Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's essential to storytime?

I've been reading some other library blogs (like this one) and it's making me wonder.  We don't do crafts with our storytimes, and actually, when my kids were young and went to storytime in Nashville, we didn't do crafts either.  Since that was the crème de la crème for me as far as storytimes, when we moved to the boonies and couldn't justify a trip to the city, the Clarksville library did do crafts.  And I thought it was so tacky.  Not sure why, but if Miss Tori didn't do it, I didn't want to have any part of it!  

However, I can see the advantages.  I think it would definitely encourage more families to come out to storytime, or at least encourage the ones who do come to come back.  But the big problem I see is the cost.  Is it worth that, AND is it worth the bother - glitter in the carpet, sticky glue fingers, etc?

Right now, I'm not in a position to change anything as far as storytime goes.  But for my part, I want to include stories, music, fingerplays, and poetry in each one.  (Seriously - I am going to do poetry as flannel boards.  We'll see how it goes, eh?)  

Oh and I'm scheduled for my next storytime, on December 3.  Again with a preschool, and I don't know if they'd want me to do Christmas per se.  I was leaning to penguins but maybe I should save that for January when it's really cold here.  (I'm not including the sweet story, When Tango Makes Three.  I think that'd be just looking for controversy.)  I'm also looking into going off the gingerbread boy theme, but all the stories I find (The Gingerbread Girl; The Gingerbread Pirates; The Runaway Tortilla) have entirely too many words for a storytime.  So I've found a few titles that are about "too much" - too many cupcakes, too many pears, too many cookies.  Moderation in all things.  Wait, am I like the morality story lady?  Please and thank you and then moderation?  What gives?!  Well, I'm not set on that yet.  If you want to share a good December theme, have at it.  (Writing this, I know it sounds pretty goofy to do a storytime featuring the negatives of the wanton consumerism that is America.  I'm not trying to indoctrinate the children to a new, starker reality with Republicans in charge of the House.  Ha Ha!  I don't know, it was just sort of a stream of consciousness thing when I was looking for books and that's the theme I saw emerge.)


  1. What about something along the lines of Nutcracker? A short story perhaps. I love the nutcracker.

  2. Christmasy, but not religion based. I'll look to see if we have any titles like that. (Though I have a dance once figured out too, I could do it with all of that in December.)

    But I don't want to be the storytime lady who won't do the obvious theme. Parents sometimes want the obvious theme. But doing the Nutcracker with Aylesworth's The Gingerbread Man would be a nice mix. I never found an obvious we're-making-cookies book (hey, there's an idea for a children's book!).

  3. Thanks for the shout out!!! I did a pretty fun "winter/snow" story time for pre-schoolers in December once. Check it out here -

    WTG with the blogging!!!!

  4. I always look at yours for ideas! I have decided on my gingerbread one - I'm going to use Aylesworth's Gingerbread Man, then Kimmel's The Runaway Tortilla. They both are a little long, but since they are traditional, I think it will go faster. Then we have 2 flannelboards for The Bun from Old Russia and The Runaway Pancake. Bri, I checked out our nutcracker books but they're too long, too!

    I had such a fantastic day today (I'll write a post on it). What a great job!

  5. Love it! (I need to be blogging myself or take my link down.) I inherited the opposite situation--I think the parents of CF would revolt if we ever stopped doing crafts with storytime. Sometimes they are cheesy--you're right--but I think there's something valuable in extending a child's experience with a book, through a craft, a game, a song, or a poem. I've been experimenting lately, too, with interactive music in storytime--for example, during a storytime with books about zoo animals, I used Zoodlebee Zoup--drum music with a narrator who directs listeners to, "Dance like a monkey (pig, lion, etc.) and make the sounds of a monkey," until he says Zoodlebee Zoup, and you're supposed to stop. It was a great hit. And I used puppets when we sang together "I Had a Rooster" by Pete Seeger.
    Anyway, you've inspired me, Christine! And I totally hear you about books that are perfect for storytime. We need to be writing them ourselves!

  6. That's where I really need to improve my skills - fingerplays and songs! I guess I've been watching them on YouTube (not kidding) but I think I'll just do them as I go along, and as I use them, I'll learn them. Please do blog, Kelly, I'd love to read what you're doing there! It was the Cedar Falls Public Library that kept me as a library user all those years growing up. I love that place!

    And I should clarify, I don't think crafts are tacky. Really, I'm sure the other library just had more funding, but I couldn't consider that it did anything better than Miss Tori's library. I do know I'd have to have an assistant if we did crafts! Real Librarian, do you have someone who comes in and helps you out?