Parachute ideas for all kinds of programs!

Stumped for ideas for using the parachute at storytime?

Think outside the picture books stacks!

Here are some great ideas for incorporating material from other areas of your collection.

Want to make your own clip art?

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started!

Some easy ways to spice up your site!

Be sure to suggest your favorites in the comments!

Ideas for incorporating factual materials into storytime

There is lots of great nonfiction for kids out there. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Baseball Storytime

I am a big baseball fan (Go TIgers!) so when I heard that the local minor league team would be sending a player to my branch for storytime, saying that I was very excited would be a bit of an understatement. While I think it could have gone smoother on both ends, the kids had a fantastic time.
We read a bunch of books on baseball and I read some of the baseball-themed poems out of Jack Prelutsky's new anthology, Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More. Incidentally, I remember reading a blog post that totally trashed this book (and sports poems) in general, because they are "all the same."
Another choice was The Jungle Baseball Game by Tom Paxton.

The big hit of the event was a nice, long game of frying pan baseball. The player (who was actually a pitcher, so this was especially funny to watch) used a frying pan to bat the "ball"--a bunch of grocery bags rubber-banded together--while the kids tried to catch it with pots.
Following that, we made fireworks in a glass (Fill a tall, clear drinking glass with room-temperature water, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a smaller glass and add 1 to 2 drops each of red and blue food coloring. Gently stir the mixture once or twice with a fork to barely break up the beads. Pour the shorter glass into the water glass and watch. It takes about 30 seconds for the beads to burst through the oil, releasing miniature fireworks. We set three glasses of fireworks on the floor and let the kids stretch out in a circle around them to watch. This is an idea from the July/August 2007 issue of Family Fun magazine (last page).)

For a craft, we made ball-shaped baseball cards and wore them around our necks.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Here there be DRAGONS!

I'm not a big fantasty fan (just not my taste!) but I have to say that there are a lot of great picture books that have a dragon theme or plot. So many, in fact, that I had an incredibly hard time picking out which ones to read. Poor me, right? Here are those that passed the cut, as well as how else we filled our time:

1) The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. (A CLASSIC!)
2) There's No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent (The kids loved the part where the dragon picks up the house and runs down the street in it.

Activity: Turned off the lights in the library, gave the kids child-sized lanterns, and had them go on a "dragon hunt" where they discovered 2 of the library's stuffed dragons hiding in the adult non-fiction (a very "cave-like" area!)

Craft: Dragon kites. Used template from SITE HERE and attached crepe paper streamers. Simple, effective.

"Friends" Storytime

This week was my first storytime ever! It had a friends theme, and even though we have a centralized programming department, we are encouraged to supplement the tubs they send to us with selections from our own branches's collection. So, without further adieu, here is a list of what we did.

-Welcomed the children and introduced myself.

-Introduced theme and encouraged children to pick a stuffed animal "friend" to share their carpet square during the storytime.

-Read Sean Bryan's A Bear and His Boy which is a hilarious story, and a really easy one to think of questions to ask the children while reading it. My favorite was when the bear and his boy are browsing the stacks at the libary, I asked the children if they'd ever been to the library and about half of them said no. Has a great rhyme scheme and rhythm.

-Read Yo! YES! by Chris Raschka. This was a lot of fun to perform, as I split reading duties with one of my teen volunteers. We each read one half of the dialogue (all of the text consists of dialogue between two strangers, and I encouraged my volunteer to yell the dialogue back at me). The kids actually had us read this story twice.

-Read Mo Willem's Leonardo, the Terrible Monster. I had the kids give their best "monster noises" when Leonardo tries to scare the "tuna salad" out of Sam.

-Talked about how sometimes you have to look to find friends. Compared pair of people (friends) with a pair of socks and took kids on a sock hunt through the library. Gave each child a sock and instructed him/her to find its match.

-Read Sean Bryan's Girl and Her Gator.Similar to a Bear and His Boy, but littered with great wordplay and French phrases and a strong "be yourself" message.

-Read Diane Stanley's Goldie and the Three Bears.
-Played the sock game again (thanks to my teen volunteers for their excellent hiding skills)

-Talked about how sometimes our parents are our friends and had kids make Father's Day cards for their dads or another loved one. With their thumbs in white paint, they created a bunny's body and head, then used their pinky to make the ears. The caption read "Thumb bunny loves you!"

My sample craft: