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.


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.


What have we been doing at KiPS in 2013?  Maybe you'd like to try some of these things at home!


Week 1 – Beach Theme

Math - Did counting on the number chart and played Number Bingo.  Practiced writing 0 and the number 1.

Reading - Books read were Ten Little Fish, Rainbow Fish, and Dear Mr. Blueberry.  Said the rhyme "Rub-a-Dub-Dub" and talked about ocean word cards.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1:  Treasure in the Sand - sorting through a container of rice "sand" to find shapes, shells, beads and more.
Activity 2:  Writing Messages in the Sand using a craft sticks or fingers in a shallow container of rice "sand."
Activity 3:  Beach Ball Number Game using spinners and clothespins to match number dots. 
Activity 4:  Lego Sand Castles and other constructions
Activity 5:  Beach Color and Punch Art with pages to choose and color, then punch holes along the background lines with a toothpick.  Hold it up to the light and see it shine through.

Large Motor Skills - Played beach ball volleyball/balloons and had a beach blanket toss.  If time allowed played Hot Sand Hop Relay.

Art - Practiced cutting with scissors while making paper plate fishes.

Music - “Hello, Hello, How Are You” song to welcome children, “Hickory Dickory Dock” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” songs with movements, tried playing the ocean drum to make the sound of waves and being funny goldfish.

Week 2 – Pirate Theme

Math - Worked on 1 to 1 correspondence (counting one object while saying one, then saying two for the next object and so on). Counted objects in the room area, counted pirate treasure, practiced writing the number 2.

Reading - Books read today: How I Became a Pirate; Bubble Bath Pirates. “Five Little Pirates” hand play, sang a pirate song, “Walk the Plank (try to count to 10 before falling off).”

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Bury the Booty (matching)
Activity 2: Battle Ship!
Activity 3: Connect Four Coins (patterns)
Activity 4: Walk the Plank (with little figurines)
Activity 5: Draw a Secret Treasure Map (squeeze, pinch, pull to put items on the map).

Large Motor Skills - Treasure Hunt Obstacle Course: crawled through the tunnel, walked the line, crab walked, and hopped through hula hoops.

Art - Discussed what we knew about pirates and talked about what their life might be like. Followed directions to make a pirate hat from black paper and then decorated it.

Music - Learned new parts of the “Braindance” and also learned songs about sailing ships that can be used for playing games and remembering rhymes.

Week 3 – Picnic/Food

Math - Placed objects (such as squirrels, frogs, ducks) on picnic mats using positional words such as next to, beside, on top of, between, over, beneath. Learned to write the number 3.

Reading - Books read today: Celebration / Picnic / We’re Going on a Picnic / Pigs’ Picnic . Fingerplay “5 Little Ants.” Reviewed shapes, colors, and numbers.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose (and do all) from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Alphabet soup (using tweezers to pick out certain letters from a pile)
Activity 2: Pretend picnic and kitchen
Activity 3: Play-doh chefs (use dough to make food items)
Activity 4: Pepperoni Pizza: Spin, Pinch, Cut! (spin to find out how many pepperonis to put on, pinch them on with clothespins, cut into pieces)
Activity 5: Puzzling Picnics (food-related puzzles to assemble)

Large Motor Skills - Hot Potato: partners pass bean bags until music stops. The partner without a bean bag leads others in hopping, skipping, etc. Toss again when music starts. Picnic Basket Relay: Work in partners. One partner goes to picnic basket and chooses food to put in basket, then comes back to tag partner. Kids moved across the floor doing crabwalk, hopping, galloping, skipping, etc.

Art - Talked about symmetry (same on both sides). Talked about shapes such as oval, diamond, heart, and how each shape on the paper had a twin. Looked at a butterfly, folded it in half to get the “line of symmetry.” Colored the twins the same, cut out, and arranged on the butterfly so they are symmetrical.

Music - Learned a new part of the “Braindance” and sang about “When We All Do Eat Sweet Potatoes.” Played a game where you need to keep the beat and listen for your name.

Week 4 - Family 

Math - Talked about the difference between two dimensional (flat) shapes and three dimensional objects (3D items: cube, cone, sphere, pyramid, and rectangular prism). Learned to write the number 4 and played Shape Bingo!

