Jay County Public Library 
315 N. Ship Street, Portland, IN  47371 
(260) 726-7890 or fax (260) 726-7317
Monday-Friday 8 to 8   Saturday 8 to 5


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It's KiPS!

Kindergarten Prep School

About KiPS

KiPS is a get-ready-for-school summer program for children entering kindergarten in the fall.  Children registered for the program come to the library one morning a week to explore six skill areas: Art, Music, Reading, Math, Large Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills & Writing.

The Children’s area buzzes with activity every Tuesday morning through the summer. Certified teachers and teachers from local preschools lead sessions along with certified library staff. Instructional assistants, group leaders and other volunteers help out with each small group of children.

Help with transportation was offered in cooperation with Jay School Corporation.

Sponsors in addition to the library include Jay Schools, the Friends of the Library, and The Portland Foundation. If your organization would like to lend support, please contact Linda Shreve at the library.


The final session for KiPS 2014 was August 5th.  We wish the students all the best as they begin their new school year!


SPECIAL NOTES for parents of participants.

  1. Remember to send the folder back with your child each Tuesday! The items inside are yours to keep, but we'll add more each week.  Don't send a backpack.  We won't be using them here and they are easily forgotten!
  2. ANY TIME your child will not be attending a KiPS session, we appreciate being informed! Just call us at (260) 726-7890 or email to let us know.
  3. Due to the movement in gym, it is very IMPORTANT for your child’s safety that they wear gym shoes, not flip flops! If gym shoes are a problem, then sandals with straps would work.
  4. Parents must come into the library building to pick up their children at their assigned area.  Check the list as you enter to see where you'll find your child and wait there until your child is dismissed.  Bus riders must be dismissed first. 


    At Drop Off:
    Pull up as far as you can in front to make room for as many cars as possible.

    At Pick Up:
    Bus riders are dismissed first. No other children will be dismissed until the busses have gone. Park and come in to pick up your child but PLEASE DON’T PARK IN THE BUS LANE.



What did we do at KiPS?  Maybe you'd like to try some of these things at home!


Week 1 (June 17th) – Picnic/Food

Math - Counted out loud to 20. Wrote the number 0. Set our picnic places by following directions and using positional words (like between, beside, on top of, etc.). Look for the homework paper in your child’s folder, complete it if you can, and send back next week for a sticker!

Reading - Books read: Celebration / Picnic / We’re Going on a Picnic / Pigs’ Picnic . Discussed where to go for a picnic, what to take, etc. Reviewed shapes, colors, and numbers.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids took a turn at four activities offered:
Activity 1: Using crayons, each child will draw a person with the teacher and write their name on their name strip. Teacher keeps the person drawing to compare progress at end of 8 weeks
Activity 2: Roll playdough into a ball, make a snake, cut with scissors, and repeat if there was time.
Activity 3: Pick up Ant manipulatives with tweezers. Place on Ladybug plates. Count ants.
Activity 4: Make felt sandwiches with Melissa and Doug play set

Large Motor Skills - Marched along with “The Ants go Marching” song. Learned some basic movements and how to stay in one area at a time.

Art - Apple Prints: On a piece of paper, color a sun, clouds, and some grass. Draw a wavy line in the middle of the paper. Dip the apple into the paint, then try and stamp out a caterpillar body onto the paper, reapplying paint every two to three stamps. We used an AB pattern when printing the body of the caterpillar. If time add antennas and feet. Stick on googly eyes.

Music - Started out by singing "Hello" and moving to rhymes to get our bodies ready to learn. Songs we learned were "When We All Do Eat Sweet Potatoes" and "Apples and Bananas." We used "Bye 'n Bye" to settle down and say goodbye.



Week 2 (June 24th) - Family 

Math - Counted out loud to 20. Wrote the numbers 2 and 3. Played Shape Bingo and used tangrams. Look for the homework paper in your child’s folder, complete it if you can, and send back next week for a sticker!

Reading - Books read: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? / The Napping House / Knuffle Bunny and the nursery rhyme “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.” Put in order a sequence of activities a family may do.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids wrote their names and took a turn at four activities offered:
Activity 1. Put Mat Man together. Talk about body parts. Stamp heads on paper with potato stamp. Children draw the body parts that connect to head to make their own family.
Activity 2. Sort bug families by color or shape in big tub on table. Put them into circles for each child.
Activity 3. Cut out rectangle shape and triangle shape to make a house for their family. Add their house to paper from Activity 1 family drawing. Draw to decorate if they wish.
Activity 4. Golf Tee poke around a heart shape on construction paper on top of carpet square. Write name on heart.

Large Motor Skills - Played Mom says, Dad says (play like Simon Says). Students practiced listening skills while hopping, running, doing jumping jacks, etc.

Art - Learned the difference between a landscape (a picture of the outdoors), and a portrait (a picture of a person). Kids drew a person in their family onto the prepared figure thinking of “details” that will make it look like that particular person – hair color, kinds of clothes, glasses, etc. A craft stick taped to the back makes it a stick puppet.

Music - With "Diddle, Diddle Dumpling, My Son John" we learned to keep the rhythm all over our bodies -- and walk at the same time! We tried out a rhythm on a drum too.


Week 3 (July 1st) – Beach Theme

Math - Counted out loud to 20. Wrote the numbers 4 and 5. We learned about making a graph when we counted up shell shapes.

Reading - Books read today: Just Grandma & Me / Ten Little Fish / Grandma’s Beach / Grover’s Day at the Beach / Spot Goes to the Beach. We talked about ocean words.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids took a turn at four activities offered:
Activity 1. We heard “Letters at the Top” (a song on CD). Then we wrote our first names on chalk boards starting letters at the top. Then we could erase and free draw.
Activity 2. We wrote names in sand on colored trays with our fingers, then we used a seashell to write.
Activity 3. We did Jellyfish painting. Paint a color circle at Top of paper. Spray with water and let the paint run down page making the jelly fish tendrils. Top to bottom.
Activity 4. We used bubble tongs to pick up rubber sea animals.

Large Motor Skills - We made a wave together with a parachute. We tried to keep a beach ball on it too!

Art - We learned about texture in art while cutting and gluing together our own special fish.

Music - We sang "Here Is the Sea, the Wav-y Sea" and tried playing an ocean drum. We pretended some silly things when we listened and moved to "The Goldfish" by Laurie Berkner.


Week 4 (July 8th) - Farm

Math - Counted out loud to 20. Wrote the number 6. We did subtraction putting farm animals in a pen, opening the gate, and letting some escape. How many were left?

Reading - Books read today: Barnyard Banter / Giggle, Giggle Quack / Farm Friends / Farmer, Farmer, What Do You See?
We talked about farm words, the nursery rhymes “Little Boy Blue” and “Little Bo Peep” and sang Old MacDonald’s Farm.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids took a turn at four activities offered:
Activity 1. Write first name on paper. Choose and add stickers. Then try a grip activity: Pick up crayon, make a mark and then when the teacher says "Drop" you drop the crayon. Pick it up again (check for correct grip) and make another mark on page until teacher says "Drop" again, check grip and repeat to finish the drawing.
Activity 2. Everyone had a piece of contact paper with a sheep drawn onto the slick side. With the sticky side up, we picked up pompoms to stick on the sheep.
Activity 3. Free play with rubber farm figures in chocolate pudding finger paint.
Activity 4. Everyone got a Clothespin Chicken and half piece of bread. We picked the bread and made small bites to collect to feed the birds outside.

Large Motor Skills - We held relay races - Egg on spoon, over/ under with bean bags and we used some songs to play: All Around the Barnyard & Animal Train.

Art - We made small clay sculptures of farm animals. We used a small wooden tool to scratch different fur textures into our animals.

Music - We sang and played "Wake Up You Sleepy Head" and learned "My Little Pony Needs New Shoes."



Week 5 (July 15th) - Vehicles

Math - Counted out loud to 20. Wrote the number 7 and 8. We parked toy cars on a parking lot mat and added them together. Look for the homework paper in your child’s folder, complete it if you can, and send back next week for a sticker!

Reading - Books read today: Traffic / I Read Signs / Machines at Work
We talked about the parts of a book, opposites, and shapes.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids took a turn at four activities offered:
Activity 1. Write names with mini erasers on chalk boards. Wet and dry, wet and dry…. Write names on your name card too.
Activity 2. Sort blocks, beads and other manipulatives that are red, yellow and green, picking up with various tweezers and sorting onto stop sign cards. Talk about Top, Middle, Bottom.
Activity 3. Thread red, yellow, green (traffic light colors!) onto a white chenille stick to form a bracelet.
Activity 4. Cut plastic drinking straws various sizes with child scissors to fit into shape of truck. Let each child put their pieces into a small bag. Have them zip the bag closed.

Large Motor Skills - Locomotor License- students move around the track as different vehicles and change when they hear Red Light, Green Light. Students will work on skipping and galloping as well.

Art - Explore mixing colors, making designs, and making lines by using toy cars to create art. Try to hold cars without getting paint on fingers.

Music - After we made sounds like horns, sirens and engines, we learned "Scotland's Burning." We used sound to tell us when to stop and go when we listened to "Rock and Stop."



Week 6 (July 22nd) - Winter in July!

