The Library of the Traveling Journal

What’s a summer program without journal making? I had leftover paper from the Happy Birthday Andy Warhol program, so I decided to use that up while setting up the materials for this program. I did this program for under $10 and that was for about 20 kids to make journals. This is a great way to use up all the “left over” craft supplies that are sitting in your craft locker.

The final project was fabulous – and the kids had a blast doing it. We even went over 30 minutes!

I began by making an insert for the journal. You know me, I LOVE creating document pages. You don’t have to do this, you can just use blank paper.


I folded all the inserts in advance and poked two holes at the crease. I folded the cover page and poked holes at each end. You don’t have to do this. I did it because it was easier for the kids to have it already half assembled.

I had the kids string the string through the insert and through the cover. We tied a bow on the outside of the cover. And then it was time to decorate!  Here are some of the journals they made:

Up, Up, Up Away – Paper Mache Ballons

Summer programming has come to the end at my branch. I’m not in the process of documenting what’s been going on. We had great program attendance – probably the best ever – all thanks to two creative children’s librarians!

Up, Up, Up Away was probably my favourite program that we ran all summer. The hot air balloons turned out so well! This is the kind of program that you can run, low budget, with great results.

NOTE: This was a two day project. The balloons needed to dry for at least 24 hours.

Paper Mache Balloons


  • balloons
  • Glue
  • shredded newspaper
  • mini aluminum pie plates
  • String
  • Paint and brushes

Paper Mache Mixture

  1. Pour Elmer’s Glue into a bowl and mix in water. Your mixture should be 1 part water and 3 part glue.

Day One: Instructions

  1. Rip up strips of discarded newspapers. You don’t want them to be too small, or two big. About 10 cm by 5 cms in length.
  2. Blow up balloons
  3. Dip newspaper strips into glue and cover the balloon. You want to make sure you’re covering the entire balloon. Cover the balloon at least four times. The thicker the paper, the more sturdy the balloon will be.
  4. Let it dry for at least 24 hours.

Paper Mache Balloons

Day Two: Instructions

  1. Once the balloon is dry, pop it! Don’t worry, it shouldn’t make a loud pop!
  2. Poke a hole at the top of the balloon and four holes at the opening of the balloon (two on each side). These holes allow for the basket to be strung.
  3. Hole punch four holes in the mini pie plate (two on each side).
  4. Paint the balloon!
  5. Once dry, string the basket, and you’re done!
  6. Take four pieces of

Adventure Storytime: Ocean Adventure

I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to blog about some of my summer programming.  Now that kids are out of school, they’ve been keeping me busy! I changed my storytime up at the last minute because I didn’t like my original story. Three by the Sea by Mini Grey was just a little too complicated for my age group.

Story: Captain Bob Sets Sail by Roni Scotter

1317045This story is about Bob who is about to take a bath. He turns his bath time into a PIRATE and OCEAN adventure. The kids had a wonderful time watching Captain Bob  (and his bare bum) in the bathtub.

Craft: Ocean Adventure

For the craft, I kept it simple. I traced a “fish bowl” onto a piece of paper and had it pre-cut for the kids.

Fish Bowl

Find a template of fish online. I looked up colouring pages of fish and had them pre-cut for the kids – so all they had to do was colour. I also cut out seaweed and sand too. (I’m working with younger children, so they haven’t learned to cut yet. They glued the fish in the fish bowl and used crayons to colour. Very simple – and LOW COST!

Ocean Adventure

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol!

August 6th would have been Andy Warhol’s 85th birthday and why not celebrate his birthday by learning about the pop art movement. I began the program by teaching the kids about the pop art movement, followed by reading “Uncle Andy’s” by James Warhola, then we recreated some pop art!


Andy Warhol is the first modern art superstar. He is known for his simple, but strong and colourful art. He created “Pop Art.” The word “pop” means popular. He focused his art on supermarket products, rock stars, and models. He loved to make pictures of people and things everyone could recognize, whether it was a dollar bill, Elvis Presley, or a can of the Campbell’s soup he ate for lunch everyday.

Andy would take images from pop culture and reproduce them. Not everyone was happy with Andy’s work because they thought it wasn’t original. They thought he was stealing from other artists and he got into a bit of trouble. He got sued by a few people – but he settled by giving royalties to the original artists.


uncleandysUncle Andy’s by James Warhola describes his visit with his uncle, Andy Warhol, New York City .


I asked the kids if Andy Warhol was alive today, what sorts of portraits would be paint? The kids said Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and One Direction. I made templates and photocopied them on watercoloured paper so the kids could paint and colour just like Andy would do.

I chose “modern” images such as minions, Mickey and Minny Mouse, Angry Birds logo, Star Wars, and even Woody from Toy Story. Here’s what some of the kids reproduced:

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol!

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol

Adventure Storytime: Jungle Adventure

Keeping with the TD Summer Reading Program’s “Go” theme, my storytime has turned into “Adventure Storytime” for the summer. I read a story and the kids do a small craft after. Here was today’s plan:

Story: Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen, Kevin Waldron (Illustrator)


Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen is one of my favourite books to read at storytime. The illustrations are by Kevin Waldron and they are simple enough so that kids do not get lost, but detailed enough to match the story perfectly . The kids had a wonderful time trying to track down the fly as it hops from paw, to nose, and off to the next animal.

Craft: Jungle Masks

I found these really cute jungle masks from “First Palette” printables and I printed off the lion, tiger, and monkey. I had them pre-cut for the kids, so all they had to do is colour them in. The kids had a blast doing it. I even made them make the noise of the animal that they were wearing.