Storytime Picks from Monday, December 19

If you heard bells ringing ringing from the Toy Lending Library this morning, chances are the sounds you heard were coming from our storytime group. We rang in the morning with a rousing rendition of “Jingle Bells,” shaking our tambourines and singing loud enough to wake up everyone in the playspace.

After our little concert, we settled in for a snowy holiday story:

Six Snowy Sheep
by Judith Ross Enderle and Stephanie Gordon Tessler
illus. by John O’Brien

Christmas time is near! If you and your family plan to celebrate this coming Sunday, here are a few more Christmas-time stories you might want to read together:

The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
by Dr. Seuss

The Snowman
by Raymond Briggs

Babar and Father Christmas
by Jean De Brunhoff

Winter’s Gift
by Jane Monroe Donovan

Max’s Christmas
by Rosemary Wells

More holiday features to come! Check back with our blog for holiday craft ideas, books for Hannukah and Kwanzaa, and more Christmas stories.

Storytime is every Monday at 10 am and is intended for all ages.


Art Group – Wednesday, December 14

First we had our Snowy Day storytime on Monday. Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group got into the spirit with snow paintings. Using Q-tips, white tempera paint, and blue, dark blue, and black paper, our artists explored different snowscapes, including light snowfall (like Abby’s work above) and somewhat… heavier snowdrifts:

That’s the fun of snow paintings – doing less or more creates an entirely different feel to the paintings. It’s a great way for kids to explore scale, how similar ideas can be explored in a variety of perspectives through adjusting the technique slightly. The colored paper offered a great contrast to the white paint, making each image standout against its start background.

Q-tips are just the start. Fingertips, paint brushes, rollers, stamps, pencil tips – there is no limit to the tools kids can use. Simple ideas can produce super effective work, and even the youngest children can learn to adapt various objects in creative ways.

Hopefully, with all the snow-themed activities this week, we might summon a little snowfall for the holiday season.

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer.

Storytime Picks from Monday, December 12

Winter’s almost here, and though our Monday storytime was met with sunshine as well as chill, we decided to dive right into cold weather reading. After our storytime stretches and some impromptu drumming from some of our young attendees, we settled down to read a classic story together.

The Snowy Day
by Ezra Jack Keats

Since its original publication in 1962, The Snowy Day has remained a winter-time favorite. Readers love to join Peter as he explores the effect of a heavy snowfall on his neighborhood. Peter’s first experience with snow will remind many adults and children of their first snow days, providing an excellent jumping off point for extension activities and questions. If reading The Snowy Day with your children, ask them simple questions about winter. What does snow look like? What does it feel like? What do they wear to go outside in the snow?

Other extension activities can include making simple snowflakes out of coffee filters, making easy “tracks” from ink fingerprints, and drawing a snowy landscape. When the first real snowfall hits, take your kids outside to explore, then read this book to them when back inside the warm house.

Want more adventures with Keats’ Peter? Check out these related books:

Whistle for Willie


Peter’s Chair

A Letter to Amy


Storytime is every Monday at 10 am and is intended for all ages.

Art Group – Wednesday, December 7

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group
tried drawing a little differently this week, using chunky homemade crayons, recycled paper, and a variety of textured plastic sheets. The kids rubbed the crayons vigorously on the paper in an attempt to make the hidden pictures appear. The effect was enhanced by the multicolored crayons, a product of melting together the old PTLL crayons and allowing the wax to dry in different shaped molds.

The plastic sheets used offered a variety of shapes and pictures. The kids could use one or combine them to create multiple images on one paper. If you don’t have the pre-textured sheets, you can still do these kind of drawings at home with your kids. Try other easily found items, like leaves, rocks, even try placing bits of sand underneath a piece of paper for a shifting, abstract textured drawing.

Getting the paper to stay still while rubbing with the crayon can be difficult. If trying this at home, we suggest doing what we did and taping the paper and textured item to the table or work surface. Just make sure to use tape that will come off easily once the drawing is done.

Let your child feel the texture of the item before putting it under the paper, or  have the item already covered with the paper and watch their surprise as the picture comes out. Regardless of how you do it or the materials used, rubbings can be a great way of introducing the concept of textures into drawings.

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer.

Storytime Picks from Monday, December 5

Sometimes it’s hard to get started on Mondays, but that’s never the case with our morning storytime crowd! We’re going to get started on some holiday and season appropriate reading next week, but for this week we focused on some of the things we love best: Animals, movement, and making lots and lots of noise! Just what book got our storytime kids to go wild?

by Rufus Butler Seder

Seder’s Scanimation books are so much fun! Using a blend of animation and paper techniques, the images really seem to move as you turn each page. Move the page forward and the image moves forward. Flip it backward and the image moves backward. Kids love to watch the pictures move and to imitate the movements and make the sound effects to match.

Want to see more Scanimation? Check out these fantastic titles:

Want to know more about how this amazing process works? Check out this short video with the author and illustrator/Scanimation innovator, Rufus Butler Seder:

Storytime is every Monday at 10 am and is intended for all ages.

Give the Gift of Play This Holiday!

This holiday season, the PTLL is offering passbooks for $20 / 5 passes. This is equal to one free admission to the PTLL. Now that the cool weather is here to stay, bring your picnic indoors & introduce friends & family to the PTLL.

Passbooks can be purchased by completing this form and mailing it to the PTLL or dropping it off on your next visit. Passbooks will also be available for purchase at the PTLL. Payment must be included with each order.

Your support goes toward the continuing mission of the PTLL:  Building healthy families through play, programs and positive interactions.

Come and play with us!

Art Group – Wednesday, November 30

The last day of November was chilly, gray, and even a little snowy, but the art area remained warm with Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group. This week’s project: Watercolors. The weather outside might have been gloomy, but inside PTLL were vibrant, vivid paintings done by the brushstrokes of our little artists.

Getting watercolors to show up brightly on the page is all about the paint itself. We recommend using liquid watercolors over the dried, palette version. The dried watercolors are often difficult to re-hydrate and use, especially for young children. The liquid watercolors produce bright, solid colors that can be diluted to preference. Simply add a tablespoon or two of liquid watercolor, than fill with water as so desired. Best of all, liquid watercolors are washable and easily cleaned.

Part of the reason Toddlers, Twos and Threes is so special is that this is an art group where few rules apply. Little kids participating can do the craft as we have it laid out or make their own plan, which can include changing the medium used to apply the paint, the surface on which it is applied, and even the paint type itself.

No need to worry if your kid doesn’t want to use the table. As long as everyone respects one another and helps to clean up their supplies, the art group really is more of a jumping off point than strictly structured activity. Kids can come in and come out as quickly as they like, but they can also stay a while and work on several projects if they choose.

The point is to have fun, experience some different textures and explore different ways in which to be creative.

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer.