This family night started out with the lights out! Children and parents were told to bring flashlights with them (and we had some extras for those who forgot.)
In order to set up we:
- Set up a small tent with a sleeping bag inside
- Put a blow-up campfire in front of the tent (from Oriental Trading)
- Put tea lights around the fire, so that when the lights were off the fire glowed
- Set up several battery operated lanterns around the room, so that it wouldn’t be too dark and scary for the kids
- Put glow-in-the dark stars on the ceiling and walls of the room
- Set up a table with the supplies for making no-bake s’mores
- Set up a craft table with the supplies to make raccoon masks
Once we were set-up and ready to begin, we turned all of the lights out and had families line up outside of the storytime room. We talked about how the lights were out so they would need to turn on their flashlights. We also talked about being scared of the dark, and how if anyone got scared they needed to tell an adult. Then, as each child entered the room they received a glow bracelet to wear on their wrist.
INTRO: Once everyone was in the room, we talked about camping. Have you ever been camping? What would you see when you go camping? What would you eat? What would you wear? What animals would you see? etc. We looked at the stars on the ceiling and talked about different animals and the sounds they make. I pulled out our raccoon and owl puppets and used them as props as we talked.
Then it was time to turn the lights back on for a while.
We had to pretend to put on our hiking boots and then marched to this song.
BOOK 1: A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
SONG: On Top of Spaghetti by Tom Glazer
From the album Tom Glazer Sings Honk-Hiss-Tweet-GGGGGGGGGG And Other Children’s Favorites
This one’s great because it’s silly and you get to repeat all of the words – so no one has to know the song to participate!
BOOK 2: Lights Out!: Shadow Pop-up and Play
It was time to turn the lights out again for this book. We found that it worked best to have one person hold the book, while the other read and used the flashlight to make shadows. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve read this book several times and just figured out that if you move the flashlight from right to left it makes the shadows move across the page. It makes this book so much cooler!
CRAFT & SNACK: Since we had a large crowd, I divided the room in half. Half went to make raccoon masks and half made s’mores, and then they switched.
Snack: No-bake S’mores – we set out the ingredients and let kids and parents make their own gooey snacks!
- Graham crackers, broken in half
- Marshmallow fluff
- Mini Chocolate Chips
FAMILY TAKE HOME: We sent everyone home with a Night Sky Hunt to complete as a family. It listed things to look for at night, like: a firefly, a shooting star, an airplane, the Milky Way, listen for a hooting owl, etc.