Reading - Books read today: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother too? / The Napping House / Knuffle Bunny.  Practiced the rhyme “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.” Played a word card game and a sequence activity about a family.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose (and do all) from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Make appreciation cards for family members using construction paper and stamps
Activity 2: Jewelry making using pipe cleaners and beads
Activity 3: Family game time: Battleship, Connect Four, Ants in My Pants, Perfection
Activity 4: Pretend play: dress-up clothes with buttons, zippers, ties, etc.
 Activity 5: Blocks: use Lincoln Logs, Legos, and other blocks to make a house

Large Motor Skills - Played “Mom Says, Dad Says” (like Simon Says) using hopping, skipping, balancing on one foot, etc. Try this at home or when you’re waiting in line at the grocery or WalMart!

Art - Learned to use water to make the paint “work” and how to clean the brush between colors, pointed out how to mix two colors to get a new color, and then allowed them to use the watercolors to put paint on a coffee filter.

Music - Added “Miss Mary Mack” and “Humpty Dumpty” to the parts of “Braindance” already learned. Kept the beat while speaking the rhyme about “Diddle, Diddle Dumpling, My Son John” and tried out a drum.

Week 5 - Visiting the Zoo

Math - Sort students by attributes—how you describe something. Played attribute game; sorted zoo animals. Practice writing the number 5.

Reading - Books read today: Honey, Honey, Lion and Jungle Drums. Wild animal picture cards, safari slideshow (on an iPad!) and word cards. Shapes and colors were reviewed as always.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Animal finger puppets/barrel of monkeys
Activity 2: Animal tangrams
Activity 3: Scissor Station (cutting different types of lines)
Activity 4: Create animal books
Activity 5: Feed the animals (pour into different containers, transfer back into

Large Motor Skills - Animal motion dance/musical shapes (like musical chairs). Walked like the chosen animal. Person without a shape gets to pick the next animal, so no one is ever “out!”

Art - Showed the book Hide and Snake and talked about illustrations. Talked about the word pattern and what it means. Were given a snake pattern and were asked to cut it out.

Music - In the “Braindance,” add crawling, creeping, and walking when you say “I’m a (lizard, puppy, bear, human).” Took turns being a little bird or part of a window for a bird to fly through. Walked to the music to visit the zoo and then acted out the animals.


Week 6  - Farm

Math - Practiced some simple subtraction using farm animals: placed farm animals in a pen, opened the gate, let some escape, and figured out how many were left. Practiced writing the number 6 (“roll a loop and make a hoop”).

Reading - Books read today: Barnyard Banter and Giggle, Giggle, Quack and Cows that Cluck. Nursery rhymes were recited: “Little Boy Blue” and “Little Bo Peep.” Sang “Old McDonald Had a Farm;” practiced word cards.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Charlotte’s Web: wrap plastic insects with white string (for Charlotte’s dinner!) and then unwrap them
Activity 2: Gone Fishing: use magnet fishing rods to fish out letters to spell your name
Activity 3: Down on the Farm: play farm set and Lincoln logs provided for pretend play
Activity 4: Color/decorate a mini animal book (using crayons and markers)
Activity 5: Puzzle station: farm and animal puzzles to put together

Large Motor Skills - Played over/under with rubber ducks; played Farmer in the Dell; did egg on spoons races (using cotton balls for the eggs—no mess!).

Art - Showed a turtle sculpture and talked about how it is different than a flat drawing of a turtle. Learned that “form” means a sculpture and “3-dimensional” means we can see its front and sides. Then used clay to form different animals, using a carving stick to add fur, feathers, and other “textures.”

Music - Do the “Braindance” using all the parts, then learn a game about waking up to care of the cows. Learn “My Little Pony Needs New Shoes” and keep the beat while everyone gets a chance to move like a pony.


Week 7 - Vehicles

Math -Practiced some simple addition (1+ 2; 2+3) using a parking lot mat and Hot Wheels. Practiced writing the number 7 (“across the sky and down from heaven, that’s the way you make a 7”).

