School Age

Daniel Tiger Storytime

The first themed Saturday storytime special of 2021! We started the new year with the one and only Daniel Tiger Storytime! This set a highly unrealistic attendance expectation for 2021, but I am very happy with the final product. If nothing else in 2021 works out whatsoever, maybe my storytime game will be on point?

Daniel Tiger is close to my heart because of Mr. Rogers, though I did learn in this process that I am not the biggest fan of the Daniel Tiger tv show. But, there is most definitely an audience for Daniel, and, if we ever return to in-person programs in the next five years, this is something I would like to recreate as a party-style event. The heart of the story is excellent, and in person I could use some Mr. Rogers tunes–something Facebook strictly does not allow (it WILL shut down your stream, mid-stream or immediately after–be warned). Daniel Tiger songs are fine.

I talked about Daniel Tiger during the well-attended Noon Year’s Eve Storytime, and I could tell the Facebook event had a lot of interest (over 1000 people responded to the event), so I did not make a trailer for this one. (Also, Noon Year’s Eve was barely a week prior, and I’m tired.)

The trailer was not needed because, following the Noon Year’s Eve Storytime fun, we once again broke attendance records. This is the most-well attended program I have ever done…ever. (Except for the in-person Wizards & Wands Festival, but that is a whole other thing.) Final attendance was 770 people, most of which were from central Ohio based on anecdotal info (where we are located), and even knowing that Facebook’s one-minute view count isn’t the most accurate, we had 400 people just from families self-reporting how many people were watching in the comments (so they stuck with us long enough to hear my announcements).

Moral of the story: Daniel Tiger > Dog Man.

Just like past virtual storytimes, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

Watch the full storytime here (starts about 5 minutes in):

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable.

Daniel Tiger Storytime Outline

Backdrop Setup: Daniel Tiger pennant banners, book covers, and images. I’m happy to share these printable files if anyone is interested–just let me know in those comments or send us an email.

Intro Song: It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger Story: Meet the Neighbors!

Meet the Neighbors! (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood): Shaw, Natalie, Style  Guide: 9781442498372: Amazon.com: Books

Neighbor Day Help: The premise for storytime was that it was time for the annual Neighbor Day Festival, and we needed to help all of our friends in the Neighborhood of Make Believe get ready.

Each time we were ready to find a new friend we took a seat and pretended to “drive” trolley.

Driving Round in My Little Red Trolley
Driving round in my little red trolley,
Driving round in my little red trolley,
Driving round in my little red trolley,
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

When we got to a location, we would receive three clues to figure out where we ended up.

And then we figure out where we ended up (the bakery!) and see which friend is waiting for us there (Miss Elaina!):

Before starting that location’s activity:

Bakery with Miss Elaina to Mix a Cake

Mix the batter, stir the batter
Shake some flour in
Mix the batter, stir the batter
Pour it in a tin

Sprinkle in some chocolate chips
Put it in to bake
Then open wide the oven door
And out comes the cake!

Faster, Faster!

Music Shop with Katerina Kittycat for Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!

Playground with Prince Wednesday for Animal Guessing Game

Grocery Store with O the Owl to Count the Balloons

Red Balloons, red balloons, how many do we see?
Red balloons, red balloons, count them now with me!

Post Office with Daniel Tiger for Letter Matching

Oh, have you seen the letter W
The letter W, the letter W
Oh, have you seen the letter W?
It makes the sound wuh-wuh-wuh

Wrapping Things Up
After helping Daniel find all of the letters for his friends, we found one more lost letter that needed a home! But this one was addressed to…us!

When we opened it, we discovered that since we were so kind to all of our new friends, we would become honorary residents of the Neighborhood of Make Believe! First, we just had to sing our song one more time:

Noon Year’s Eve Storytime

Noon Year’s Eve Storytime! I’m still recovering from this one.

I learned something with this program that I pose as a challenge to myself and all of you: Not everyone is “zoomed out” or “over virtual programs.” Keep trying. Figure out what works for your audience, put in all of your energy, and try and try again when nothing seems to be sticking.

I was not that excited for Noon Year’s Eve Storytime & Dance Party. Honestly, the content is not my favorite. While I loved my dance party lineup, I didn’t like the book I was reading and some of the other activities felt like they drug on too long. I didn’t expect an audience because my library doesn’t regularly have a consistent Noon Year’s Eve program (so no built-in viewers), and we typically slow down our storytimes in December because our audience shrinks (which was reflected in our virtual storytimes throughout the month too).

