School Age

Book Club in a Bag: New Kid Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: New Kid by Jerry Craft.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

New Kid Kit

The New Kid Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a New Kid Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

New Kid General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the New Kid kit is no different.

New Kid Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

New Kid Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The New Kid readalike bookmark features these titles:

New Kid Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The New Kid Discussion Questions include:

  • Which five words best describe New Kid?
  • Why do you think Jerry Craft drew Jordan’s sketchbook drawings completely differently than the rest of the book?
  • Have you ever been the new kid somewhere? How was your experience the same or different from Jordan’s?
  • What makes being a new kid so challenging for Jordan?
  • Jordan’s Tips for Taking the Bus (pages 56-57): Why does his behavior change—how he looks and dresses as he moves around? What is different in each panel?
  • What does this book say about friendship? What makes a good friend?
  • Which character do you identify with the most? Why?

New Kid Swag – Buttons

This bag also included a 2.25″ New Kid button. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

New Kid Crafts, Games, and More

This particular bag only included one activity: make your own journal. Supplies included:

  • Instruction Sheet (below)
  • 3 sets washi tape
  • 2 pieces cardstock (halves of 9 x 12 sheet, pre-punched)
  • 20 pieces of printer paper (10 full sheets in half, pre-punched)
  • 3 binder rings
  • Colored Pencils (not pictured)

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Muhammad Ali

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 February, this program featured Muhammad Ali.

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
Martin Luther King Jr.
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: Muhammad Ali by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Image result for little people big dreams muhammad ali

Movement Break: Banana Banana Meatball by Blazer Fresh (GoNoodle)

Second Book: Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born by Gene Baretta

Image result for muhammad ali book picture

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: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Book Club in a Bag: Wings of Fire Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Wings of Fire Kit featuring the Wings of Fire books by Tui T. Sutherland

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Wings of Fire Kit

The Wings of Fire Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Wings of Fire Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Wings of Fire General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Wings of Fire kit is no different.

Wings of Fire Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Wings of Fire Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Wings of Fire readalike bookmark features these titles:

Wings of Fire Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The Wings of Fire Discussion Questions include:

  • Clay is loyal, Starflight is smart, Tsunami is a protector, Sunny is an optimist, and Glory is gentle. Which dragonet is most similar to you?
  • The original prophecy did not include a RainWing. How do the other dragonets feel about Glory? How do the dragonets relationship change over time?
  • Clay believes that he is not a “naturally-hatched hero.” What makes him feel that he does not meet expectations? Have you ever felt that you did not meet expectations? Were you able to overcome those feelings?
  • Think about the world where the Wings of Fire books take place. Can you summarize the way this world works? What are the main factions of dragons? What do you think about this place?
  • The Wings of Fire books are tied to prophecies, fate, and destiny. Can the dragons escape their “destiny”? How do the dragonets feel about their destiny? What do you think—is your destiny written in stone, or do you have the ability to change your fate?

Wings of Fire Swag – Bookmarks

This bag also included four Wings of Fire bookmarks, printed on cardstock. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

Wings of Fire Crafts, Games, and More

There are so many dragon activities, and so much to do with the Wings of Fire universe that it was hard to choose. Thinking about space, prep time, and budget, I focused on three activities: which dragon are you quiz, memory game, and flying dragon craft.

Wings of Fire: Which Dragon Are You? Quiz

I recreated the Wings of Fire dragonet quiz available in the Scholastic Wings of Fire Activities & Resources.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Wings of Fire Memory Game

Create your own Wings of Fire memory game. I left the pieces on one sheet for participants to cut out. The back of each square has the Wings of Fire logo.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Flying Dragon Craft

Make your own flying dragon craft with a straw, pipette, and some adorable dragon pictures.

Download the dragon images here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

And the instructions here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Molly of Denali Storytime

Molly of Denali Storytime! I’ve been planning this for a while, but I’ve also been quite nervous about it–I want to do Molly justice. Our community is pretty white, our library staff is mostly white, and I am (you guessed it) white.

In case you aren’t familiar with Molly: Molly Mabray is a 10-year-old Alaskan Native (Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan) vlogger from the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska (near the mountain of Denali). The PBS show is the first show to feature an Alaskan Native main character. Much of the cast and crew, including the voice of Molly – Sovereign Bill of Auburn – are of Alaskan Native or First Nations heritage. The show authentically portrays the life of an Alaskan Native girl (while also having a particular focus on examining and evaluating sources of information).

