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Want to do some crafts at home, as well as explore some scientific principles? Here’s what we did at exploration station this week. You can join us on Thursdays at 11:30 for a new theme every week. This week was light and heavy. We read Balance the Birds, which is a great introduction to the scientific idea of weight, balance, and logic!
We did three activities. The first was a “Does it float?” station, which had two small bins filled half way with water. There was a wide variety of objects – all of which could be found in a house – cloth, pens, magnets, and more. Kids were able to explore whether or not they float, with caregivers asking questions along the way. It allowed kids to think through the idea of weight and how to apply it practically.
The second activity was to use an actual balancing scale. Many kids had not interacted with one before, and found it fascinating to see how directly weight impacted the scale. The fact that some bigger items were not always heavier was a main theme throughout the program.
The final program was to make a DIY scale. Kids used cups with a hole punched in it. They then used string or yarn to make a loop through the hole. They then connected the string to ends on a Popsicle stick. Kids were proud to be able to utilize scales themselves, and excited they could continue to play with weight at home.
Join us on Thursdays for more Exploration Stations!
For our first exploration station of the new year, we looked at all the different things magnets can do! We did three activities after going over what a magnet is, focusing on what things are magnetic, and what they are.
Our first activity was Magnetic Sensory Painting. We used a paper plate, paper clips, magnet wands and paint. Using a magnet underneath the plate, kids could drag the paper clips to paint their own masterpiece!
Our second activity was DIY magnets. Kids cut out letters, pictures, and used paper magnets to explore how they can use magnets in their own everyday life.
Our last activity was a magnet Sensory Bin, which is all about figuring out what is magnetic and what is not! Kids dug and explored through a bin to find the magnetic items and sorted them between magnetic and non-magnetic. This gave kids hands-on experience to deepen their understanding of magnetism, as well as promoted classification and sorting, an early math skill. What activities will we do next week? Visit us on Thursdays at 11:30am to find out!
At our weekly Exploration Station: STEAM Play, which takes place every Thursday at 11:30am, we looked at textures and senses. We read a touch, play, and feel book about Food, which got kids excited about different feelings. It was a great way to get kids excited about the theme, and understand it, as so many kids explore food on a daily basis.
Our first activity was “Touch Painting.” Kids put on blindfolds. By taking away the sense of sight, kids could focus on the sense of feel (and touch), by painting. Kids were shocked at the new sensations, even though they had painted before. They were also surprised at what they could create without using sight.
The second activity was called “What’s Inside?” Kids played with a bunch of different materials. We gave them a sheet with lots of different feel and texture words to help encourage them to describe the feelings they were experiencing. They then used blindfolds again to reach into the bags and see if they could identify the items in the bag, again using both senses and textures, as well as putting their vocabulary to use. Kids loved seeing the contrast between all of the different materials, and were excited to see how good their identification and explanation was throughout the game. Both activities kept kids coming back. We hope to see you there on Thursdays for new themes!
With Diwali celebrated recently, we are sharing one of our favorite board books Diwali Lights. Join us for our Baby Storytime on Fridays at 10:00am for more books. Also check out the benefits of reading for children under 1 year old in this video and in our storytime!
With the fall season approaching, take a look at Apple Themed Storytime activities, including an apple and worm lacing activity, using a paper plate, markers, crayons, scissors and yarn! Most all of our crafts can be replicated at home for more fun and convenience. Also take a look at our Afternoon Family (Slightly) Scary Storytime in October!
Last week, we featured a special Fall-themed “Do-It-Yourself” Storytime, with stories, sensory materials, and crafts that you can do with your child at any time. Take a look on our Instagram page, and be sure to check back in the winter for another Storytime walk. We also had a special Storytime with author Dahlia Richards. Take a look at her book about moving from Jamaica to the Chicagoland area.
To celebrate International Dot Day, our Storytime week featured dots and circles. We also have a passive activity in our Youth area to promote creativity and individualism that allows you to create freely. Feel free to take a look at additional activities online, or in our handouts, which features Process-Based Circle Painting.
Check out our Storytime featuring different emotions! Speaking of emotions, we are excitedly launching our new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which can help you build strong early literacy skills and bonding. The library will have lots of storytimes and special programs to give you tips and encouragement along the way! Check out our Mood of the Day cups on this week’s craft!