Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mother's Day at the Library

My library will be closed this Sunday for Mother's Day, but that doesn't mean we've been skimping on the mom-centered activities this week while the library is open! We've been making an attempt to hit all of our children's populations: in-house preschool story times, outreach story times, school-age craft programs, and take-home activities are several of the areas in which we've been encouraging kids to celebrate their moms.

A great Mother's Day book I've been sharing during story times is Vivian French's picture book A Present for Mom. In the story, young Stanley has a hard time coming up with a Mother's Day gift on par with his siblings' bouquet of flowers, box of candy, and homemade cake. After all his initial ideas fail, he finally figures out the perfect gift: a box full of kisses! What mom wouldn't want a box full of kisses from her little one? This is a great story with tremendous versatility in terms of audience, telling, and programming. It works well as a read-aloud, but it would also translate well to a felt story. If you're inclined to include a craft with your story time, you can have kids decorate a box that they will fill with kisses for their own moms. Simple and meaningful!

To engage young kids who come to the library but who don't necessarily come to programs, my library's May take-home activity is focused on Mother's Day. Kids have the opportunity to connect the dots to complete the flower, color the flower however they like, and write what they love about their moms on the lines. I'm big on early literacy activities, and this one works on multiple levels. The connect-the-dots exercise reinforces order and going from start to finish; the coloring gives an opportunity for asking questions about why a child colored the flower a certain way; and the writing activity encourages both the mechanics of writing (holding the writing implement) and the process (deciding what to say and how to say it). A celebration of mom and an early literacy exercise, all on one page.

We didn't forget our school-age program-goers when planning our Mother's Day fun. Last week we had a "Make Your Own Paper Bouquet" program, where kids from kindergarten through the fifth grade created a variety of tissue paper flowers to arrange into their own bouquets. You can find all sorts of tissue paper flower craft instructions online (note: some are simpler than others!), and after a short step-by-step explanation of how each flower is constructed, most kids are content to get to work on their own. There were some gorgeous bouquets leaving my library that evening!

How is your library celebrating moms this Mother's Day?

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