Molly of Denali is a wonderful show, and I encourage you to watch it yourself, explore the website (and app and podcast), and find ways to promote it at your library. I tried to keep Molly’s energy during this storytime while focusing on some of the places Molly frequently visits in Qyah as well as some of the popular storylines from the show.

There were some adjustments for me. I’m used to music being a big part of my storytimes, but the music featured in Molly of Denali is wrapped up in her culture. Dancing (often nonsensically) to the Daniel Tiger or Pete the Cat theme song felt fine–wiggling, swaying, and shaking along to Molly’s theme song felt like it might be closer to cultural appropriation. Instead, I played the Molly of Denali theme song before I came on screen, and I promoted official Molly of Denali content on YouTube with this playlist.

Looking back, I’m afraid I focused a bit too much on animals and too little on Molly’s culture. My reasoning for this during planning is that my main audience for these storytimes are ages 2-3. While some of the concepts were still there for older kids to explore, I knew I needed to keep the attention of those bouncy toddlers. In hindsight, this program would have been better suited as a separate event aimed for ages 6-8.

Just like past virtual storytimes, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Many of these materials are from PBS. Download it here.

Watch the short preview video below. I tried to not dance through this the way I often do, instead highlighting storytime activities:

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

Molly of Denali Storytime Outline

Intro Song: Molly of Denali Theme Song (played before I came on screen)

Daniel Tiger Story: Crane Song

Exploring Qyah: I really like when these storytimes have some kind of unifying theme. For Molly of Denali storytime, we were simply exploring Qyah along with Molly.

Denali Trading Post: 5 Shiny Agate Stones

We started out at Molly’s parents’ store: the Denali Trading Post. Molly and her friends were trying to buy a new tubing raft, so they were selling agate stones again. We talked a bit about agate stones before jumping in with the rhyme shown below.

Down around the corner at the trading post,
There were five shiny agate stones at the most.
Along came a neighbor with a dollar to pay.
She picked out an agate and took it away.

Dog Kennel & Vegetable Garden: Anka Playing Hide and Seek
Tooey didn’t show up to help with the agate stones, so we went to find him at the Dog Kennel to make sure everything was okay. His dog, Anka, is missing again–but Tooey doesn’t think she is lost this time, just playing hide and seek…in Trini’s vegetable garden! Did you know that vegetables grow ENORMOUSLY large in Alaska? I learned that from Molly.

Anka, Anka playing hide and seek!
Are you behind the _?
Let’s take a peak!

Fish Camp: Five Little Salmon
Off to find some fish for hungry Anka at the Fish Camp! Catch your pretend salmon by tossing out a line and reeling it in or snatching a salmon from the air like a bear.

Alaskan Animal Adventure
Now that Anka was taken care of, it was finally time to explore Alaska by looking for something Molly loves and Alaska is well-known for–its amazing wildlife! I gave some hints for each animal before revealing the puppet and after the reveal, I encouraged viewers to do a quick motion.

There’s something by the river,
Now what can it be?
There’s something by the river,
That I can’t really see.

Wrapping Things Up
And that was it! For the reasons mentioned above, I didn’t have a closing song either (which was unusual for me). I once again directed people to the official Molly of Denali PBS playlist.

Book Club in a Bag: Azaleah Lane Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Azaleah Lane Kit featuring the Azaleah Lane books by Nikki Shannon Smith

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Azaleah Lane Kit

The Azaleah Lane Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items (like animal figurines) depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Azaleah Lane Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Azaleah Lane General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Azaleah Lane kit is no different.

Azaleah Lane Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Azaleah Lane Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Yasmin readalike bookmark features these titles:

Azaleah Lane Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

**Find some of these discussion questions (and more) in the back of each book.

The Azaleah Lane Discussion Questions included:

  • General Questions:
    • Azaleah loves animals! What is your favorite animal? Where does that animal live in the wild?
    • Azaleah is the middle child; she has an older and younger sister. Are you the oldest or youngest child in your family? Somewhere in the middle? An only child? What is similar or different between your experience and Azaleah’s experiences?
    • Azaleah likes to solve mysteries! What did you do when something went missing around your house?
  • Sample Story Questions: The Dramatic Life of Azaleah Lane
    • Who did you think was behind the problems at rehearsal? How did you know? Were you right or wrong?
    • At the end of the book, you learn who was behind all of the mishaps. What do you think their consequences should be?
    • Think about the problems that happened in the theater. Can you list them in order? Try using the book for help.

