Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evening Family Story Time #2 - Halloween!

Family Story Time - Thursday, October 27, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Attendance 68 (40 children, 28 adults).

This evening's program was truly a family story time.   Entire families came out on a cold, rainy night.  I had lots of dads this evening.  Everyone seemed to have had a great time including the parents.  I did not notice any restless children while telling the stories though a couple of the two-year-olds joined the older children up front when we were doing the "Big Pumpkin."  Even the babies were good.  Having a wide variety of stories worked well. (Even the twelve-year-old who came with younger siblings put down his book and listened.)  Having easy and difficult crafts also worked well later.  A staff member had donated several containers of Halloween foam pieces (Thank you Brenda!) which kept the younger children very happy and gave me time to pass out the other craft materials.  The older children also enjoyed the fortune tellers. 


Books:  Brooms Are For Flying by Michael Rex
             Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara

Board Stories:  "Snacks for Ghosts" (see post for 10/14/11)
                       "Juan and the Ghost" from Multicultural Folktales for the Feltboard and Readers' Theater by Judy Sierra

Board Rhyme:  "One Little Ghost" (see post for 10/7/11)

Board Game:    "Little Bat and the Witches' Hats"  - a guessing game (see post for 10/14/11)

Paper Cutting Story:  "The Little Orange House" from Paper Stories by Jean Stangl (Best collection of paper cutting stories ever!)

Draw & Tell Story:  "The Ghost on Pedersen's Farm" from Frog's Riddle & Other Draw-and-Tell Stories by Richard Thompson (Highly recommended though the stories are not simple to draw)
Participation Story:  "Big Pumpkin" based on Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman (see posts for 10/21/11 and 10/23/11)
Crafts:  Halloween picture or card - Halloween themed foam pieces glued on purple construction paper
            Halloween fortune teller
            Jack-O-Lantern smile
            Flapping Bat
(A quick shot of the crafts - the bat flaps upside down)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Big Pumpkin - Constructed

While figuring out how to make the pumpkin for the Big Pumpkin participation story I plan to use in my Family Story Time on the 27th (see my post for 10/21/11), I had three things to consider - foremost it had to be big, yet it had to be light enough to pick up and it had to be easily storable. 

First I took two sheets of 18" by 24" drawing paper and placed them together on the floor.  I sketched out a pumpkin across both sheets so that there would be half a pumpkin on each sheet when separated.  I drew a stem on a separate piece of paper.  I outlined everything in black marker.  I colored the stem with green marker but painted the pumpkin with orange poster paint because it was such a large area.  Once the paint was dry I cut the pieces out.  (The pumpkin pieces could be glued on a firmer backing or could be painted on poster board instead for a sturdier pumpkin.  I just used the materials I had, figuring I will only be using it for Halloween storytimes so it should hold up.) 

I used paper grocery bags as supports.  They are "double bagged" to make them sturdy.  I glued half of a pumpkin to one bag and half to the other.  I then clipped the bags together.  I attached the stem with Velcro (hook and loop) pieces making sure I had one piece on each pumpkin to keep the top of the pumpkin together.  Once everything was in place I had my "Big Pumpkin."

The great thing about using grocery bags is that they can be easily folded for storage.  The other props used in the story can be slipped into the folded bags.

Big Pumpkin Assembled - Front

Big Pumpkin Assembled - Back

Bags Clipped Together

Attaching the Stem with Velcro

Big Pumpkin - Deconstructed Again

Friday, October 21, 2011

Big Pumpkin - Deconstructed

My favorite Halloween book is Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman.  I don't usually mess with a great book but this title would work very well as a participation story.  Children could be the characters and the audience would contribute the key words to the story.  The librarian would direct the action and narrate.  With this in mind, I came up with -


Simple props to designate the characters:

Dialog cue cards for the audience:

Big Pumpkin (in progress - I'll post about how I put it together later -waiting for the paint to dry):

The reward:

All the clip art is from Microsoft Publisher.

