Things are getting a little wild! Last week I turned our library into a giant interactive bear hunt (with lots of help from the hubby).
There are so many amazing ideas to bring this story to life that I could have an entire (overflowing) Pinterest board dedicated to just this one book. Now, don't get me wrong, this is a girl that lives and breathes Pinterest and I am incredibly thankful to all those amazing and talented people out there who are sharing their ideas, but when there are so many awesome ideas, sometimes my brain gets a little ahead of itself. I could do this storytime week after week and still not have completed all the cool ideas I've discovered. With that being said, this feels like just the tip of the potential bear hunting iceberg... One post that really resonated with me was Daniele's from Domestic Serenity; she inspired my most hands-on storytime yet.
Our art teacher and assistant librarian made these amazing bear tracks using a piece of foam and print-making supplies, aren't they fantastic? And to think, I was just going to find some clipart prints and make copies on brown paper. Sigh. I'm so incredibly lucky to work with such amazing people. Double sigh.
We laminated the tracks and taped them down using 3" book tape, they held up throughout the week and we'll be able to use them again in the future.
Section one: swishy-swashy grass
This one was very simple, just butcher paper, construction paper, tempera paint and packing tape. By taping the grass on both sides, it withstood many (many) little feet swishing through it.
Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?
Section two: splishy-splashy river
I used more butcher paper, rocks from a hike near the Puget Sound, and blue gel (don't ask, it's some fancy plastic filmmakers use to color lights... I will tell you, that while he gave it to me willingly, my husband shuttered when I cut it into strips. Apparently it's not cheap. I'm sure there are other colorful alternatives).
Section three: ooey-gooey mud
This was my favorite and my least favorite. I used Anna's recipe for chocolate play dough from the Imagination Tree, it turned out great! The only change I made was to add a scoop of garden dirt to make it look a little more rustic. Now, I initially intended to have the kids go through this course barefoot in order to make it a very sensory experience but that quickly changed (some things you just look back at and have to laugh at yourself). When I realized they would be going through with shoes, I covered the "mud" in clear plastic wrap and it worked great. They could still feel the ooey-gooey texture, but it kept the dough from sticking to their shoes. Keep in mind, it did squish out a little and did leave marks on the carpet. It was easily cleaned up using dish soap and a scrub brush (wait until it dries before you try cleaning). Also, the dough will dry out relatively quickly, so keep it well covered.
Section four: stumble-trippy forest
This was compliments of my creative hubby, he collected branches on our hike, tied them together and strung them over the table. He topped it off with evergreen branches and Viola! I wanted to be sure the forest wasn't too dark and scary and this plan worked, the kids loved crawling through it!
Section five: whirly-swirly snowstorm
Okay, so it's a little lackluster, but it was actually quite popular. The younger kids especially loved stomping around in the cotton ball snow.
Section six: tippy-toey bear cave
Take a table, add some thick black plastic, toss in some black paper boulders, throw in a willing and creative husband and you have a ready-made bear cave. My hubby laughed when it was done and said, "It looks like a drive-thru car wash!" I couldn't help but agree. And the kids couldn't help but love it!
Our Head of School ended up bringing tours and visitors through to check out the course, so I'd say it was an all-around success! Ahh, the life of a librarian!