Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thanksgiving!

     Well, Sammy the Toucan was feeling a little under the weather this week, so I gave him the week off.  I tried to get Cauli Le Chat, the MPL roving reporter to help out, however, I couldn’t find him anywhere!  He must have been out looking for the next big story!
     Although there will not be a video this week, Sammy was kind enough to send me this picture!  Just proves that you can take the bird out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the bird!

Sammy wants to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
He is really sorry he couldn't make the video this week. :(

P.S. Isn’t Sammy festive in his pilgrim hat?

     This week was an extra special week here at the Mooresville Public Library.  I always like to incorporate the holidays into my story times when possible, and Thanksgiving is no exception.  Although a big Halloween and Christmas fan, something about Thanksgiving always gets me excited.  I personally love Thanksgiving because it is all about spending time with family, and who doesn’t love that?
     For special holiday-themed story times, I like to forgo the alphabet letter-of-the-week and create a special craft.  Remember, though, I usually see between 60 to 75 kids a week so this can lead to lots of crafting.  The internet is FILLED with tons of great crafts for small kids but I always have to make sure that it isn’t too labor intensive since I have to be able to produce in mass quantity.  There were so many great Thanksgiving crafts online I had a hard time picking just one.  However, I decided to go with a fairly easy one, reminiscent of the pumpkin crafts we made for Halloween. 

I created a turkey out of colorful butcher paper. 

I then gave each kid a feather. On it was a line for the child’s name then the phrase “is thankful for…” 

     I asked each kid to write their name on the feather then have their adult write down what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.  Each kid then placed their feather on the turkey and I used them to decorate the library. 

Some of the kids’ answers were pretty priceless!  I had one little six year old girl who said, “Miss Jaymi, Miss Jaymi, Miss Jaymi!  I am thankful for clothes because without them…we would be NAKED!”  I can’t make this stuff up!
     As for my four to six year old class, I taught them a Thanksgiving classic… turkeys made from tracing your hand!  This was so much fun and so easy!  The kids loved that they were able to create a craft that required little, if any, help from the adult they came with!  I am all for independence and was glad I was able to encourage not only that, but also ensure that each kid was able to creatively make their turkey however they wanted to!  Below is the turkey I made this year!

     As for books, well, if you have ever tried to pick out a book for Thanksgiving you understand that this can be a daunting task.  For one, most books are too long for the attention span of a two to six year old.  For another, as a public institution, I have to make sure to stay away from anything faith-based.  Lastly, I would love to include some of the historical reasons as to why we celebrate Thanksgiving, but an exciting book on the history of Thanksgiving just doesn’t exist, at least that I can find.  However, I did find a few that I like.

My kids loved this book.  It is really great for being able
to help kids count backwards!

How many things can this old lady eat?
My kids loved the repetitive line, "perhaps she'll die!"

A little bit long for younger kids, but perfect for Kindergarten age!
My kids really enjoy this one so I read it year after year.

I tried something different this year and read this short
book to my Baby Time class.  It reminds us to be thankful
for everything we have.

Written just like the Christmas classic, this book, once again, may
be too long for some of your littler kids.

This book is great.  You just have to read it to understand
why the kids love it so much! Hint, hint.. there's a surprise ending!

     Music for Thanksgiving, however, is never difficult to find.  The only problem that I usually run into is making sure that the songs aren’t too slow.  My kids love upbeat music, especially when bouncing the parachute.  Below is a video that I didn't create, however, it is the song I always use!  Its catchy and quick and is sure to get stuck in your head!

     I just want to finish this post by listing a few things that I am thankful for.  Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything that we have.  I am thankful for my family, friends, and health.  I am also thankful that I work in such a great place that allows me such freedom in my programs, as well as the opportunity to share my ideas with the world.  Lastly, I want to thank everyone who reads this blog.  I hope that I am able to help you just a little bit.
     Ok, enough mushy stuff!  I hope you tune in next time as we will return to our regular programming!

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