime: Colors #2


bear sees colors dogs colorful day mix it up white rabbit color

Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson (used only for toddler storytime)
Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet (used only for family storytime)
White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker


“Colors” (from Storytime with Ms. Kelly)
(I used the tune: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)
Oh can you find the color (insert color name),
The color (insert color name), the color (insert color name),
Oh can you find the color (insert color name),
Somewhere in this room?

“Jenny Jenkins” by Lisa Loeb

*The idea for this was for everyone to dance or move, but it ended up being me dancing with one child swaying back and forth and the rest of children/parents looking at me like I was crazy. Someday they will dance with me. Someday.

Color Changing Milk (from Steve Spangler) aka “Magic Milk” – I bought plastic dessert plates and covered the bottom with whole milk. Add several drops of liquid food coloring. I gave each child a Q-Tip and had them gently dip it in the middle of the plate. Did anything happen? No. Then they dipped the Q-Tip in dish soap and put it back in the milk. Did anything happen? Yes. The colors ran away. After those first two dips, the rest of the time was spent swirling the milk/colors around until it turned into a gray-greeny mess. Very popular with both children and parents.

color 1 ed

color 3

February Books

I didn’t do very much reading this month. My time was split between being sick and trying to stay on top of schoolwork. March probably won’t be much better, but instead of being sick, I’ll be dealing with Girl Scout cookies.

dowager empress cixi bone season glamour in glass wo a summer

*Empress Dowager Cixi – History is always written by the winners…and the successors to fallen regimes, especially when the previous ruler was a woman. I wonder how different China would have been if Cixi had had an uninterrupted rule.
*The Bone Season – I will read this book again. The second one was just donated to my library, so I grabbed it as it was finished being cataloged. I like books that slip fantasy in without it dominating the book (My Real Children, A Natural History of Dragons).
*The Glamourist Histories (books 2 and 3) – The characters are more like themselves and less like Jane Austen shadows, which was nice because I wasn’t constantly making comparisons. I liked the plot and pacing of the second book, but the third was a bit bumpy. The story dragged in the middle before picking back up again. I started reading the fourth book, but ended up putting it down. I read the ending, then read part of the middle, and didn’t have the interest to fill in the gaps.

flights chimes misty

*Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times – Both Bean and I loved this book. The majority of the story is set in a parallel London, with clockwork creatures being the natural order. The tone is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, and the quality of writing is much better than a lot of the newer children’s books. Many of these books feel light and fluffy, with a writing style and vocabulary to match. That isn’t to mean  these books are any less fun to read, but Flights has more gravitas. It assumes children can handle the dark things.
*Misty of Chincoteague – Bean has wanted to read this for over a year. She absolutely adored the book, clutching her blanket during several scenes because she was so involved in what was happening. Chincoteague is not too far from where my best friend lives, so we’ll take a day trip to see the ponies when we visit.