This is a program I’ve had squirreled away for quite awhile now, and I’m thrilled that it finally came to fruition on February 7! Thanks to ideas from the PubYac lis-serv and Pinterest, my coworker and I came up with loads of ideas to make the program fun. Here’s what we did:

  • Welcomed children, then passed out and explained the prop bags, which included:
    • Rainbow streamers (to wave during the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”)
    • Lollipop (to eat during the Munchkinland scene)
    • Piece of blue Gingham fabric (to wave whenever Dorothy’s name was said)
    • Bubbles (to blow during scenes with Glenda)
    • Tissue paper “apple” (to throw at the screen when the trees throw the apples)
    • Diploma
    • Construction paper heart
    • Paper medal
    • Song Lyrics Page
  • We had an intermission right after Dorothy met the Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and the Cowardly Lion, which coincidentally is right before the movie starts getting really scary (a lot of the parents chose to leave then). The children were served a snack of Emerald City Jello and animal crackers. We also tried to make a crystal ball from dry ice and soap, ( the children could color Wizard of Oz coloring pages, and they could make a tornado in a bottle with a tornado tube.

The only thing I think we would have changed was that we should have included something in the prop bag for the Wicked Witch. My coworker and I were so pleased with how well the program went, especially since neither of us had done a program like this. I hope you enjoy a few pictures from the event!

Assembling the prop bags!

Assembling the prop bags!


My mom made me a Dorothy dress for Halloween when I was about 5. I'm so glad I've held onto it all of these years!

My mom made me a Dorothy dress for Halloween when I was about 5. I’m so glad I’ve held onto it all of these years!

We made the tornado out of a tomato cage, cotton batting, and poly fiberfill. We found the idea on Pinterest.

We made the tornado out of a tomato cage, cotton batting, and poly fiberfill. We found the idea on Pinterest.


Our dry ice bubble didn’t quite work out as planned, but the kids still enjoyed watching the mixture bubble up!


We made the rainbow streamers out of a plastic shower curtain ring and paper party streamers.

No Wizard of Oz party is complete without a pair of ruby slippers! I created these using a pair of old and scuffed black flats, Mod Podge, and red glitter.

No Wizard of Oz party is complete without a pair of ruby slippers! I created these using a pair of old and scuffed black flats, Mod Podge, and red glitter.

We are already looking forward to our two upcoming programs in March (Life-Sized Candyland) and April (Pioneer Day)! Please stay tuned for a description and pictures of those events.




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I’m so excited to join Flannel Friday for the very first time this week! My first submission is a Valentine’s Day Tic-Tac-Toe flannel board, inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest from the Etsy shop FunFeltStories. I have a 2’x3′ felt board (I got the idea for the board here: that I use weekly in my Books and Blocks program. I made an 18″x18″ pink felt square, separating each section into 6″x6″ squares with silver sparkly ribbon leftover from my wedding. Sparkles make everything more fun, don’t they? 🙂 I already had felt hearts cut out, so this project came together quickly. I’m looking forward to watching the kids play with it tomorrow!

Thanks to storytime katie for hosting the Flannel Friday round-up today!  You can check out the Flannel Friday website, Pinterest, or Facebook for more inspiration!

Since my last post (ahem, almost two years ago!), I was promoted to full-time Children’s librarian status! My wonderful coworker and mentor retired in August 2014, and thus the promotion. My in-house and outreach programming was going to be dramatically increased as a result, starting in Fall 2014, and as I was planning over the summer, I was looking for ways to provide amazing programs to the school-agers but to also get a little bit of a programming break. So, I started looking around my area for places that would come in to do programming either for free or at relatively low cost. I found that my local children’s science museum, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, has several grant-sponsored programs on a variety of topics that they were glad to bring to the library for no cost to the library! I scheduled two programs with them: “T.R.A.S.H.,” about trash and recycling, and the other called “No Bones About It.” Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away the week of “T.R.A.S.H.,” so my coworker took over for the program. She said it was a fun program that the kids really enjoyed.