Math - Count from 1 – 20 out loud together. Learn to write the number 9. Create patterns with winter object. Make own pattern using frogs on logs.

Reading - Read Hello, Snow! After reading this book the kids will sort pictures of clothing they wear in the winter or snow. Read Time to Sleep and had pictures of the characters (animals) in the story so the kids could tell the animals good night for the winter after the story.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids took a turn at five activities offered:
1. Write name with white chalk onto blue construction paper strip. Add snowflakes with modeling by teacher. Teacher sprays with hair spray to keep letters.
2. Who is in the snowball?? Bury winter animal manipulatives in playdough balls. When children come, they find the buried animals in the snowballs and name them. Then they bury them for the next group.
3. Pick up ice cubes with bubble scissors and play with animals in the ice water!!
4. Make a snowman puppet. Cut out snowman shape. Add eyes, nose and mouth and other items as desired. Tape onto popsicle stick. What letter does sonwman begin with?
5. Lace up winter lacing cards and play with winter building blocks.

Large Motor Skills -

Art - Learned about paper weaving with an over-under-over-under pattern to make paper mittens.

Music - We clapped out our names, then pretended to be stars and moved like them. We moved like snowflakes to twinkling music, then sang our goodbye counting song -- counting snowflakes!



Week 7 (July 29th) – Pirate Theme

Math - Counted from 1 – 20 out loud together. Learned to write the number 10. Took jewels from the treasure chest, then followed directions to add jewels together in various ways (example: 3 jewels on the top row, 4 jewels on the bottom row, count them all and that equals 7 jewels altogether).

Reading - Read Pirates Go to School and then talked about their expectations when they go to school. Pulled letters out of a treasure chest and matched the letters to the picture that begins with that letter. The pictures are in order so when all of the letters are matched up it will spell a secret word of what is in the treasure chest. Read the poem "Five Little Pirates" (if there was time, acted out the poem with a group of 5 kids being pirates).

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids took a turn at four activities offered:
1. Traced the path on the pirate map and received a gold coin!
2. Used dry erase markers to draw teeth on the shark. “Draw 4, then erase 2, how many are left?” (It’s very difficult to erase just one…wanted to wipe them all off!)
3. Went to a dark room with a glow-in-the-dark letter and identify the letter. Name something that starts with that letter. Receive a glow-stick bracelet.
4. Sat around the pirate mat and string treasure on a necklace!

Large Motor Skills - Treasure Hunt obstacle course: crawl through tunnel, walk the line, crab walk, hop through hula hoops, gather treasure.

Art - Each student received a pirate ship printout. They identified what is in the foreground, mid-ground, and background of a picture. Talked about the color scheme of pirate ships and then used watercolors to paint the picture of the pirate ship.

Music - We learned to "sink" when we sang "Three Times around Went Our Gallant Ship" and to jump up when the ship's bell rang. Then we sang about "Going over the Sea" with lots of rhyming words.


Week 8 (August 5th) - Dinosaurs

Math - Counted up to 20 and back down; wrote their favorite numbers on the big white board. Learned about sets by putting dinosaurs into hula hoops. Used equal to, greater than, or less than to compare the hoops of dinosaurs. No homework paper today, but kids can practice writing their numbers on their own every chance that they get!

Reading - Read When Dinosaurs Came with Everything. Students recalled the places they went to and saw in town. They will recall which places they went to and received a dinosaur. Then read Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones. Put the dinosaur alphabet cards in a-b-c order.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids did the following:
1. Wrote name and drew picture of self to compare with name and drawing from the first week.
2. Used pointer fingers to make spots with tempera paint on dinosaur paper.
3. Wrote name on their dinosaurs by writing each letter in a scale on the dinosaur’s back.
4. Played with mini dinosaurs in green play-dough.
5. Free play with Legos. Children brought home their nametags in their folders. Their names are permanently written in silver so that they can use a dry erase marker to trace over the letters to practice writing their names (and erase them). You can continue to do this at home!

Large Motor Skills - Students moved like different dinosaurs as they listened to the song "Dinosaur Dance." Played “Musical Dinosaur Spots” (like Musical Chairs) while walking in a circle like dinosaurs.

Art - Talked about the art form of mosaic (artwork made by gluing down a material to make a picture or design). Used green paper pieces that they cut from strips to make grass. Then cut apart other colored strips to glue on the paper to make a dinosaur.

Music - We pretended we had BIG dinosaur feet and moved to slow music with large, low, slow dinosaur steps. Then we took turns using xylophones to play another dinosaur song.


In other years we've had time for more themes, including:

Visiting the Zoo      and      Pets



Questions or concerns about anything? Call Linda at 260-726-7890 or email




Jay County Public Library  Portland, Indiana