Thursday, July 5, 2012


Today, I am sharing books about fireflies with the children at the Allentown Public Library.  And we will be making this Karen Maurer original craft:  Bugs in a "Jar".  (I decided to do away with the crumpled paper at the bottom of the cup. It's distracting.)

I got my inspiration for this craft from an article I read, suggesting that children could use clear plastic take-out cups and the lids as bug collecting "jars".  That's a lot safer than the canning jars I used as a kid.  One trip on the pavement and there would be shards of glass everywhere.  And take-out lids already have holes punched in them for the straw.

To make my "bugs" glow, I used glow in the dark pony beads, available online at Oriental Trading.   Any pony bead will make a bug and you can get a bag of 100 hundred beads for $1 at Dollar Tree.  The glow-in-the-dark beads go with my firefly theme.

The wings are scraps of tulle.  I bought mine at Dollar Tree but any craft store has rolls of the stuff for cheap.  Other possible materials for wings include tissue paper, which is a little delicate, and scraps of thin fabric.

My take-out lids were given to me by the good people at Panera on Cedar Crest in Allentown.  If you are doing this with just your family, save your take out cups and lids and the craft is truly cheap.

It's Thursday and that means I should talk about Storytelling.  One of the best types of storytelling is when people share stories of "when I was little".  So instead of featuring a storyteller or a book, I challenge my readers to tell stories of summer nights "when I was little."

When I was little, we chased fireflies, counting them up and trying to outdo each other.  The smaller kids would swing their hands through the air and shout out numbers, whether they caught a bug or not.  There is nothing worse to a little kid than not being able to keep up with the older kids.

How do I know my little brothers and sisters counted pretend fireflies?  Well, when they finally caught a lightning bug - that's what we called them - they got so excited, they gave themselves away.

We lived near a park - the picnic kind of park - and there were perhaps six lone streetlamps casting our shadows long and dark on the grass.  The street lamps didn't put out enough light to discourage the lightning bugs.

We ran outside in our pajamas and in our bare feet and we sang snatches of songs.  My sister and I liked to pretend we could speak other languages by singing "O Sole Mio" as loud as we could and then gibberish to the rest of the tune.  We only did this at night.  Night makes anything seem possible.

Those memories are not really a "story" but they were fun to share with you.  Catch some real lightning bugs tonight.  Check out for information about these amazing little lightbulbs.


  1. It's so true about the "when I was little" stories. Those are by far the most interesting ones because they're true. I always love to hear about peoples past. Right now I'm reading about Julie Andrews childhood and it's fascinating!

    1. Thanks, Michele. I meant to reply to you and put in a comment instead. Oh well. I LOVE Julie Andrews. Are you reading a memoir or a biography?

  2. Thanks, Michele. What book are you reading? Julie Andrews is one of my all time favorite actress/singer/authors/people.

  3. Oh man did you bring back memories of our gang of younguns catching them at Nana's! Thanks! :)