Azaleah Lane Swag – Stickers

This bag also includes a printable Azaleah Lane sticker, made on 2.5″ circle Avery label paper. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

Azaleah Lane Crafts, Games, and More

Azaleah loves to solve mysteries, and she loves animals, so I included activities related to those two topics.

Azaleah builds an animal habitat diorama in the first book in the series. I purchased tiny animal figurines and included a mini animal diorama kit. I also included an appropriate animal habitat background as well as a half sheet with pictures of animal diorama inspiration on one side and books to research animal habitats on the other.

You could take this activity to the next level by providing more than one animal figurine, tiny trees, and more diorama supplies–it just depends how much you want to spend and how big your kits can be.

The inspiration and research half sheet:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the animal habitat research here.

The animal habitat backgrounds:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the habitat backgrounds here.

Azaleah Lane Detective Practice

In the first two Azaleah Lane books, Azaleah examines clues, finds evidence, and collects suspects to solve a mystery! In the kit, participants built their detective skills though simple riddles and puzzles.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Puzzles and Riddles book here.

Book Club in a Bag: Yasmin Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Yasmin Kit featuring the amazing Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Yasmin Kit

The Yasmin Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items (like cardboard binoculars) depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Yasmin Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Yasmin General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Yasmin kit is no different.

Yasmin Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Yasmin Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Yasmin readalike bookmark features these titles:

Yasmin Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The Yasmin Discussion Questions included:

  • General Questions:
    • Look at the front cover. What do you think will happen in this story? Why do you think that?
    • What emotions did Yasmin feel in this story? Does it have a happy ending for her?
    • What happened first? Next? Then what happened?
    • What does Yasmin do when she is interested in something?
    • What have you learned about Yasmin’s culture? How is this similar or different to what your family does?
  • Sample Story Questions: Yasmin the Explorer
    • What do you know about explorers? Do you think you would like to be an explorer?
    • How did your family travel to where you live now? Did your relatives come from another country?
    • Why is Yasmin excited to go to the market with her mom?
    • What symbols does Yasmin include on her map?

Yasmin Swag – 1″ Buttons

This bag also included a few pieces of Yasmin swag: five 1″ buttons. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

Yasmin Crafts, Games, and More

Yasmin loves to explore her community, so my crafts and activities connect to exploration too! First, I included a set of play binoculars and materials to decorate them (stickers in this bag plus crayons in the overall larger envelope, to be used for all included kits).

I purchased white cardboard tubes online. I put two tubes next to each other, wrapped a rubber band around them, and added a strip of hot glue near the seam. I rotated the tubes until the hot glue was in between the two tubes, and left the rubber band on for a few minutes to make sure it dried. Then, I cut strips of yarn and hot glued the ends into the insides of the tubes. These are obviously not fully functioning binoculars, but they do help kids focus their eyes on just one item at a time.

I also included a half sheet with a Nature Scavenger Hunt on one side and recommended nature books on the other.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Nature Scavenger Hunt here.

Yasmin Map Kit

In the book Yasmin the Explorer, Yasmin draws her own map of her community. I like the idea of participants exploring their neighborhoods too, so I included two activities around this theme.

One was simply a blank piece of paper to use to draw your map (I had to keep something simple!):

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Draw a Map sheet here.

The other item was this cool make-a-town printable, filled with printed roads and buildings.

Access those at the Teach Beside Me blog.

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Martin Luther King Jr.

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 January, this program fell on Martin Luther King Day, so it felt like a great time to feature Martin Luther King Jr. 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
Muhammad Ali
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: Martin Luther King Jr. by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Little People, BIG DREAMS, 33): Sanchez Vegara,  Maria Isabel, Degnan, Mai Ly: 9780711245679: Amazon.com: Books

Second Book & Audio: I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson
We listened to a recording of Martin Luther King Jr. reading the part of his speech that corresponded to the pages of this book.

