Sensory Snow Slime

This past weekend, our library participated in the Dowagiac Ice Festival with a sensory craft in the library.  Downtown businesses invited the people of Dowagiac to make crafts, get food and drinks, and more.  We invited families to make Snow Slime with us.  I originally got this idea from Sarah at Frugal Fun for Boys.

The kids had fun with this projects because it was messy, but little did they know that they were engaging in a sensory activity!  According to PBS, “Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.”  There’s something about the mixture of glue and fake snow that just feels weird and a lot of kids had great reactions.  Parents talked to their kids about how it felt and why.  Some of the younger ones didn’t like getting messy, but participating in this projects encouraged them to reach outside of their comfort zone.

This is also a little bit like process-based art.  There’s no exact science to this project.  You just kind of have to figure out how much liquid starch to add, how long to mix, and how to adjust your method if your slime is too stringy or if it’s sticking to much with your hands.  It takes a while to get it to form, and you have to try a lot of different things.  So kids are learning how to sit at a project for a while and sustain focus, but they are also using problem solving skills.

To do this project all you need is 1 bottle of glue, a cup of fake snow (that you can get at a craft store or on Amazon), and 1/2 cup liquid starch.  Mix the glue and snow, then slowly at little bits of liquid starch.  You have to mix the glue, then shape it, knead it, and fold it until you get it to be the consistency you want.


Up, Up, and Away Pt 1.

Program: Messy Time
Library: Dowagiac District Library (MI)

With summer reading just kicking off, we’ve started a weekly messy-time program at my new library.  For our first messy craft, we made papier mache balloons.  This was a fairly straight forward craft, but quite a lot of work.  It certainly made a mess!

This craft was very process-based, meaning that the fun comes more from the process of making than the end result.  It’s ok if your balloon ends up a bit crinkled–in fact, it’s very likely that it will happen.  This is also a great sensory craft for kids who need texture.

Here’s what you need:

  • Papier mache mixture (2 part glue, 1 part water)
  • Torn up newspaper (enough for 3 layers)
  • Balloons.

Here’s what you do:

  • Blow up the balloon. Smaller balloons are easier to papier mache for young children.
  • Dip the strips of newspaper in the paste mix.

  • Put the soaked newspaper on the balloon.
  • Repeat process until there are about three layers of newspaper on the balloon. It is easiest if you balance the balloon on a paper bowl.

  • Let the papier mache dry.
  • Come back next week to paint and make into hot air balloons.

Next week, we’ll paint the balloons with paper cups and string them together to make a hot air balloon.  Come join us!

Good Feelings (sensory storytime)


STORYTIME FOR: Berwyn Public Library (Outreach)

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Why These Books?

Sad Monster, Glad Monster by Ed Emberly and Anne Miranda.  This book is mainly conceptual, good for both young and special needs readers because it’s about what makes us feel different things.  It’s especially great for sensory storytimes because it is tactile; you can put your nose through the holes in the book and pretend to be each monster.  I also have the kids act out each emotion.

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes.  This is a good follow up, because it’s such a sweet book (and short, too!).  The sad parts are simple and not too dramatized, and the end leaves kids feeling good.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean.  I love this book because it is so versatile.  I usually use it for colors, but it has a great message for kids who are having bad days, “just keeping walking along and singing your song.”  Plus, I never pass up the opportunity to sing.  It is so rhythmic that the kids never get bored of it…they just sing along.


Big Green Monster (Flannel)

Talk about the body parts on the green monster puppet.  Then, start taking each piece off and tell the “scary” monster to “go away!”

The More We Get Together (ukulele)

G                            D           G
The more we get together, to-gether, to-gether,
G                 D           G
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
G     D                    G
When your friends are my friends,
G   D              G
And my friends are your friends,
G                  D           G
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

If You’re Happy and You Know It (Action Song, with ukulele)

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your
G             G
hands.  If you’re happy and you know it, clap
C                       F
your hands.  If you’re happy and you know it,
C                                  G
and you really want to show it, if you’re happy
and you know it, clap your hands.

Bean Bag Boogie (Greg & Steve #7)

This is a great song to get kids moving.  We also talk about sharing the bean bags.

Fun Magic Coloring Book

Ask kids to help create pictures with the magic book.

How It Went

The storytime went really well, and I’m sure that had something to do with the fact that there were only four kids so I got to pay each one special attention.  Despite the fact that two of them were non-verbal, they all really engaged with the storytime.  In the middle of Sad Monster, Glad Monster one of them started to cry, which I felt was actually a good reaction.  He was reacting to the emotions in the book.  They teacher agreed, saying that it was a good thing for him to experience. She also shared that he loved music.  To try to cheer him up after the story, I used the Monster flannel puppet (showing him there was nothing to be afraid of) which I immediately followed with “The More We Get Together” (a feel good song) on my ukulele.  I was especially pleased when one of the kids starting singing Pete the Cat’s song with me, and one of the non-verbal kids vocally identified the blueberries.  Overall, the pairing of feeling books and music worked out really well for this storytime; the music was almost therapeutic.

Beach Storytime

For this storytime, I chose to go with a sensory storytime model.  Usually, sensory storytimes are what’s recommended for students with special needs, but they are great for all kids, especially those who are younger and have trouble focusing.

Welcome, and visual schedule.


Hello song – We clap and say hello, we clap and say hello, with our friends at storytime we clap and say hello.  We stomp and say hello, we stomp and say hello, with our friends at storytime we stomp and say hello.  We wave and say hello, we wave and say hello, with our friends at storytime we wave and say hello. (credit: Jbrary)

Bean Bag Boogie by Greg and Steve (Kidzone)

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell! by Lucille Colandro

Old Lady Puppet


Stand: Once I saw a crab swimming in the deep blue sea. (Swim, point downward) I called, “Mr. Crab, won’t you swim with me?” (Cup hands around mouth) Then he show me his short and sharp pinchers two, (Make two clawhands) And I swam away from his pinchers, phew! (Swim away) (credit: Storytime Katie)

Fetch! Jorey Hurley

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.  (Faster, slower.)

With scarves: The fish in the sea go swish, swish, swish…all day long.  The dolphins in the sea swim round and round…all day long.  The sand in the sea drifts down, down, down…all day long.  The waves on the sea go up and down…all day long. (Credit: Jbrary

 Hooray for Fish!  by Lucy Cousins

Five Little Fish (with puppets)

Goodbye Song – We clap and say goodbye, we clap and say goodbye, with our friends at storytime we clap and say goodbye.  We stomp and say goodbye, we stomp and say goodbye, with our friends at storytime we stomp and say goodbye.  We wave and say goodbye, we wave and say goodbye, with our friends at storytime we wave and say goodbye. (credit: Jbrary)