Parents’ Night Out – Five Little Pumpkins

Last week I hosted a “parents night out” program at the library – an evening of crafts, songs, rhymes and snacks for parents of young children in the community. Because Halloween is just around the corner, we made our own versions of , “5 Little Pumpkins”!

PNO Collage

We provided templates and craft materials, but parents were encouraged to use their imaginations and not feel constrained by the evening’s theme. One mother made five little strawberries with scraps of red felt, another made a cute little pumpkin couple. We had a family of veggies and some colourful ghosts, too!

PicMonkey Collage

I made a little handout with song lyrics, rhymes, and seasonal book suggestions, we sang some songs together and practiced using our new felt stories. We of course also had plenty of cookies to keep our energy levels high!

It was a fun, relaxed evening activity that gave parents a chance to meet other parents in their community, and to ask a librarian questions about early literacy.

PNO5

Low-key events like this are great community builders, and allow librarians to connect with caregivers in a friendly, natural way. Plus, everybody likes to indulge their inner child and play with craft materials every once in a while! 😉

Felts for the Artistically-Challenged

I’m rubbish at making felt stories. I’ve tried all the tips and followed all the guidelines, and my felt animals always come out looking like they’ve barely survived a shark attack. Not pretty.

I never thought I’d be able to make my own felt stories, until I discovered this!

laminatorThis $29.99 bad boy and the corresponding laminating sheets have made my felt story dreams come true!

I simply find colourful clip art images (Kizclub.com is one of my favourite resources), print them out in colour, and run them through the laminator. Then it’s just a matter of cutting out my laminated characters!

felt1edit

I attach a bit of self-sticking “hook and loop fastener” (aka no-name brand Velcro) to make everybody stick to the felt board. I bought mine in a roll at the dollar store.

felt2edit

I recently discovered that my library has a label maker, and it made my organization-loving heart skip a beat. I store all my felt stories in clear plastic sleeves for easy viewing, then label each sleeve with the label maker. When I’m feeling energetic I’ll even layer the characters in the order I’ll need them.

felt3edit

So, if you’re as rubbish at crafts and artistic pursuits as I am, fear not – you too can now make professional-looking stories that are long-lasting and will survive the occasional trip inside a toddler’s mouth.