I Have a Dream (Book & CD): King Jr., Martin Luther Dr., Nelson, Kadir:  9780375858871: Amazon.com: Books

Third Book: Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Let the Children March: Clark-Robinson, Monica, Morrison, Frank:  9780544704527: 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: Muhammad Ali

Book Club in a Bag: Mindy Kim Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Mindy Kim Kit featuring the amazing Mindy Kim by Lyla Lee.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Mindy Kim Kit

The Mindy Kim Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items (like seaweed snacks) depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Mindy Kim Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Mindy Kim General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Mindy Kim kit is no different.

Mindy Kim Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Mindy Kim Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Mindy Kim readalike bookmark features these titles:

Mindy Kim Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The Mindy Kim Discussion Questions included:

  • General Questions:
    • Mindy moved all the way from California to Florida and started at a new school. What do you think might be hard about being a new student?
    • Mindy really, really wants a puppy! Have you ever wanted a pet or something else special?
    • Mindy loves to celebrate her Korean heritage. Ask your grown-ups about your family’s culture. What traditions does your family have?
  • Sample Story Questions: Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
    • Mindy’s classmates think her lunch is strange. What kind of foods do you like that your friends might not?
    • Mindy makes her classmates pay for her treats if they don’t have something good to trade. How do you think the kids feel who don’t have any money or good trades?
    • At first, Mindy isn’t sure how to make new friends at her school. What advice would you give Mindy?

Mindy Kim Swag – Bookmark

This bag also included a piece of Mindy Kim swag: a bookmark (printed on cardstock). Download a printable PDF to make that yourself here.

Mindy Kim Crafts, Games, and More

First up: seaweed snacks! While I wasn’t able to try these myself (full registration means no extra materials), I’m pretty sure these are not as good as (and possibly nothing like) what you would get at a Korean market–but I’m on a budget, so Amazon prepackaged snacks it is. These particular snacks are available here.

Mindy Kim Recipe Booklet

Mindy’s dad enjoys cooking, so I also included a recipe booklet filled with Korean recipes and space to insert your own family favorites. Recipes are from the websites included in the physical book.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the recipe booklet here.

Mindy Kim Yut Nori Game

My second activity for the Mindy Kim kit is an adapted Yut Nori board game set. Yut Nori is a traditional board game played in Korea, particular during the Lunar New Year. Thank you so much to reader June Cho for talking me through creating these and sending along some great tips and links!

Game boards were printed on cardstock and laminated. The four playing sticks are jumbo craft sticks with red lines on one side and blue dots on the other.

Download the board game and instructions at the links below:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Yut Nori board here.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Yut Nori instructions here.

Book Club in a Bag: Elephant & Piggie Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 this month: Book Club in a Bag. First up: Elephant & Piggie Kit.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmarks)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Elephant & Piggie Kit

The Elephant & Piggie kit has a few more materials than usual. I had planned an Elephant & Piggie Party over spring break 2020. Since the library closed, that party never happened, but most of the materials had been prepped (and were reused here).

Want to use make an Elephant & Piggie Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Elephant & Piggie General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Elephant & Piggie kit is no different.

The Elephant & Piggie readalikes bookmark features these titles:

The Elephant & Piggie Discussion Questions included:

  • General Questions:
    • How do you know Elephant and Piggie are friends?
    • How does Piggie feel in our story? Have you ever felt that way?
    • How does Elephant feel in our story? Have you ever felt that way?
    • What was the problem in the story?
    • What happened first? Next? Then what happened?
    • How did they solve the problem?
  • Sample Story Questions: A Big Guy Took My Ball:
    • What does it mean to be fair?
    • Why is it necessary to take turns and share with others?
    • Was it fair for Piggie to get angry with Gerald for breaking her new toy?

This bag also included two pieces of Elephant & Piggie swag: a button and a sticker. Download printable PDFs to make those yourself at these links:

Elephant & Piggie Crafts, Games, and More

Again, this kit pulled from materials I created for an in-person program that never happened, so it included more than usual.

Make your own Elephant & Piggie headbands! Print the Piggie outline on pink cardstock, and Elephant on grey cardstock. I also cut strips of 11 x 17 paper for the band (folded in half to fit in the bag).

Download Elephant & Piggie Headband Templates:

Complete simple Elephant & Piggie activities, mostly from the Mo Willems website, in activity booklet ready-to-print format. Download below:

And finally, my favorite item: make your own Pigeon book! Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Don’t Let the Pigeon Write a Book! Don’t Let a Pigeon Go Outside Without a Mask! The choices are endless!

And download below:

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:

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