Volcanoes are a Blast

I don’t remember ever doing baking soda and vinegar volcanoes in school but I thought it would be fun to do them at the library. 

I made the salt dough and colored it different colors with tempra paint. I also provided a sheet of extinct animals and toothpicks, plates, and pebbles to decorate the volcanoes. The volcano chamber was made out of a small water bottle with baking soda, dish soap, and food coloring inside. 

I started the evening with a short video from natgeo kids and then we moved in to sculpting volcanoes. 

I gave the kids 20-25 minutes to sculpt and decorate their volcanoes and then we exploded then one by one. I had each kid say their name and the name of their volcano before we counted down and I poured vinegar into the volcano. 

Attendance: 24

Activity: Natgeo kids volcano videos

Activity: sculpt and “explode” volcanoes 


Ugh, a Bug!

Occasionally I will schedule a program because I thought of a cute name that will pair with a popular topic. I thought Ugh, a Bug was just too cute and would probably end up being mostly about butterflies because they are such fascinating creatures. 

I started the program with a tissue paper art butterfly. I printed a coloring page of a big butterfly on cardstock and then you just apply water and tissue paper to the paper and when it dries the tissue falls off and leaves the coloring from the tissue paper behind. I used this same technique in winter for snowflake art but for some reason it didn’t work as well this time. It also took way longer than I anticipated. 

As the kids were finishing up their art I started a short little bug presentation. It went over the difference between an insect and bug and had a few slides of big beetles, spiders, and moths. I also had some macro photography so the kids could see compound eyes and such. I also passed around some bugs in lucite for the kids to look at. 

The next activity was probably my favorite. I had made some Ohio bug markers on rocks with acrylic paint. These were hidden in the reading garden and the kids got a checklist. Because the art is on rocks they couldn’t blow away. 

Our last activity was a plastic bug hunt. I found some plastic tubes at the dollar store that were made specifically for collecting bugs and passed one out to each kid. We hid 100+ plastic bugs throughout the library and the kid who found the most bugs would get a prize. 


Of course after the kids left we found a real mantis and a cicada shell, because isn’t that always the way?

Attendance: 13 (of 15 available seats)

Activity: butterfly tissue paper art 

Activity: bug presentation 

Activity: Ohio bug walk

Activity: bug hunt

Summer Lit Lunch 

This summer was our first year serving hot lunches to combat food insecurity. When I heard about the planned summer program I may have gotten really excited and sent an email to my director asking if she was inspired by Crenshaw. 

For several weeks over the summer we served lunch from 12-1 on Mondays and Thursdays and paired it with stories. It happened to pan out that Mondays were hotdog/hamburger days and Thursdays were pizza days so we usually had higher attendance in Thursdays. 

We read a variety of picture books and quick read chapter books including the first dragon master books, some magic treehouse books, a Humphrey the hamster book, etc.