Play @ your library: Playdough Party

Want to have one of the most successful library programs ever? Make playdough.

We did this program with 3-8 year olds, but I can see this working with even older kids, up through middle school–it’s all how you market it. It’s a great program to do at the library because, sadly, I think a lot of kids don’t get to engage in messy play at home because parents don’t want to face the clean-up.

Before we made the playdough we retold the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears with finger puppets because the story uses a lot of descriptive vocabulary–hot, cold, slow, fast, hard, soft—and I thought it was a fun way to launch into the program.

We made the following three recipes, making sure to talk about different textures, scents, temperatures, and other properties. Then we let the kids spend a lot of time playing and building, and allowed them to take home as much playdough as they wanted. We also printed out the recipes for parents to take home if they chose.

(I found the recipes at, which is my new favorite website. There are many more recipes up there, so choose your favorite.)

Kool-Aid Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 package of Kool-Aid
1 cup hot water
Combine ingredients and mix.

Coffee Play Dough

2 cups used coffee grounds
1 and 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup salt
Mix all ingredients until pliable. Add water, flour as needed to achieve a working consistency.

Oatmeal Play Dough

1 part flour
1 part water
2 parts oatmeal
Mix well and knead

Read more:

Review: It’s a Tiger!

It's a Tiger!
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fans of Grumpy Bird will love the Tankard illustrations in this new picture book, which easily pairs with classics such as Head to Toe, I Went Walking, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Going on a Bear Hunt, or Walking in the Jungle.

The bold illustrations and clear, dynamic text make this book perfect for storytime. Toddlers and preschoolers alike can RUN from the tiger, climb the ladder to make an escape, tip-toe past snakes, and jump into a flower bed (that is hiding tiger that they must run from).

This book is a perfect fit for my Mini Movers storytime, so if you do a similar program, be sure to add this title into the mix!

It’s a Tiger! will be released July 18th. Review copy graciously provided by the publisher.

View all my reviews

Review: Beegu

Beegu by Alexis Deacon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently pulled this book back out and read it aloud during a stuffed animal sleepover program, for no real reason other than I wanted to and its quiet, slyly funny tone seemed to fit the tenor of the program. I usually gravitate towards louder, brasher, more animated read alouds for story time, but I really enjoyed the challenge of getting the kids engaged in this quieter story. It wasn’t difficult at all, except for the one child who kept screaming “It’s DEAD!” any time he saw Beegu sleeping.

This gently humorous tale of an alien who has crash landed on earth and is looking for friendship is a great addition to any evening storytime, or in a friendship storytime as well.

View all my reviews

Review: Lexapros and Cons

Lexapros and Cons
Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was funny with a side of pathos–think a Louie CK comedy routine for teens, with a healthy dash of prescription drug after school special turned on its head. I enjoyed the thoroughly boy POV, the realistic and sweet romance, and was so utterly charmed that even the contrived plot points didn’t bother me. Give this to fans of Megan McCafferty’s Sloppy Firsts series, King Dork fans, and fans of self-deprecating comics.

View all my reviews