Our Noon Year’s Eve Storytime received a little more press than regular programs. We weren’t able to advertise it at weekly storytimes the week before, since we didn’t have any the week prior, but a local newspaper and tv station briefly mentioned the program in their lists of ways to celebrate the New Year. I made a “commercial” advertising the event too but that is a regular practice for me.

In Ohio, per our state library, we count live program stats for programs that air live, like Facebook Like Storytimes, by adding the number of 1-minute viewers and the number of additional people mentioned in the comments. We ask families to let us know how many people are watching behind the screen in the comments, to get a more accurate count.

Our regular storytimes have been averaging around 30-50 people, with some peaks up to the 60s-80s, maybe 100 at a particular popular Saturday storytime.

Virtual Noon Year’s Eve Storytime Attendance: 439 people.

I was blown away. When I started the stream, five minutes early to give people time to join, I saw the “live view” count immediately jump to 25. That felt unusual so early, but fit within our normal numbers. By the time I started, five minutes later, the “live view” count was 65. I haven’t been really, genuinely, nervous presenting a virtual storytime since April–but those numbers genuinely terrified me, and you can sort of see it during the first few minutes based on how out of breath I am.

Anyhow, after that long-winded introduction, Noon Year’s Eve Storytime & Dance Party content awaits below.

Check out my preview video! I had a lot of fun with this one, reflecting on 2020 and including some fun bloopers:

Watch the full storytime here, including the dance party (storytime starts about 5 minutes in):

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable.

Noon Year’s Eve Storytime Outline

Backdrop & Logistics: New Year’s Eve pennant banner and decor.

Since everyone’s clock is going to be a little bit different, plus there is a delay on Facebook, I used two iPads to keep track of the time until our (approximately) noon countdown. They were synced, with one displayed beside me and another behind the camera, so it was in my line of vision, and I didn’t need to keep looking away from the camera throughout the whole program to check the time.

I also attempted a balloon drop, filled with balloons and confetti. This didn’t work quite as planned, with maybe 3 out of 20 balloons falling, but that might have been better than what I expected, which was everything, tablecloths included, to fall on my head 5 minutes into the program.

Intro Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs (my go-to opening storytime song)

Book: The Night Before New Year’s by Amy Wummer
I struggled with this book. I wanted a more diverse representation of New Year’s Eve, but the only diverse options I had access to before the program were Our Favorite Day of the Year, which feels like a back-to-school book, and Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas (and I can’t get past some of the rhyming choices in Shante Peas). I did like that this book showed one family celebrating at home by themselves (no extended family or community parties). I tried to find a middle ground by spending some time before and during the book talking about how everyone’s New Year traditions are different and how not everyone celebrates New Year’s on Dec. 31. (This issue, right here, is why I struggle with theming storytimes–decisions are made for the sake of the theme instead of the quality of the materials, their diversity, and their developmentally appropriate content.)

Amazon.com: The Night Before New Year's (9780448452128): Wing, Natasha,  Wummer, Amy: Books

Song: Dance Freeze Melt by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael

Hilda the Dragon, Playing Hide and Seek
I wanted to include some of the familiar characters we saw at virtual storytime specials during 2020, so I decided to have us discover some characters while hunting for our library dragon, Hilda (see a photo of 30-foot, smoke-breathing Hilda here.)

Zoom Zoom Zoom, A New Year’s Coming Soon
As always, thank you jbrary.

Fabulous Fireworks

If You’re Ready for the New Year (If you’re happy and you know it)

We finished If You’re Ready for the New Year with just about a minute until our countdown, which I still almost missed because I talk too much.

And it was finally time for our 20-minute dance party! I used these songs:

And that was 2020 Virtual Noon Year’s Eve Storytime and Dance Party! I didn’t receive much specific feedback from this program, other than those attendance numbers, which makes me a little sad (I really rely on that feedback to keep my energy up), but I think it went well enough. I just hope some of those people listened to my always-rambling announcements and return for our weekly live storytimes next week and Daniel Tiger Storytime on Saturday.

