Saturday, December 31, 2016

Storytime Kit: STEM Discovery

These kits are primarily for classroom or home classroom use but families do check them out as well. They include books at a variety of levels, toys that includes both educational and sensory aspects, and sheets with tips for early literacy and sensory play. They're kept in plastic bins with a handle and people are only supposed to open them at home, not play with them in the library, unlike our regular toy bags. There is a label reminding patrons of this rule. This kit is a mixture of measuring, water play, sensory toys, and other STEM-related ideas.

Materials Include
  • Plastic bin - purchased from Walmart
  • Learning Resources Smart Splash Shape Shell Turtles ($15)
  • Pour and Measure Play Set ($18)
  • Books
    • The Odd One Out by Britta Teckentrup: 9780763671273
    • Where's the pair by Britta Teckentrup: 9780763677725
    • Albert's bigger than big idea: 9781575655222
    • Mousy Mess: 9781575656472
    • Albert adds up: 9781575657455
    • 10 Hungry Rabbits (board book): 9780553498288
  • Laminated sheet of early literacy and sensory tips

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Animal Facts

National Geographic is always popular and after some digging I found four titles at roughly similar levels.
  • Ants 9781430121145
  • Dinosaurs 9781430121091
  • Ponies 9781430121046
  • Safari 9781430118893

Friday, December 2, 2016

We Listen: Seasons

This is a set of seasonal and outdoor stories. I included one bilingual title as well.

  • The biggest snowman ever by Steven Kroll: 9780545163507
  • Too many pumpkins by Linda White: 9781591128298
  • Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 9781591127451
  • Yum Yum Que Rico by Pat Mora: 9781430114482

Friday, November 25, 2016

We Listen: Clifford

This is a collection of Clifford stories.

  • Clifford's Birthday Party: 9780545117562
  • Clifford takes a trip: 9780545003582
  • Clifford the small red puppy: 9780439924924
  • Clifford's good deeds: 9780545014830
Insert in publisher format available here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

We Listen: Bedtime

This set is bedtime stories. They're not all classics or lullabies, but things that I thought fit into a bedtime story role.

  • Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells (pb only): 9780140567281
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: 9781595192578
  • Imani's Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood: 9781430118992
  • Ira sleeps over by Bernard Waber: 9780618852826

We Listen: School Stories

This set includes four school stories.

  • Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes: 9781591123590
  • Countdown to kindergarten by Alison McGhee: 9781591129271
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (pb only): 9780688147327
  • Fine, fine school by Sharon Creech: 9781591124979

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Classics

As always, classics are...the other stuff.

  • Come back Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish: 9780061336089
  • Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff: 9780060786878
  • Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban: 9780061336119
  • Josefina Story Quilt: 9781430108160

Friday, November 11, 2016

We Listen: Classic Stories

This is actually the first set of classic stories I put together.

  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans: 9780142408711
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (out of print): 9780142413876
  • Sylvester and the magic pebble by William Steig: 9781442435605
  • Caps for sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (out of print): 9780694700042

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Giggle and Shriek

These were going to be scary stories, but some of them are more gross and funny than scary. There aren't a lot of scary easy readers. I purchased The Big Fat Cow that Goes Kapow separately - paperback and cd.

  • In a dark, dark room by Alvin Schwartz: 9780061336133
  • No more monsters for me by Peggy Parish: 9780061336140
  • Mouse soup by Arnold Lobel: 9780061336102
  • Big fat cow that goes Kapow! by Andy Griffiths: 

Friday, November 4, 2016

We Listen: Tasty Tales

This is all food-themed books and cds.

  • Cloudy with a chance of meatballs by Judi Barrett: 9781442443372
  • Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judi Barrett: 9781442444591
  • Cock-a-doodle-doo! by Janet Stevens (pb only): 9780152056582
  • How do dinosaurs eat their food by Jane Yolen: 9780545117555

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Dr. Seuss

It's harder than you would think to find enough Dr. Seuss easy readers to make a whole pack!

  • Fox in socks: 9780375834943
  • Dr. Seuss's ABC: 9780375834967
  • Cat in the Hat: 9780375834929
  • Green eggs and ham: 9780375834958

Friday, October 28, 2016

We Listen: Fractured Fairy Tales

Technically these are not all fractured fairy tales, but they all have that silly, fairy-tale-flip feeling to them.

