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Showing posts from July, 2009

8 Tips for Surviving Outdoor Storytime

This summer I did my first ever outdoor storytime. Actually I did about 12 of them. And I learned A LOT! Some of these are things that are also applicable to indoor storytime, but they had a heightened drama being outside.

1) Be prepared. Bring Kleenex, even if your allergies are not as bad as mine. Seriously, this summer has just been terrible. Someone in your audience will have bad allergies. That someone will be grateful. That someone is me. A bottle of water is also a lifesaver.

2) Be prepared to improvise (even more than you might need to in the library where you would be able to grab any forgotten/spare supplies or materials). You will probably forget something. One time it was a poor little felt turtle that got left behind where I had been practicing my felt board story. Today I temporarily blew out the portable speaker attached to my iPod that I use for storytime (easier than lugging around and plugging in a CD player). So I sang acapella, with apologies to Jim Gill. This wa…

How to Make a Scroll Story

A SoTomorrow How-To

This post is semi-inspired by Abby the Librarian's excellent How to Make a Felt (Flannel Board) Story and Lisa Chellman's Magnetic Manipulatives for Storytime.

Scroll stories are a great, unusual method of storytelling. Even today's kids, accustomed to video games and TV, will sit mesmerized and listen to a scroll story. Bonus: scroll stories are also quite a lot of fun to make! You can write your own stories or use traditional stories.

Scroll stories are wonderful practice for beginning storytellers because you are able to have a copy of your script near (for those not yet confident in their memory) and because the eyes of those in the audience will be focused on the box (for those not yet comfortable performing).

I made my first scroll story earlier this summer, a version of It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. I know lots of children's librarians use Shaw's story as a felt/flannel board. Other stories that you might have used as …

Art Storytime

My theme last week at storytime was art. (I always use loose themes, as you will see next week...Spoiler Alert!). I usually don't even make any mention of what the theme is, but it does help me organize my thoughts. It helps that I make mine pretty general as well, and I try to make them kid-friendly too.

First* we read I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont. I passed out paintbrushes so the kids could play along at painting their body parts as the kid in the book paints his (or hers?). Does anyone know if it is a boy or girl in this story?!? This is one of my favorite stories. I love singing picture books.

The biggest hit this week was a story roll version of It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. I know many children's librarians do this as a felt board story, but after I found a story box in the storage room here, I had to try my hand at making my very first scroll story. It turned out fantastically and it was a huge success. One little boy exclaimed "…

Music Storytime

Last week I performed a Music-themed storytime for our "Be Creative @ Your Library" summer reading program.

The first book we read was A Soup Opera by Jim Gill. Having seen Mr. Gill perform this book (I have an autographed copy!!) live, I am not content to merely read the book. That would be too easy. Instead, I have the tracks from the accompanying CD loaded into my iPod and I skip forward or backward as needed. I occasionally use stick puppets instead of holding the book up, as I have the whole thing memorized. (Doing the same storytime 5 days a week will do that to you.) Also, storytime attendees have to help me sing opera-style. This must include "opera arms." I have a little sign with "I Can't Eat the soup!" which I hold up when they are to sing... "I Can't Eat the Soup!" I try to remind people that "if you feel silly, you're doing great!"

Then we sang/read Jane Cabera's version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm and I p…