Now that I have these simple props, I plan to tell this story at my Halloween Family Story Time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not My Usual Sources for Storytime Crafts

I am a visual person (which is why I like using props and board stories in my storytime programs).  I enjoy the visual arts while my husband and daughters prefer the performing arts.  Lately I've been more interested in crafts than the fine arts.  Crafts can be found in museums or on refrigerators.  I have two sources in my Google Reader that show the wide range of crafts that can be found on the web.  One is the Craft blog and the other is Craftgawker.  I can quickly scroll through the various posts in Google Reader.  Occasionally I will stop at one that interests me.  I subscribe to these because I love seeing the work of creative people.  Every once in while I will post something that I find interesting on this blog.  (Today I found this on Craftzine.)  What I didn't expect to find was ideas for storytime crafts.  However, this showed up on Craftgawker  - jack o'lantern smiles!  So simple, yet so cute.  (Check out the lisa storms blog for other Halloween ideas -I like the owl treat boxes and the skeleton magnets - she even supplies templates.)  I plan to use this as well as a Halloween fortune teller pattern that I also found through Craftgawker as crafts for my Halloween Family Story Time program on October 27.  Now I will be looking at these sites, not just for my own enjoyment but for storytime craft ideas as well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Snacks for Ghosts & Bats in Hats

I wanted to include The Ghost's Dinner by Jacques Duquennoy in my Halloween Family Story Time program but my current library does not own it.  So I ended up doing what I did in July (see my post for 7/6/11) - writing my own story.  This one is much shorter and can be found as a Google document here.

There are several versions of stories that feature the concept of ghosts turning the color of what they eat that can be found by searching the web.  One is called "Three Naughty Ghosts."  My web search also turned up a reference to a book, The Chocolate Chip Ghost by Meighan Peifer.  I'm not familiar with this title but I'm guessing it would be a good one to use.  I also found flannel board versions by searching that title. 

Since my library uses a magnet board I made my own figures.  I'm using the same little ghosts that I used for "One Little Ghost" (see my post for 10/7/11) plus a mama ghost.  I based the food items on clip art.  Once the pieces are laminated I will make a magnet sandwich by stapling a colorful ghost and white ghost back to back.  I made extra wide black borders so I would have room to trim the pieces to match.

 The Snacks

 The Problem

 Mama with the Solution

Ready to Go Halloween Haunting

I am also going to do a version of the critter hiding behind something guessing game (such as "Little Mouse" and those in my blog post for 8/4/11).  I found the idea for a bat hiding behind a witch's hat on Kelly's "Field Acquisitions" blog.

I based the figures on clip art, copied the hats and colored everything with markers.  I made the hat bands black because I plan to hide the little bat behind them.  The figures are not cut out yet because they need to be laminated first.

This week's Flannel Friday Round-up can be found at the "rovingfiddlehead kidlit" blog.

Friday, October 7, 2011

One Little Ghost

One little ghost, waiting to yell boo,
Calls for a friend, so now there are two.
Two little ghosts, hiding in a tree,
Call for a friend, so now there are three.
Three little ghosts decide they need more,
Call for a friend, so now there are four.
Four little ghosts, ready to swoop and dive,
Call for a friend and now there are five.
Five little ghosts, hidden from sight,
Jump out at trick-or-treaters to give them a fright.
One, two, three, four, five - “Boo!”

This Halloween rhyme can be used with flannel/magnet board figures or with finger puppets.


The Flannel Friday Round-up for this week can be found at the Future Librarian Superhero blog.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Second Grade Visits

Second graders from public and private schools in Hamilton Township spend a day attending a program about bicycle safety given by the police department.  It is held at the library with half the schools attending in the fall and the other half attending the following spring.  A visit to the children's room is included in the program.  We talk about what the library has for them, tell some stories and give them some time to browse the collection.  For our own sanity and that of the teachers, we like to vary our programs each year. 

I usually do a different program each spring and fall.  I like to read a humorous picture book and tell a story (or two).  I always promote the summer programs in the spring usually by playing a memory game.  In the fall, I tell an additional story instead.  This year I decided to use the same book that I read last spring simply because I haven't found anything I like better (that I haven't used before).  The book is Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog by Jon Agee.  It combines guessing, wordplay and silliness.  The children become very involved in figuring out each animal but it can take a long time to get through the book.  I also enjoy seeing the teachers and parents get involved in the guessing as well.

One of the stories that I am telling is "The Pearl Thief" from Travel the Globe: Multicultural Story Times by Desiree Webber.  It is based on a folktale from India and is told with props (I use paper lunch bags).  I really like this story but I may have to start leaving it out when we are short on time.  I need to work on making this one go quicker.

The other story that I am using is a paper cutting story, "The Royal Paper Puzzle" from Handmade Tales by Diane de Las Casas.  I just used this in Family Story Time (see my post for 9/27/11) and it was a big hit and surprisingly easy to do.  (I did skip the part describing the princess and making her curly hair.)  The children have been so fascinated by it that one of my colleagues starting doing it when she was doing the class visits and she does not do paper cutting stories.  (Maybe I'll be able to talk her into doing some more.)

So far I've been able to keep the attention of the second graders (and the adults that are with them).  I need to work on giving them enough time to browse the collection.  It's a fine line because if they have too much time then things can go downhill very quickly!