Monster Needs a Costume

This week is play!

Since Halloween is fast approaching, today we read Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb.


Monster is having a terrible time choosing which fantastic costume he wants to wear to go trick or treating! Should he wear his cowboy outfit, complete with sheriff’s badge and ten-gallon hat? Or should he don his tutu and be a ballerina? Or maybe his super sneaky ninja costume would be best? This was a really fun read, and the kids enjoyed the monster’s parade of silly costumes.

We followed up with a short dance break. We danced to “Freeze Dance” by the Fresh Beats Band and “Listen and Move” by Greg & Steve. Then it was on to our stations:

  1. Pin the tail on the turkey.
  2. Leaf puppets.img_1535
    This was similar to our craft last week, but this time the kids traced their hands to make the leaves.
  3. Leaf puppet pretend dice.
    Close to the leaf puppet station we had two soft dice with different animals and habitats written on them. The kids rolled the dice and then used their leaf puppets to act out the different animals in the different habitats.
  4. Camping play area.img_1541
  5. Play dough and bugs.img_1539
  6. Leafblower races.
    We set up two leaves side by side on a table. The kids could then compete against each other to see who could blow on their leaf and have it reach the masking tape finish line first.

Next week is STEM!


Pumpkin Painting!

This week is art!

MAPS was a little bit different this week. We had bunches and bunches of pumpkins here at the library, so we decided to paint a few of them. This was a little more time consuming than some of our other art projects, so I changed the format a little bit.

We read one book this week, Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon.

penguin and pumpkin.JPG

When Penguin and some of his family members take a long trip to the pumpkin patch to prepare for fall, Penguin’s little brother feels very left out. Can they find a way to bring fall to him instead?

After our book, we picked out our pumpkins and headed outside. I set up a washing station with an empty water table, scrub brushes, spray bottles with water, and paper towels. Once the pumpkins were scrubbed clean and dried off, the kids picked out their paint and brushes and started painting!

I had a few stations set up inside for when the kids were done with their painting:

  1. Black paper, chalk, autumn stencils.
    The stencils were made on the library’s die-cut machine.
  2. Leaf puppets.
    All you need for these are Popsicle sticks, leaves (real or papaer), googly eyes, and glue.
  3. Magnet wall with dinosaur and vehicle magnets.
  4. Play dough with assorted toys.

Next week is play!


Bear Snores On

This week is movement!

We started with one of my favorite fall reads, Karma Wilson’s Bear Snores On.


It’s time for Bear to hibernate, but his friends have other ideas. Will their chattering and munching wake up Bear? Like all of Karma Wilson’s books, Bear Snores On is tremendously fun to read aloud.

After our bear book, we decided to go on a bear hunt! We walked on the wavy grass, climbed the tall tree, and rowed across the river.

Once we made it safely out of the bear’s cave, we read our second book, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood and Audrey Wood.


The mouse has picked a wonderful strawberry to eat, but little does he know that bears love strawberries, too.The kids really enjoyed this one! They had all kinds of ideas about how to keep the strawberry safe from the bear.

After we read our books, we got out our partner parachutes and used them to bounce leaves up in the air. The kids tried gently waving them up and down to keep the leaves on the parachute. They also tried waving the parachutes up and down frantically so the leaves would go as high as they could.

After our group time, the kids were allowed to go to this week’s stations:

  1. Partner parachutes and leaves.
    A few of the kids used a step stool to set up their parachute and leaves!
  2. Blocks made from tree branches.
  3. Play dough and pretend bugs.
  4. A bug sorting game.
  5. An apple sorting game.
  6. A bean bag toss.
  7. Hand print leaves.
    I had the kids do their hand prints at the very beginning so they would have some time to dry during group time. They were still a little wet, but the kids improvised and drew around them (with a little help from their caretakers!).

Next week is art!

Rex Wrecks It

This week is STEM!

Today we started with Jim Gill’s “Spaghetti Legs,” which is a perfect song for getting wiggles out before starting a story.

Our first book was Mr. King’s Castle by Geneviève Côté.


Mr. King decides to build a big castle, but his friends are dismayed to find that he has used all of the grass they have to make his new home. This is a very visually interesting book because each time Mr. King takes a block of grass, you can see the negative space it leaves behind. Slowly, piece by piece, you see him take blocks out of the grass until there’s nothing left. Then, when he realizes he’s made a mistake, you see him put them all back together again to make them whole, just like a puzzle.

We took a dance break in between books. We chose Jim Gill again and danced to “Jump Up, Turn Around” and “Silly Dance Contest.”

Our second book was Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton.


This is one of my favorite books to read aloud! Rex is a lovable tyrannosaurus who wrecks everything in his path, including his friends’ block tower creations. The story is short and funny, and best of all, it includes lots of opportunities to roar like a dinosaur. I’m a huge fan of Clanton’s illustrations, too.

After all of our dancing and reading, we went to our stations:

  1. Water table with toys and measuring cups.
  2. Kinetic sand with beach toys.
  3. KEVA Blocks and toy animals.
  4. Straws & Connectors.
  5. SumBlox.
  6. Magnet wall with items to make a giant marble run.

Next week is movement!

Beastly Babies

This week is play!

We started with a rhyme called “A Is for Alligator:”

A is for alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp, (open and close arms together)
B is for bunny rabbit, jump, jump, jump, (jump)
C is for circle, going round and round, (spin in a circle)
D is for dizzy and we all fall down! (fall down)

Our first book this week was 1 Big Salad by Juana Medina.


1 Big Salad is an adorable counting book featuring animals made of delicious fruits and vegetables. There’s clementine kitties, romaine dogs, and even radicchio lions (my personal favorite).

Our second book was Beastly Babies by Ellen Jackson and Brendan Wenzel.


Beastly Babies introduces the reader to all kinds of wild baby animals, from pouncing tiger cubs to charging rhinoceros calves. The rhyming text is playful and energetic, and the illustrations are vibrant and full of life. This is the perfect read for any animals lover.

Because our song wouldn’t cooperate this week, after our second book we dismissed to our stations:

  1. Magnet wall with magnetic letters.
  2. Paper, stickers, and crayons.
  3. Play-Doh and cookie cutters.
  4. Foam blocks.
  5. Vet play kit.
    I’m always surprised at how much the kids LOVE the vet kit! Sometimes they’ll spend half their playtime just at the vet kit station. It’s such an fun, easy way to incorporate dramatic play into storytime.
  6. Conveyor belt with pompoms.

Next week is STEM!