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!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tips for Storytime Success

Stroll on down to Saints and Spinners for Seven Tips for Satisfying Library Preschool Programs.

Lone Star Mama's comment especially struck a chord with me:
I agree about the rules. I most like librarians who most like kids. Our old children's librarian was great and we loved her, but I could tell she didn't have kids of her own by the frequency with which she redirected touchy toddlers. When she was promoted to branch manager, we got a children's librarian who is a grandma (she used to be the librarian at my older daughter's elementary school). She's not as giddy or silly or inventive as the career-focused youngsters, perhaps, but she gets kids and likes them. She's laid back and I think I like that better than any master-performer.

This is actually my major insecurity in youth services--how do I "make up" for not having kids of my own? Or even nieces or nephews? I do like kids, and there is definitely an element of silliness to my storytime, but I still struggle to "get" kids as much as I feel I should. It is definitely my main area of improvement that I have outlined for myself for the next year. Unless someone makes me branch manager first... just kidding.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the youth vs. experience question? What can a 20-something youth services staffer do to be just as good as a mom or grandmother?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Spider Poll

When you learned this rhyme, was it the "eensy weensy" spider or the "itsy bitsy" spider?

The eensy weensy (itsy bitsy) spider crawled up the waterspout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all tbe rain,
And the eensy weensy (itsy bitsy) spider climbed up the spout again.


I learned "itsy bitsy" but all my preschool books say "eensy weensy," which I think is kind of hard to say. I am wondering if this is a regional thing, like Michiganders say "pop" and everyone else says "soda." I am curious to know what other people think, so please leave a comment!

Also, did you know this verse exists:
The eensy weensy (itsy bitsy) spider was climbing up the trees.
Down came the snow and made the spider freeze.
Out came the sun and melted all the snow,
So the eensy weensy (itsy bitsy) spider had another go!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fall Family Reading Night... Take 2

You might remember that my last family reading night was canceled due to severe weather (not unheard of for basically any time of year in Michigan). Well, I finally got a chance to perform tonight! Obviously, as the original date was 2 weeks before Halloween and the "rain date" happened to be the day after Halloween, I had to change the agenda a little. I decided to do a few Halloweeny stories anyway, especially because the word "Halloween" never appears in either, and I thought that they would appeal to the older audience.

Good Old-Fashioned Sort-of-Scary Picture Books
Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly (I did this one as a felt board--available through Lakeshore Learning--and got lots of help from the kids in attendance!)
The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt, illustrated by the great Tony DiTerlizzi in a gothic style reminiscent of silent movies.

Fall/Thanksgiving Titles
I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson (this one was a big hit--the illustrations really sell it)
Turk and Runt: a Thanksgiving Comedy by Lisa Wheeler


While looking for books that might work with this theme, I ran across one of the greatest titles ever for a squirrel-based picture book: Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert. "Nuts to you" is becoming one of my new catchphrases.