It’s October! This month we will be focusing on weather and the new fall season. That means autumn stories and crafts here at MPL! The boys and girls were delighted this week at the change of weather and story time activities. Miss Beth, one of our wonderful volunteers, made the children’s room more festive with some fabulous displays. Here is Snoopy with the crafts we did this week in the children’s programs.
This week’s video blog (vlog) features Sammy the Toucan’s final appearance on our early literacy videos. We’re sad to see her leave MPL, but we wish her the best of luck at her new job at the Indiana State Library interviewing children’s authors.
We read two books this week focusing on the changing seasons. I Know It’s Autumn, by Eileen Spinelli, discusses what wonderful traditions and happenings are going on in the fall. I led a group discussion, page by page, and asked the kids if they ever do what the characters are doing. For instance, there is an illustration with an orchard, and I asked the kids if they had been to an orchard before. This is a great way for children to learn new vocabulary (“What is an orchard, Miss Michelle?”) and to share their experiences. I had a blast listening to the kids explain how they like to jump in piles of leaves, and that no, they do not wake up before the sunrise…even in the fall. Lucky them…sigh.
We also read Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert…one of my favorite authors! Leaf Man is the main character, and we follow him as he “goes where the wind blows.” Ehlert shows us the beauty of nature in this book, as the book is illustrated entirely in LEAVES. The kids had a wonderful time finding faces and animals “hidden” in the leaves.
Following our theme, we made some cute fall crafts this week! We made “scratch-off” leaves in all the programs for 2-5 year olds. Here are the supplies for this craft: a scratch off leaf, pointy stick, and a ribbon. I bought these at Oriental Trading Company, but you can make them as well with colored pencils on regular paper, topped with black crayon.
The idea is to scratch off the black layer, as to see the colors underneath. I think these are fun to do, and the kids thought they were magical!
We also made some adorable apples and pumpkins from yarn. Here are the supplies: a section of yarn, long enough to wrap around the cardboard between 80 and 100 times; cardboard piece…about 2×4 inches; 1 brown chenille stem, cut in half; 1 green chenille stem piece.
First, bend the cardboard in half “hotdog style.” This will make it easier to insert the chenille stems when it comes time to do so. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard, keeping it fairly tight within a 1-2 inch section.
This is what it should look like when it’s all wrapped.
Next, feed the brown chenille stems through the middle of the cardboard.
Then, carefully pull the cardboard out of the middle, making sure the brown stems stay in the middle of the yarn.
Now pull one of the stems to the top…this will be your stem. Twist the ends together to form one strand. Do the same for the bottom.
Clip the bottom chenille stem so the pumpkin/apple will lay flat. “Floof” the yarn into a nice round shape. And there you have it: A lovely addition to your fall décor.
To be honest, the 4 and 5 year olds were not as excited as their parents were to do this craft. I thought the kids would really get a kick out of wrapping the yarn and making something three-dimensional. The kids thought we should get on with the program and play with the parachute. However, one of the parents wanted an extra kit to take with her because she thought the craft was super cute. C’est la vie!
Grab a blanket and snuggle up with a great book! Enjoy your week!