Little Free Library Kits

The highlight of 2020 No Contact Library Programming: Take and Make Kits! I’ve written about this before in other kit-based programs, but my library didn’t initially have the option for curbside-based pickup kits, like many other libraries have adopted. We have mailed kits to patrons, and we have started to offer materials for pickup at our drive thru window, but all of our programs have required registration through our event calendar. This limits who we are reaching, as (especially now), patrons have to know to check our event calendar to sign up for a program. One of our new service offerings that has allowed us to actively reach new people are our Little Free Library Kits!

These kits look a lot like make and take kits at other libraries, containing materials to make just one craft, though Little Free Library Kits have to be physically small. Bags can’t hold anything larger than a half sheet of paper. Each month, we create 200 new bags that are distributed across over 14 Little Free Libraries around our community. Even while our building may be closed, our amazing outreach team has been restocking these boxes with books (and now kits) that are always available to our community.

Pictures from Westerville Library’s Instagram.

For December’s kits, I created simple DIY picture frame sets. Each kit contained a half sheet with instructions, a business card advertising our Dial-A-Story program, and the following materials:

  • 4 Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
  • 8 colorful foam stickers (with peel off sticky backs)
  • 8 Glue Dots
  • 1 Small Magnet Strips (with peel off sticky back)

Instructions encouraged kids to make a picture frame to give as a gift or keep for themselves. The magnet let them turn the frame into something they could hang on the fridge.

Download the instructions here, or send me an email for the editable file (bookcartqueens@gmail.com).

Are you taking books and make-and-take kits to unique places in your community? Share in the comments!

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Harriet Tubman

As part of our virtual programming, I run a monthly school age storytime, designed for ages 6-8. This program highlights a different diverse individual from the Little People Big Dreams book series. In December, I featured Harriet Tubman in my Little People Big Dreams Storytime.

Each program features 1-2 books on the famous individual (one book being their matching title from the Little People, Big Dreams book series). I also highlight music from a diverse artist and include a link to an at-home packet to continue the fun and learning.

Explore More Little People, Big Dreams Storytime Outlines:

Ella Fitzgerald
Rosa Parks

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Watch the full storytime here:

In the event description, I included the link to the printable at-home activity packet.

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Harriet Tubman by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Harriet Tubman (Little People, BIG DREAMS, 13): Sanchez Vegara, Maria  Isabel, Aguado, Pili: 9781786032270: Amazon.com: Books

Music Break: Shake It by Brother Yusef (with shakers)

Second Book: Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Before She was Harriet (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books):  Cline-Ransome, Lesa, Ransome, James E.: 9780823420476: Amazon.com: Books

Closing Rhyme: See You Later, Alligator

See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly!

Next Time: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fancy Nancy Storytime

Another themed Saturday storytime special, filled with the most fantastique Fancy Nancy Storytime fun! This outline has a lot of extra content because I came up with so many activities that made me super excited. Not everything made it into my storytime since I had a limited amount of time.

I had so much fun getting FANCY for this storytime, particularly after getting to know Nancy Clancy and her universe. I was more familiar with Baby Shark and Elephant & Piggie before those storytime specials, but for some of these storytimes, I’ve got to really explore these characters for the first time. Nancy is such a sweet kid who just wants to make everything better with lots of accessories, lace, and glitter.

I made a preview video you can watch here:

To help continue the Fancy Nancy fun at home, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

Watch the full storytime here (starts about 5 minutes in):

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable. All the extra videos I didn’t use for the program are at the bottom.

Fancy Nancy Storytime Outline

Backdrop Setup: Fancy Nancy pennant banners, book covers, and images. I’m happy to share these printable files if anyone is interested–just let me know in those comments or send us an email.

Intro Song: Add a Little Fancy by Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy Dance Soiree Checklist: Whenever possible, I like to give my special storytimes a storyline to help with transitions and to make the experience more entertaining for everyone.

In our Fancy Nancy storytime, we were hoping to complete our Fancy Nancy Dance Soiree Checklist (soiree is a fancy word for party). If we completed all of our tasks by the end of storytime, we might just get a magical phone call from the one and only Fancy Nancy inviting us to an after-storytime dance party!

Download your own Fancy Nancy Soiree Checklist here:

Get to Know Our Hostess (Book): Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor

Fancy Nancy: O'Connor, Jane, Glasser, Robin Preiss: 9780060542092:  Amazon.com: Books

(And Her Secret Indentity) (Music): Dazzle Girl by Fancy Nancy (with scarves)

Speak with Fancy Words

Bring Fancy Food: Down Around the Corner

Wear Fancy Clothes: Get Dressed Fancy

Find this template here.