“No Bones About It” was an awesome program! The presenter brought a life-sized, realistic-looking skeleton of a child, x-rays of different bones in the body, as well as x-rays of animals, books and other information for the kids to look at, and helped the kids make a paper skeleton. He was a wealth of information and answered every question the kids asked.

I also found out that our local parks system, Five Rivers MetroParks, has education kits available for educators to borrow for a refundable $25 fee. I was able to borrow a kit about Ohio fossils, which included sample Ohio fossils, a skeleton head of a raccoon that was found in one of the parks, molds to make our own fossils, books about fossils, and a three-ring binder with information and activities about fossils for the educator. By the time I used this kit, I had gotten to know the kids who were coming to the program, and knew I needed to spice it up to keep them interested, as the program started right after school. And I’ll be honest, science is not one of my favorite subjects, so I didn’t feel as confident leading this program as others. My goal with these programs (or any of my programs really) is to make learning fun without being like school. Here’s what we did:

  • Activity One: DVD clips about Fossils
    • We watched how fossils are formed and how they are preserved
    • Reading Rainbow clip “Let’s Dig Up Fossils” (I remember this one vividly from my younger years!)
  • Activity Two: Examine a Recent Bone (Raccoon Skull)
    • I asked questions like: Is it a fossil? Could this skull become a fossil? How can a mold be created from the bones?
  • Activity Three: Look at State Fossil, Trilobite, and Fossil Collection
    • We talked about and looked at a replica of the state fossil: Ohio’s is the Trilobite. We talked about the parts of the Trilobite’s body, and I asked if the kids had ever seen a Trilobite. Since they are extinct, that led us into a discussion of other animals that are extinct. We then examined the fossil kit.
  • Activity Four: Paint Fossils
    • I made salt dough models from the fossil molds provided in the kit the night before. The kids could paint the different models with watercolors and take them home.

My last collaboration for the fall semester was from the Glen Helen Ecology Institute, whose Raptor Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases raptors, owls, and other birds. The presenter brought three owls: a Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, and a Screech Owl. She talked for a short time about the Raptor Center, Ohio owls and owls in general, and then brought out each of the owls. We got to see the Great Horned Owl panting to keep cool and the Screech Owl coughed up a pellet! The presenter patiently answered all of the questions the kids asked and just like the presenter from the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, was a wealth of information about owls!

I’m already looking forward to this spring because I have two programs scheduled with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery: “Food, Fun, and Fitness” and “SunWise,” which is a program about how students can protect themselves from harmful UV rays. If you are looking for fresh ideas for programming at your library, try collaborating with area museums, nature centers, and businesses!


One of the things that I love about being a librarian, specifically a Children’s librarian, is that other Children’s librarians are so willing to share their fantastic ideas for programming, crafts, and the creative ways in which they serve the customers who visit their libraries. I was hired as a Youth Services Librarian almost a year ago, and though I had worked at another library as an Outreach librarian visiting schools and preschools, I had no idea how much fun, but also how challenging planning two different weekly storytimes, along with a slew of special programs, can be. Outreach programming for me was much more relaxed, and as much as I hate to admit it, there were days that I “planned” what I would read to each of the classes an hour or two before I was supposed to arrive at the school or preschool. So, needless to say, I felt completely overwhelmed at the start of my new job last June, especially since I started in the midst of summer reading!

Somewhere along the way, I discovered that Children’s librarians blog about the programs they prepare, giving specific details about the books, songs, rhymes, and crafts they choose, as well as what worked well, and what did not work. Amazing!!! I quickly found a few favorite blogs and websites:

just to name a few. I visit storytimekatie’s blog almost daily it seems! And then there is Flannel Friday on Facebook. If you are a Children’s librarian or teacher and don’t know about Flannel Friday, you are in for a treat! Check it out when you get a chance! You can also check it out here: Each week, blogging librarians and teachers share their ideas flannel board/magnetic board story, or another great idea that they have used during storytimes, and submit the links to their blogs to be compiled for readers. What an inspiration! More times than I can count, I’ve found just the right flannel board story in just the nick of time!

In the same spirit of collaboration, I, too, hope that sharing my ideas for storytimes might help you in planning your programs, as the blogs I mentioned have helped me immensely in planning mine. Stay tuned!