  • The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka (out of print): 9781591122302
  • The true story of the three little pigs by Jon Scieszka (pb only): 9780140544510
  • Bad boys by Margie Palatini (pb only): 9780060001049
  • The Umbrella by Jan Brett (hc only): 9780399242151

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Animals Move

This was going to be National Geographic easy readers, but I couldn't find 4 that fit, so I threw in Puppy Mudge. These are growing in popularity and I am trying to keep the reading level roughly similar.

  • Swim Fish: 9781430118831
  • Jump Pup: 9781430118800
  • Swing Sloth: 9781430118770
  • Puppy Mudge wants to play: 9781430114147

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Maker Kit: Birdwatching

Ever since I read Annette Cate's Look Up! Bird-watching in your own backyard I have been wanting to use it in a kit and now I've finally got one! This one is very simple but I hope it will be popular.

Kit includes:
  • Look up! Bird-watching in your own backyard: 9780763645618
  • Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Birds: 9781426322990
  • Binoculars ($12 on Amazon)
  • Paper notebooks
  • Colored pencils

Friday, October 21, 2016

We Listen: Things that Go

I wish I had more "truck" type books, but this is what I had and I'm making the most of it.

  • I Stink! by Kate McMullan (pb only): 9780064438360
  • Curious George rides a bike by H. A. Rey: 9780618689460
  • Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel by Virginia Lee Burton: 9780618737567
  • Caboose who got loose by Bill Peet: 9780618959792

We Listen: Exploring Outside

This is a good all-ages one, since it includes two older and two younger stories about the natural world and outdoor imaginative play.

  • Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran (pb only): 9780060526337
  • Weslandia by Paul Fleischman (pb only): 9780763610524
  • In the tall, tall grass by Denise Fleming (pb only): 9780805039412
  • In the small, small pond by Denise Fleming (pb only): 9780805059830

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Listen 'n' Read: Animal Friends

This pack includes four easy readers and cds about animals.

  • Go away dog by Joan Nodset: 9780061765025
  • Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff: 9780061335402
  • Mittens by Lola Schaefer: 9780061765018
  • Harry and the lady next door by Gene Zion: 9780061336096

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Maker Kit: Tasty Treats 2

I haven't figured out a way to include consumables in our cooking kits, so it's just cookie cutters basically. I pick them up at Walmart or people donate them.

Kit Includes

  • Crazy about cookies: 9781402769139
  • Assorted cookie cutters
  • Cookie mold
  • Measuring cups

Monday, October 17, 2016

Read 'n' Play: Peekaboo Pals

This bag includes three books with extensive lift-the-flap action. They're too fragile for the general board book and picture book areas, so I decided to make them a toy. I did not purchase them; they were review copies I donated.

Sources for Materials

  • Peekaboo Pals 123: 9781626865211
  • Peekaboo Pals ABC: 9781626865204
  • Peekaboo Pals Opposites: 9781626865228

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Storytime Kit: Nesting Farm

These kits are primarily for classroom or home classroom use but families do check them out as well. They include books at a variety of levels, a toy that includes both educational and sensory aspects, and sheets with tips for early literacy and sensory play. They're kept in plastic bins with a handle and people are only supposed to open them at home, not play with them in the library, unlike our regular toy bags. There is a label reminding patrons of this rule.

Materials included:
  • Plastic bin - purchased from Walmart
  • Nesting Farm - Melissa & Doug (includes tip sheet for play activities)
  • Books
    • Mary had a little lamb (Indestructibles): 9780761158608
    • Old Macdonald had a farm (Indestructibles): 9780761159223
    • Down on the farm 1, 2, 3 (nonfiction picture book): 9781681520025
    • Pig-Piggy-Pigs (easy reader): 9780448482217
    • Backyard chickens (easy reader): 9780448487205
    • No sleep for the sheep (picture book): 9780544668348
    • Chicken dance (picture book): 9781454914778
    • Chicken Squad: The first misadventure: 9781442496774
  • Laminated sheet of early literacy and sensory tips

Friday, October 14, 2016

We Listen: All About Animals

These were sort of animal-related titles; I've been told the Gail Gibbons nonfiction aren't very fun to listen to, so hopefully throwing in the poetry and inspirational story will make this more attractive.
  • Beast Feast by Douglas Florian (pb only): 9780152017378
  • Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier (pb only): 9780689869907
  • Sharks by Gail Gibbons: 9781595190802
  • Sea Turtles by Gail Gibbons: 9781595190765

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Listen 'n' Read

Earlier this year I adapted out book+cd bags to be in packs. I've been toying with the idea of adding easy reader audiobooks and decided to do them in the same format. They're a little trickier to find four in a theme or by the same author, but I've mostly done it! They're also in different-colored bags to make it easier for staff. I adapted the insert slightly as well to address early readers.