Show Your Magic Ticket: Magical Butterflies

And can you believe it…we got invited to the Fancy Nancy Dance Soiree!

We wrapped things up with about a 10 minute dance party including these songs:

Closing Song: Add a Little Fancy (Round 2)

Fancy Nancy Storytime Extra Videos

I made a lot of extra content because I was in love with all things fancy. Check out more Fancy Nancy fun below!

Fancy Nancy N-A-N-C-Y (BINGO)

Fancy Nancy Playing Hide and Seek

If You’re Fancy and You Know It

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Rosa Parks

As part of our virtual programming, I run a monthly school age storytime, designed for ages 6-8. This program highlights a different diverse individual from the Little People Big Dreams book series. In November, I featured Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in my Little People Big Dreams Storytime.

Each program features 1-2 books on the famous individual (one book being their matching title from the Little People, Big Dreams book series). I also highlight music from a diverse artist and include a link to an at-home packet to continue the fun and learning.

Explore More Little People, Big Dreams Storytime Outlines:

Ella Fitzgerald
Harriet Tubman

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Watch the full storytime here:

In the event description, I included the link to the printable at-home activity packet.

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Rosa Parks by Lisbeth Kaiser (Little People Big Dreams)

Rosa Parks (Little People, Big Dreams): 9781786030177: Amazon.com: Books

Music Break: Leap Frog by Jazzy Ash (with shakers)

Second Book: Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romitto

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott:  Romito, Dee, Freeman, Laura: 9781499807202: Amazon.com: Books

Closing Rhyme: See You Later, Alligator

See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly!

Next Time: Harriet Tubman

Virtual Program: Weird But True Trivia

Does anyone know why all of the Weird But True books have been checked out with long holds lists since the pandemic started? I know Disney+ expanded the National Geographic TV show, and these books have always been popular, but our books have been checked out for months, and nearby larger systems also have very high circulation rates. If you have an idea why, let me know in those comments–otherwise, read on for everything Weird But True Trivia!

My live audience was small for this one, though it slipped past me that this event didn’t have a Facebook event or any advertisement beyond our website. My handful of players definitely spanned all ages, so this had a different kind of appeal than some of our past trivia events.

Discover More Trivia Fun:

Disney Trivia
Dog Man Trivia
Pokémon Trivia

Weird But True Trivia Content

I shared the questions via screensharing a PowerPoint on Facebook Live (details below under Logistics). Twenty questions, followed by going back through the twenty questions faster to review the answers.

As always, if you would like any editable files, please send us an email at bookcartqueens@gmail.com or comment below.

Watch the full video here:

View and Download the PowerPoint below. I used Century Gothic and Cartoonist fonts:

Download the full PowerPoint here.

More links:

Weird But True At Home Fun Printable Packet

Reserve Weird But True Books

Weird But True Printable Answer Sheet

Weird But True Trivia Certificate

Weird But True Trivia Logistics

Like many of our live school age programs, Weird But True Trivia took place on Facebook Live, though this could easily be translated to whatever platform your library is using for virtual events.

There are many great tools out there for trivia. Kahoot is a particularly popular tool that I’ve seen used frequently. That tool asks participants to play along on their phone or another device while watching the livestream, and the system times the questions and ranks participants. While I like that concept for an adult or maybe teen trivia, when there are no prizes involved, I don’t like that system for kids. Plus, it involves a second piece of technology, and for families playing along, it may be especially difficult to have each kid play individually.

I added the questions to PowerPoint, shared to Facebook using their livestreaming screenshare technology. Some detailed tips for those interested in trying a program this way:

  • Make your slides “widescreen” so they fill up the viewers full computer, phone, or TV screen. Do this by going to Design – Slide Size in Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • I don’t like the clunkiness of viewers seeing me open my powerpoint after going live. To always just have the powerpoint shared on your screen:
    • In PowerPoint, start the “Slide Show” mode, making your PowerPoint full screen.
    • Use the Windows key (not ESC) to exit the Slide Show presentation view. This key leaves the presentation open in the background.
    • Start your Facebook Livestream. Instead of sharing your entire screen, just share one application — the Slide Show view of PowerPoint.
    • Return to the Slide Show view to change slides for your participants. Always use the Windows key to exit. If you use the ESC key, you won’t be able to restart the slideshow without creating a new livestream.
  • Using the steps above, you cannot easily see the comments during the presentation without toggling back and forth (and creating the risk of you using the ESC key and having to start a new stream). I have my phone nearby with the livestream running, allowing me to see questions and comments as they come in. A coworker posts links and types responses to the comments, and I respond verbally as I can.

