Touch the Music

This summer we were lucky enough to have Touch the Music come in and do a “marching band” class with us.  The instructor was fantastic! She said her goal when she created this class was to allow children and parents to interact with band instruments before they needed to pick an instrument to learn in school.  She stressed the importance of a parent getting to see how their children use various instruments to help guide their decision. She started the class with a great story about music and instruments to get the class started. After the story they all marched around in their imaginary marching band!

Then we spent time really learning about the different instruments: percussion, brass & woodwind.  Claudia was such a fantastic instructor and really took time with the kids and she taught them more about each section.


Then came the crazy part of the class, getting to try out all the instruments! Even though it was loud and chaotic, the kids had a BLAST!


The parents, kids and staff loved the program so much we have booked her for a Nutcracker program she offers in December.

I highly recommend Claudia at Touch The Music! If you are in the New Jersey area you can find out more about her at:



Tie Dye Party

When I was a teacher I would always tie dye shirts for all my students.  We would all wear them on Friday and it was so cute.  When I became a Children’s Librarian I knew I had to keep this going some how.  In the summer, we amp up our activities and I figured this would be the perfect activity for the kids.  It was so popular my 1st year here that I have made it a summer tradition.  Because of that, I’ve kind of perfected my Tie Dye class!

First: We tie the shirt inside.  I give 2 options..the bullseye tie dye patter or the line pattern.  Kids can follow these ideas or tie their shirt however they want!

When they are done we go outside and dye!  Michaels sells the perfect tie dye kits.  They come in ready to go squirt bottles.


The tie dye can get expensive but Michaels ALWAYS has sales.  Sometimes it’s buy 1 get 1 half off. They also regularly have coupons for 40-50% off any item so I buy a few when the sales are good leading up to the class.

Once the kids are outside dying it can get VERY messy.  Gloves are your friends! 🙂  After they are done dying, we wrap the shirt in cling wrap or put it in a ziplock bag.  I tell the parents to let the dye sit for about 3 days then wash it alone in cold water.

I highly recommend doing this class at your library during the summer! The kids (and parents) LOVE it and they have a fun shirt to wear all summer long.

Book Buddies Program

During the summer we offer a book buddies program where a young reader is paired with a teen.  The goal is to have the same buddy during the summer so a friendship is formed.  Book buddies is a great way for early or struggling readers to practice their skills over the summer so they don’t regress before the next school year.

The biggest problem with this program, for me, has been scheduling.  It’s really hard to pair up a teen with children and get everything to work out smoothly.  Both kids and teens have so much going on during the summer months! Even so it’s  a great program and is so beneficial for these young readers!

Kids Yoga

The theme this summer revolves around sports and a healthy lifestyle.  Because of that we reached out to several local health studios to see if they might offer some exercise classes for kids.  Getting local businesses in the library is a win win for everyone.  The business gets free advertising and often times they were offer programming that is much more affordable because of it.

We were lucky enough to find a local mom who is a yoga instructor.  She came in and led a yoga class for kids.  It was such  a cute class.  The kids had fun, learned some new stretches and got to relax.  A few of the parents were trying it out along with them!  It was a great morning of family fun.

Later this summer we are having a gymnastics instructor come in for the kids and a crossfit instructor is coming in for the teens.

Reach out to the business in your community! It’s a great way to bring in new programming to the library and it is very cost effective.