I have noted in the listing of materials when the book + cd is out of print or if the isbn only indicates the pb. Some sets were purchased from other vendors.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Maker Kit: Tasty Treats

This is a cooking kit. I've recently refreshed it with some more additions. These are the only kits that we don't have consumables with - I don't feel comfortable putting food in, even if it's sprinkles.

Kit Includes
  • Cook it: 9781465402547
  • Assorted cookie cutters
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Silicone baking cups (donated by me - I purchased them for a project that didn't work out)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Imagine a Story: Horses

This one has a rubber horse and a book by Patricia Hubbell, Horses! The book is out of print and the horse comes with a big set so when it wears out I will probably have to completely redo it.

Publisher file available here

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Storytime Kit: Cars

These kits are primarily for classroom or home classroom use but families do check them out as well. They include books at a variety of levels, a toy that includes both educational and sensory aspects, and sheets with tips for early literacy and sensory play. They're kept in plastic bins with a handle and people are only supposed to open them at home, not play with them in the library, unlike our regular toy bags. There is a label reminding patrons of this rule.

Materials included

  • Plastic bin - purchased from Walmart
  • Nesting cars - Melissa & Doug (includes tip sheet for play activities)
  • Books
    • Vehicles (board book with raised shapes): 9781452145167
    • Honda the boy who dreamed of cars (picture book biography): 9781620141915
    • How do monster trucks work? (intermediate easy reader): 9781467796835
    • Digby O'Day in the Fast Lane (beginning chapter book): 9780763673697
    • Pocket Genius Cars (mini paperback guide): 9781465442376
    • Jon Scieszka's Trucktown (box set of easy readers): 9781481444835
  • Laminated sheet of early literacy and sensory tips

Friday, October 7, 2016

We Listen: Classic Stories Set 2

This set is basically "classics" that didn't fit anywhere else.

  • Harold and the purple crayon by Crockett Johnson (pb only): 9780064430227
  • A pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman: 9780142410400
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman: 9780142408391
  • Nana upstairs and Nana downstairs by Tomie DePaola (pb only): 9780698118362

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Maker Kit: Sew Fun

This is my first sewing kit. Although I don't like the heavily pink nature of this title, Jane Bull's books really are the best introductions to hand-sewing with simple projects, clear explanations of stitches, and lots of felt (which I think is the ideal sewing starter).

I supply most of the consumables from leftovers from my own sewing stash, but I also have stuff donated or left over from work
programs. I promote the sewing kits after I do sewing workshops and they generally circulate briskly. This one usually has yarn in it, to go with the crochet hooks and knitting needles, and someone added an embroidery hoop. It's nice to see things come and go!

Kit includes:

  • Made by me by Jane Bull 9780756651633
  • Good scissors, needles, needle holder
  • Knitting needles, crochet hooks, embroidery hoop
  • Thread, yarn, ribbon, buttons
  • Felt, scrap fabric
  • Larger pieces of fabric I donated

Monday, October 3, 2016

Imagine a Story: Tiny Little Fly

This bag is a little crowded because it has a large hardcover, a very large rubber elephant, and a tiger smooshed in there.

Sources for materials
  • Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen (hardcover): 9780763646813
  • Zebra and giraffe from set of 5 jumbo soft jungle animals, purchased from Discount School Supply

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Storytime Kit

These started in 2015 as a collection of toys, books, and early literacy materials. Basically the same thing I put in a bag but the toys were too large! So I stored them in large tubs. I found that more teachers checked them out and they worked better as kits.

Friday, September 30, 2016

We Listen: Clever Tricksters

This set includes four tales that are (loosely) trickster stories.

  • Stone soup by Marcia Brown: 9781591127352
  • The tale of tricky fox by Jim Aylesworth (hc): 9780439095433
  • My lucky day by Keiko Kasza (pb only): 9780142404560
  • I, crocodile by Fred Marcellino (pb only): 9780060088590

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Maker Kit: Bug Science

This was one of the first maker kits I made. The original bug house was given to me with a praying mantis inside - they never picked up the bug house so I used it! Eventually it got very dirty and icky, but it was still intact, so this is a pretty good brand. The original set of bugs in plastic got very worn and chipped, so I replaced those as well.

