Nature at the Library: Story Stones

The weather in the Midwest at this time of year isn’t the best, leaving many of us stuck indoors until spring comes around again. Therefore, easy indoor programs to keep kids occupied at the library can be lifesaving.

I ran across this low prep activity idea from a branch colleague and it’s been a great success: story stones!

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Nature at the Library: Growing Crystals

In my library system, most of our branches are located in urban areas where families might not have as much exposure to nature. So we created an initiative called NatureConnect. Basically what it means is that library staff tries to create anytime activities or incorporate nature into their programming. Being both downtown and on the 2nd floor of my building definitely creates some challenges for me as I can’t really do anything outside. So I really try to create experiences indoors for kids.

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STEAM Storytime: Magnets

Recently, I decided to host a series of STEAM programs for preschoolers which consisted of a storytime followed by hands-on activities to explore the topic of the day. I like to incorporate a nonfiction book if I can and will sometimes paperclip pages together or paraphrase the text depending on the audience.

This week, we learned all about magnets! After our welcome song, we briefly talked about what magnets are and showed off some different things that were and were not magnetic.

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Tween Music Studio

Tweens working on their song
Tweens hard at work learning GarageBand

Recently, my library purchased a set of iPads for youth programming, so I’ve been mulling over different ways to use them. I thought it might be cool to try to teach tweens how to create their own song using the free GarageBand app. While it’s fun to just tinker around will all of the different controls and instruments, I needed to find a way to condense a lesson down to just an hour where they could walk away with a basic, but feasibly finished song.

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