These are supposed to be 30 minutes, but I talk too much, and this, like previous similar programs was closer to 45 minutes. An easy way to shrink the length of the presentation would be to run through all of the answers immediately after the questions, instead of going back through them again later.

Llama Llama Red Pajama Storytime

Another themed Saturday storytime special! So much Llama Llama Red Pajama fun! This outline has a lot of extra content because I couldn’t decide what to use in the storytime, so I filmed a bunch of videos and picked through more carefully closer to the program.

No preview video this time because it was Election Week 2020 and my productivity was focused on concrete tasks more than creative tasks. We still had a fairly strong audience (about 75) without the preview video, which makes me happy, especially with our lower numbers at regular virtual storytimes lately. I’m definitely missing our print event guides now that we are open to the public again, as 90% of the people who walk in the children’s department don’t have any idea that we are doing (or have been doing) any virtual programs.

To help continue the Llama Llama fun at home, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable. All the extra videos I dropped from the program are below.

Llama Llama Storytime Outline

Backdrop Setup: Llama Llama pennant banners, book covers, and images. I’m happy to share these printable files if anyone is interested–just let me know in those comments or send us an email.

Intro Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs

Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama be Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama Red Pajama: Dewdney, Anna, Dewdney, Anna: 9780451474575:  Amazon.com: Books

Song: The Monkey Dance by The Wiggles
Have you looked for llama songs for kids? I have. A lot. And they are all odd or annoying or emphasize “big fat mama llama” or things I don’t want to include in a storytime. So I used The Monkey Dance as our get-the-wiggles out song instead.

Fingerplay: Two Little Llamas

Song: L-L-A-M-A

Download your own LLAMA BINGO printable letters here:

Book: Llama Llama Learns to Share by Anna Dewdney

Amazon.com: Llama Llama Time to Share (9780670012336): Anna Dewdney, Anna  Dewdney: Books

Action Rhyme: Five in the Bed

Closing Song: Llama Llama Theme Song

Llama Llama Storytime Extra Videos

I made a lot of extra content that I was sure I was going to use until I was practicing. A lot of my materials were completely swapped around the day before the storytime when I practiced and didn’t like the storytime with the content below.

Is Your Mama a Llama? Book Retelling, Llama Llama Edition

Llama Llama Playing Hide and Seek

Here’s a Llama Fingerplay

Rainworks: Dragon Footprints!

Many libraries are still closed across the country due to COVID. We have just opened our doors to allow limited browsing opportunities, but, as is the case in most parts of the country, in-person programming is a thing of the distant future. I’m thrilled to highlight a tool that might be perfect for engaging your patrons outdoors: Rainworks!

This post is not sponsored–I just really appreciate this product. The easiest explanation:

  1. Create or purchase a stencil.
  2. Find a surface likely to get wet when it rains.
  3. Secure your stencil to the surface while it is dry.
  4. Spray your surface, following their directions.
  5. Wait 24 hours, dump water on the area you sprayed the day before and BOOM:

Make sure to follow their directions, spray lightly, and thoroughly cover the surrounding potential “overspray” areas. I had a lot going on while I was installing these, so I was more impatient than I should have been, and you can see some of my overspray spots (though, really, I don’t think it hurts the affect).

We’ve only had these installed for about two weeks, but they can last for up to three months! When the ground is dry, you can’t see any difference, but whenever the ground gets wet, your Rainworks shapes appear.

Rainworks Expenses

Nothing is free, however, with limited in-library offerings, I can see a lot of potential for this product over the coming months, especially as things get wet and rainy as we enter winter. Our chosen stencils were connected to our visiting dragon (more on that below), but some creative librarian types could make obstacle courses, hopscotch boards, book recommendations, and more.

The biggest (and required) expense is the spray. I definitely over-sprayed in places, but with about half of a 16 oz. bottle, I created nine 2 foot dragon footprints and three words on our steps. That bottle costs about $130.