This kit mostly checks out in the summer, when there's actual bugs around, but it goes out at other times as well, when kids are doing science projects. I don't put consumables in this kit very often.

Kit includes: 

  • Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs by Judy Burris (out of print): 9781603429856
  • Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Giddy Buggy Bug House Toy (purchased from Amazon)
  • Celestron 44409 3D Bug Specimen Kit #3 (Black, Orange, Brown) (purchased from Amazon)
  • Magnifying glasses - Excellerations - from a set purchased from Discount School Supply
  • Activity papers, coloring pages, stickers

Friday, September 23, 2016

We Listen: Silly Stories

This set includes four silly stories and cds.

  • The rain came down by David Shannon: 9780545138574
  • That's good! That's bad! by Margery Cuyler: 9781595190963
  • Imogene's Antlers by David Small (out of print): 9780874993226
  • George and Martha by James Marshall: 9780618839513

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Maker Kit: Sew More Fun

This is the second sewing kit I made and the simplest. It's basically a book, scissors, and needles. I'm planning to get some little magnetic boxes for the needles - I've been keeping them in a piece of felt!

I supply most of the consumables from leftovers from my own sewing stash, but I also have stuff donated or left over from work programs. I promote the sewing kits after I do sewing workshops and they generally circulate briskly.

Kit includes:

  • Sewing School: 9781603425780
    • This is a spiral-bound book which originally included patterns - the patterns went missing though.
  • Good scissors, needles, needle-holder
  • thread, yarn, ribbon
  • quilt squares
  • scrap fabric
  • buttons

Friday, September 16, 2016

We Listen: Musical Stories

This set includes two books that are songs or include music and two song book collections.

Materials include:

  • Mary wore her red dress and Henry wore his green sneakers by Merle Peek: 9780618752492
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin: 9781416927181
  • Wee Sing for Baby (out of print): 9780843177756
  • Wee Sing children's songs and fingerplays (out of print): 9780843177619

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Maker Kit: Magnetic Science

Quite a few of my maker kits come from materials/tools I got for programs but didn't want sitting in the closet, only to be used a few times a year!

I have a very popular magnet science program I do for Mad Scientists Club occasionally and this goes along with that.

The magnet set doesn't last forever, but it's inexpensive and easy to replace. I don't put all the consumables in every time, it's just a list of some things that might be included.

Kit includes:

  • magnets - buy in bulk from Discount School Supply
  • misc. things for experiments - some magnetic and some not
  • dixie cups for magnet robots

Friday, September 9, 2016

We Listen: Silly Pet Tails

This set includes four silly stories about pets. Hey, Al was pushing it a little, but the dog is part of it so... I needed four to make up the set!

  • Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks (pb only): 9780374429850
  • The Day Jimmy's Boa ate the wash by Steven Kellogg (pb only): 9780140546231
  • Pinkerton, Behave! by Steven Kellogg (pb only): 9780142300077
  • Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel: 9781427231789

Insert available in publisher format here

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Maker Kit: Microscope

I purchased a cheap microscope for use in a snow science program - I wanted the kids to be able to look at snowflakes. I put it in a maker kit afterwards for people to check out but it didn't last very long. Sad.

However, it was so popular I felt it was worth purchasing again and so I bought a second microscope to replace it. I bought the AMSCOPE-KIDS Beginner Microscope Kit on Amazon for about $40.

I updated the kit so the circulation staff doesn't have to check every single slide and tiny piece (there are over 60) - they just make sure the microscope is there and we trust our patrons for the rest. I cleaned out the kit and put better pictures on it.

Friday, September 2, 2016

We Listen: Dog Tails

This bag includes four different stories about dogs.
  • Arthur's New Puppy by Marc Brown (out of print): 9780316059558
  • "Let's get a pup!" said Kate by Bob Graham (pb only): 9780763621933
  • No dogs allowed! by Sonia Manzano (pb only): 9781416938385
  • Hairy Maclary's rumpus at the vet by Lynley Dodd (pb only): 9781582460949

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Maker Kits: An Introduction

At about the same time I started rejuvenating our toy collection, I heard about another library that did maker kits - not technology, but actually creating things for younger kids. They had things like make your own playdough, etc. I adapted this idea and created maker kits for my own library. They have an instructional book or two, some basic tools, and consumables that the kids can use. They've been heavily in use for the past year or two and now they need cleaning and refurbishing! I am also hoping to add some additional kits later this year.

