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Super Awesome Fun Time moves outdoors

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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

No matter how super, awesome and fun Dover Library’s Super Awesome Fun Time is when it takes place inside the Dover Library, it’s hard to beat being out in the sunshine, with the insects, butterflies and flowers of The Gardens at Elm Bank.

On Thursday, August 15, Nancy Tegeler and Jim Weston brought the excitement to a shady spot just outside of Weezy’s Garden, where they were joined by a variety of families from Dover and elsewhere. Weston explained that they are lucky enough that Elm Bank allows them to hold their program within the garden grounds every summer, because it’s such a nice spot.

“We do our Super Awesome Fun Time program three days a week at the library, normally in the summer,” he explained. “But Elm Bank has been gracious enough to host us here at the garden, so on Thursdays in the summer we come out here and read some stories, sing some songs, and have a good time.”

While the surroundings tempted the children with a wide array of potential distractions, Weston and Tegeler did a great job maintaining their attention by swiftly moving from song to story and back again.

Beginning with the story “Sheep in a Jeep,” Weston moved to the songs “Icky Sticky Bubblegum” and “Ram Sam Sam,” which featured what Weston called “a sort of finger play where we pound our fists together” and “Shake Your Sillies Out,” which Weston noted was “always a favorite” due to the fun shaking aspect. Then, they read the book “The Widemouth Frog.”

A little girl enjoys singing ‘Icky Sticky Bubblegum.’

A little girl enjoys singing ‘Icky Sticky Bubblegum.’

In designing the program this way, Weston made sure the kids were never sitting for an extended period of time, which kept them engaged throughout.

Nancy Tegeler noted that for their program, admission to the garden is free, and that by exposing Doverites to the garden (she pointed out that while Elm Bank’s entrance is in Wellesley, the majority of the acreage is in Dover), they are creating more prospective members.

The Elm Bank Super Awesome Fun Time program used to be held around the gardens’ sand pit, but was moved to let the children sit in the shade. While families are encouraged to check out the gardens after the program is over, Tegeler and Weston made sure the kids saw it in its near entirety during “The Ants Go Marching.” Holding a portable speaker, the librarians led the children in a march around the garden, before concluding the day with “The More We Get Together.”

There’s no doubt that when it comes to Super Awesome Fun Time, the more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

And when you’re outside in the beautiful sunshine of The Gardens at Elm Bank, you end up just a little bit happier.

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