Your other potential expense is your own stencils. Rainworks provides an extensive explanation on how to make your own stencils that, for a crafty librarian, might be easy enough to do:

However, time isn’t always on our side, so I took a look at the premade Rainworks stencils in their shop, available for purchase. There aren’t too many options, but they range from about $7-10 each.

Options are limited, however, so I decided to test my luck on a limited budget and ask about pricing for custom stencils. I was so happy with the pricing–all three words for “Kindness is Magic” were a combined $30 and the dragon footprint was just $18 (think about how long it would take you to make stencils by hand and how much you get paid by the hour, and this may really work out in your favor).

Back Up. Why Do You Have a Dragon on the Roof?

Hilda, our 30-foot roaring and smoke breathing dragon, is part of our annual Wizards & Wands Festival event. While I haven’t been too involved in Hilda’s creation or execution, I did chair this event in 2018-2019, creating something pretty cool. Last year, we had 3,000 people over four hours explore our library for one magical evening:

The 2020 Festival was supposed to be my last attempt at shaping this event, with my co-blogger Michala taking over in 2021. For pandemic reasons, there was no event this year. Assuming pandemic resolutions, I’m going to give this one last run in 2021 while relying much more heavily on Michala than I might have in 2020, especially with some exciting plans to keep the magic but move away from all things Harry Potter.

So instead of 3,000 visitors and a ton of magic, we have some footrprints and the return of a dragon whose roars echo through our quiet post-pandemic children’s space. Though that is still pretty cool, right?

Virtual Program: How to Train Your Dragon Kits

We’ve been exploring different ways to provide virtual programming to our patrons. Many libraries have been providing make-and-take kits, but, unfortunately, due to our library’s curbside setup and our patron demand, that isn’t an option for us. A few week’s ago, I shared my Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits, and my Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits (Percy Jackson). These How to Train Your Dragon Kits follow a similar style.

Why dragons? As part of our annual Wizards & Wands Festival, we have a 30-foot, smoke-breathing dragon on our library roof. While our large event is not taking place in 2020, Hilda has returned, and we have a few events throughout the month with a magical feel.

Why send kits in the mail? Especially kits that focus more on fun than a specific learning concept? Read my thoughts in this post.

Looking for more Mail-To-You Kit Ideas? Check out:

Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits
Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits
Teen Bubble Tea Kits

How to Train Your Dragon Kits: Contents

I had a lot of fun with these! Lots of dragon and viking magic will be found within. I focused on making sure each bag contained a tangible activity (not just something to read, no matter how cool that reading might be).

Downloads for most items can be found in the downloads section below. All files are PDFs, though you can email me (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) or post in the comments if you are interested in the originals for editing.

Each child received their own envelope, even if there were multiple kids in the same house registered. This made it more individual–not just that the oldest or youngest got to open the package from the library.

Each kit contained a general welcome kit, in a document envelope, as well as seven individual bags. Four bags focused on a different element of dragon training, two were related to Viking apparel, and one contained tools that were parts of multiple included crafts.

The general welcome kit included:

  • Personalized welcome letter from Hiccup and Toothless
  • Dragon Trainer ID Card
  • How to Train Your Dragon Activity Guide
  • Readalike Book Recommendations
  • Swag: Bookmarks, Buttons, Trivia Sheet, Viking Name Generator, Map of Berk

The kits contained two Viking bags to create Viking apparel, so dragons would be more comfortable in our young trainer’s presence. The first kit focused on Viking Helmets:

The second focused on Viking shields:

Our first dragon training bag focused on Identifying Dragons. These included a dragon identification guide as well as a BINGO game to help young trainers master their new dragon IDing skills.

Learn how to bond with your own dragon by getting to know Hiccup’s best friend, Toothless, through a paper bag craft.

Design your dream dragon by making an adorable paper plate craft dragon from Pink Stripey Socks.

Finally, train your dragon with the best training tool in all of Berk–sheep! Discover different ways to play with your sheep in the included training guide.

Each kit also contained a tools bag, which contained supplies needed to complete many of the included crafts, such as crayons, glue dots, and gem stickers. Scissors were also needed for most crafts, though those were not included.

Each kit’s Dragon Trainer Welcome Letter was personalized.

Downloads

Everything should be downloadable from the links below. All files are PDFs, though you can email me (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) or post in the comments if you are interested in the originals for editing. They are all Publisher files, and as usual, I used a lot of fonts.

1 2 5