Friday, August 26, 2016

We Listen: Animal Classics

This set includes four classic animal stories.

  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (out of print): 9780142409527
  • The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward (out of print): 9780395479513
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey: 9780142416433
  • Make way for ducklings by Robert McCloskey: 9780142413869 

Insert available here in publisher format

Friday, August 19, 2016

We Listen: Paul Galdone

This bag includes four folktales by Paul Galdone on book and cd.

  • Henny Penny (pb alone): 9780899192253
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff (pb alone): 9780618894994
  • The Little Red Hen: 9780618752508
  • The Three Little Pigs: 9780618732777

Friday, August 12, 2016

We Listen: Anansi Tales

This bag includes four book and cd sets, all Anansi stories by Eric Kimmel.

  • Anansi and the Magic Stick: 9781591125068
  • Anansi goes fishing: 9781591126799
  • Anansi and the talking melon: 9781591126836
  • Anansi and the moss-covered rock: 9781591126751

Insert in publisher format available here

Friday, August 5, 2016

We Listen: An Introduction

I've had the traditional book and cd bags for quite a while. Sometimes they circulate, sometimes they don't. It seems mostly based on how visible they are, but their circulation has been steadily dropping over the past few years and I've decided we need to get them out there! Towards that end, I've combined them in packs of four, added an insert about the importance of audiobooks and some additional resources, and tech services cataloged them as toys. In the first week or two of locating them by the toy bags and packing them in larger kits, they circulated immediately, so I think this worked out well.

I have noted in the listing of materials when the book + cd is out of print or if the isbn only indicates the pb. Some sets were purchased from other vendors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Imagine a story: Everything I need to know before I'm five

This includes two books, one of them an interactive board book that teaches you left from right, and a set of plastic letter popsicles. The popsicles have both an upper and lower case letter and snap together. They're also matched by color.

Sources for materials

  • Everything I need to know before I'm five by Valorie Fisher (hc): 9780375868658
  • Left hand, right hand by Janet Brown: 9780764159244
  • Alpha Pops can be purchased in numerous places

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Imagine a Story: Tadpole to Frog

This kit includes a reversible frog puppet and three books. It originally had another frog puppet, but it fell apart (the cheap puppets from Discount School Supply don't last long). There's also a handout that goes with From tadpole to frog but I did not include that in the list of contents.

Sources for materials

  • Folkmanis tadpole to frog puppet (no longer available)
  • The Croaky Pokey! by Ethan Long: 9780823424290
  • From tadpole to frog by Wendy Pfeffer: 9780062381866
  • Tale of a tadpole by Karen Wallace: 9781465435088

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Imagine a Story: Life Cycles

This bag includes a lift-the-flap book and three sets of plastic life cycles. The worm and ant ones smell weirdly horrible and came out of the package that way. Nobody seems to mind though.

Sources for materials

  • What will I be? by Nicola Davies: 9780763658038
  • The butterfly life cycle stage came from Discount School Supply, but they don't sell that particular set anymore.
  • The worm and ant life cycles are from Insect Lore, which can be bought on Amazon. They were a donation, otherwise I'd get something different that doesn't have that horrible plastic smell.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Imagine a Story: Tea Party

This bag includes a hardcover book (it's a lot harder than you might think it is to find a picture book that features a tea party) and most of a set of dishes. I say "most" because we're always losing pieces and not all of them fit anyways. So I just say "cooking set" and let it go at that.

Source of materials:

  • Florentine and Pig by Eva Katzler (hardcover): 9781599909493
  • Set of dishes from Discount School Supply. I've been unable to find it again, so I think it's no longer available, but there are plenty of plastic dish sets. I liked this one because it had a teapot.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Imagine a Story: Jungle Fun

I consolidated this bag from a bunch of other bags that had single puppets and books. It includes four jungle-themed books (one with a cd) and 5 jungle hand puppets. The puppets are inexpensive (about $4 apiece) but they don't last very long. At some point I'll add/replace them in this bag.

Sources for materials:
  • The Parrot Tico Tango (includes cd): 9781846866692
  • How the zebra got its stripes: 9780307988706 
  • Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreas: 9781589253674
  • Here comes Doctor Hippo by Jonathan London: 9781620915950
  • Puppets from a set of 12, Excelleration Animal Hand Puppets, purchased from Discount School Supply