Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Library Fun (part one)

We have been super busy so far this summer. It's nice to take a few minutes to sit down and blog about what we've done so far this year at the library. I mentioned before how our local libraries have an excellent summer reading program. They also have some great events going on. We recently discovered a smaller library a lot closer to our house than the one we have been going to for the last seven years. We have been spending a lot of time there, however we haven't forgotten our favorite library and have visited there a few times too. 

The first program we went to was "Tracking Dinosaurs." While I was a bit disappointed with the presenter, the Daleks had fun. There were soooo many kids who came to this event (my estimate, a few weeks later, was close to 75 kids). It would have been better with a smaller group. Still, like I said, the Daleks had fun. 

They were able to make their own "face fossils" which involved placing aluminum foil over their faces and trying to get an imprint of their facial features. 
I helped The Little Princess with her Face Fossil
Bubba getting help with his Face Fossil.
 Bubba had a better imprint than The Little Princess, but the pictures of the finished product didn't turn out too well.

After the presentation, they were able to explore a few areas. I think this may have been the best part, letting them explore on their own.

There were dinosaur footprints to discover. The Daleks were encouraged to try to tell the story of what had happened. The Little Princess came up with a great story of two dinosaurs playing hide and seek before they got in trouble for running in the library!

 After the crowd thinned a little we were able to look at some of the fossils and miniatures that were brought.

On our way out the Daleks were able to pick their own fossils to bring home. Bubba picked the largest one he could find and The Little Princess picked the one with the "prettiest" design.
Bubba also got a shark tooth for being a
helper during the presentation.

Another event we were able to participate in was "Digging Into Nature." I was not expecting much due to my disappointment in the other event, but I was very happily impressed. Matthew Dodd talked all about caves, and he was WONDERFUL! He read stories, sang songs, and really kept the kids attentions.
Sorry for the lousy lighting, but it was dark in the
room to give the ambiance of being in a cave!
 After, each story Mr. Dodd would sing a song relating to what he just read. Often the songs were his own lyrics put to the tune of another song such as...

"There was a man who found a cave e-i-e-i-o. And in this cave there was a bat e-i-e-i-o."

Or "Earthworm, you make my heart squirm" sung to Wild Thing by The Troggs.
 Honestly, I think I may have had as much fun as the Daleks listening to all of his crazy songs!
Bubba, Mr. Dodd, The Little Princess,
and Sonic (a friend who came with us)

The final trip I will bore you tell you about was our "Dinosaur Story and Craft Time." I was super excited about this trip for two reasons. The first was we were heading back to our home library which is a lot bigger even if it is farther away from our house. The second was it was story time with Ms. Lisa. We love Ms. Lisa! She is an excellent story teller getting the kids involved and keeping their attentions, even if it's a large crowd, which it was.
Ms. Lisa reading
The Day Dinosaurs Came With Everything
by Elise Broach  
 After the story the Daleks were able to create their own dinosaur story. They each got a dinosaur cut out, crayons, and (to quote Ms. Lisa) "The absolute best thing in the whole wide world, a blank piece of paper!" The Daleks went to town!
This is Baby Dane in her nest.

Silly likes to eat trees!
(He's Silly because he's a T-Rex who likes to eat trees!)
 After story time the Daleks wanted to stay and play. I couldn't blame them, the library has the best toys!
Bubba spent almost an hour playing with
these little animals that you build with.

The Little Princess spent all of her time
playing with some new friends in the play kitchen.
We are now about half way through the library program. (sniffle) Now, we really need to get on the ball with all of the other fun things I have planned for this summer!

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Bead Loom Bracelets

I have to admit, when I put "Make Bead Loom Bracelets" on our 101 Things to do This Summer list, I wasn't sure of what Bubba's reaction would be. After all, bracelets are for "giiiirlsss." However, I shouldn't have worried, Bubba loved making his bracelet! To give credit where credit is due, I got this idea from Making Friends

Look at that concentration!

This was some great hand-eye coordination and great for fine motor control

 Even The Little Princess had fun stringing the beads, though I had to do the rest for her.
Note to self, when taking pictures of the
Little Princess for the blog, fix her hair first!
Look at these great works of art! 
(Don't ask me why the picture is sideways)
 "Great pictures of the Daleks," you say. "But tell us how you made them! The bracelets we mean." Alright, alright, hold your horses!

First of all, cost. This wasn't free for me, but only because I did not have beads or string on hand. I spent,  maybe, $6 on the pony beads and string. Other things needed, are a ruler, pencil, scissors, tape (I used painter's tape. I love painter's tape. Seriously, I use it for ev-er-y-thing!), a metal yarn needle (not pictured), and a shallow box (I used a sandwich cracker box which wasn't quite long enough for a bracelet with beads all the way around. I'm thinking a cereal box with one side cut out would be perfect for next time.)

 After you've gathered all of your supplies, measure out 1/4 inch intervals along one side of the box. Repeat on the opposite side of the box. Remember to make one more mark than beads wide you are going to use. In other words, we were using five beads across, so I needed six marks.

Next, make a small cut on each of those lines.

Next, tape the string to the back of the box about half way up the box. If you don't, one of the strings will be too short when finishing the bracelets. (Yeah, made that mistake when making the Daleks' bracelets. I was still able to make it work, but this would have been a lot easier!)

 Turn the box over and begin threading the string through the first cut. Bring it across to the other side and thread the string through the corresponding cut on that side of the box. Bring the string around the back of the box and come back up the side you began on. Don't pull so tight that you bend the box. It's okay for it to be a little loose. It will tighten up as you go. Repeat until you have threaded all six cuts.
It should look something like this.

 After threading the last slit, bring the string around to the back of the box, about half way up. Cut off the string and tape it to the back of the box. I put the tape across all of the strings to make it a little more secure, but it isn't really necessary.
With me so far? Good!

 Cut another piece of string 18-20 inches long and tie it in a big ol' square knot on the bottom right hand corner of your loom, leaving a 2" tail. (Side note, of you're a lefty, you may want to tie it to the bottom left.) Then, slide the knot all the way down, so it is touching the box. Don't worry about that big tail, we'll tuck it away later.

 Now, the fun begins! Thread five beads onto your string and bring the thread under all the threads in your loom. Bring each of the beads up through the "holes" in the loom.

 Now, go back through each of the beads, this time making sure the thread goes above each of the threads in the loom. (The Daleks found it was easier if the string was on a metal yarn needle, but it can be done without.)

As you can see, by going under the strings and then over, the beads will stay in place.
 Slide the row of beads all the way down the loom, so it is touching the box, and pull the string taught. Don't pull so tight that the string on the left start to be pulled into the beads. It should be just taught enough so there are no loops on the ends.

Continue to string beads in any pattern you like. You can even freestyle it like the Daleks did.

When the bracelet is the desired length, tie off your string in another big ol' square knot, close as you can to the last bead. Cut the thread leaving a 2" tail. Using the needle, tuck the tails on both ends of your bracelet through the closest row of beads.

Turn the box over, remove the tape, and cut the strings at the center of the box.

Remove the bracelet from the loom and lay it on a flat surface.

Tie each end into another big ol' knot.

Finally, tie the ends together. At this point I feel I should mention, if this is a project that your little Dalek will love and wear often, you can at this point use bracelet clasps, found in any craft store, to finish off the bracelet. I knew my Daleks would wear them for a day or two and then forget about them, so knots are just fine.

Enjoy your work of art!

By the way, did y'all notice the white background in the pictures? Don't you like it more than my kitchen table? I'm going to have to remember to do this every time I take photos!