Reading - Books read today: Sheep in a Jeep; Beep, Beep, Vroom Vroom; I Wish I Were a Pilot; and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Performed a train finger play and heard a flannel board story of Duck in the Truck. We also matched cars with their color word.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Ready, Set, Race!: built race tracks courses for marbles
Activity 2: Auto Puzzles and Sliders: assembled automobile themed puzzles and slide toys (these belong to the library and are located in the hanging bag section behind children’s movies—the puzzles can be checked out!).
Activity 3: Super Highway: blocks and Legos were used to build a superhighway and city for toy cars to drive through
Activity 4: Nuts and Bolts: using big, heavy nuts and bolts with letters on them, students made simple words
Activity 5: Sidewalk Chalk: used sidewalk chalk outside on the library’s driveway to draw different types of vehicles

Large Motor Skills - Locomotor License: walk, hop, skip, gallop, jump, etc. as we played “Red Light, Green Light.” Played vehicle songs from CD and acted out the actions

Art - Talked about shapes and how to draw different ones like rectangles and squares and circles. Drew a truck by using shapes and used markers to color it and scissors to cut it out. Drew a road on black paper, and then glued the cut-out truck on the road.

Music - After doing “Braindance,” explored making sounds like vehicles with your voice (sirens, horns, motors, etc.). Sang a song about fighting a fire, then practiced “driving” and “stopping” to some crazy music!



Week 8 - Winter in July!

Math - Wrote the number 8 (make an S but do not wait, go back up and close the gate); counted up to 20 and back down. Worked with creating patterns like A B A B A B or A B C A B C .

Reading - Books read today: The Snowy Day; Froggy Gets Dressed; Time to Sleep; and Stranger in the Woods. Did a snowman letter search, used matching mitten cards and winter word cards.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1: Hole Punch Art – punch holes in white paper for snow, add cotton balls for snowmen and snow
Activity 2: Snow Writing – using shaving cream for snow, write name and words
Activity 3: Cozy Quilting – sew scenes in cardboard cutouts and weave scraps together
Activity 4: Cocoa Counting – spoon marshmallows (cotton balls) into mugs
Activity 5: Winter Clothes Race – race to see who can put

Large Motor Skills - Stretched first, then combined “toe tag” with a “snowball” throw, throwing the snowball (bean bag) at another’s toe. Had to do snow angels on the ground to get back in!

Art - Talked about what we wear in the winter, then showed a woven mitten and looked at the patterns in the yarn and talked about weaving, which is yarn going over and under another piece of yarn. Cut out a giant mitten and used the over-under-over-under pattern to weave colored papers into the mitten, then glued down the ends.

Music - Warmed up with “Braindance” and sang two songs with jingle bells. Then we moved like snow—high, low, fast, slow, falling. Blowing, traveling, turning, sticking!



Week 9 - Pets

Math - Wrote the number 9 ("a hoop and a line makes a nine").  Created a human graph and a favorite pet graph.

Reading - Books read were Mama Cat and Her Kittens, Pet Show, Cookie's WeekThe Pigeon Wants a Puppy, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.  Used the rhymes "Hey Diddle Diddle" and "Old Mother Hubbard" and used picture cards.

Fine Motor Skills & Writing - Kids could choose from the five activities offered:
Activity 1:  Design your own pet collar with stencils and stickers.
Activity 2:  Feed the Pets, pouring beans or rice into bowls.
Activity3:  Group Color a large pet scene using crayons, pencils, markers and more.
Activity 4:  Guess the Pet - draw a card and act out that animal for others to guess. 
Activity 5:  Memory Matching Game with animals.

Large Motor Skills - Played freeze dance games - be your favorite pet until the music stops.  Other games too, like Hokey Pokey and Head and Shoulders.

Art - Used cutting, coloring and gluing to make dog and cat puppets with paperbags.

Music - "Built" a dog house singing “Johnny Pounds with One Hammer” using body parts to pound on (knee, thigh); be two different animals in "The Little Mice Are Creeping;"  sang and played “My Little Pony” with mallets, then with drums; played “Little Bird through My Window”; moved and sang with "The Goldfish" by Laurie Berkner.


Week 10 - Dinosaurs

Math -

Reading -

Fine Motor Skills & Writing -

Large Motor Skills -

Art -

Music -



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




Jay County Public Library  Portland, Indiana