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, March 30, 2015

Metafiction for Kids


A while ago I had a patron who was looking for metafiction picture books for a children's literature class. I had so much fun looking up titles that could work that I kept going long after (and I mean LONG after) finding enough books for him. I put together a list of books for the rest of my staff in case we get this question again and I'm sharing with you all too. I will note that this in no way a complete list of all metafiction books but simply ones we happen to own at my branch. I hope this will be useful for reference and collection development purposes. I happen to be a fan of metafiction myself, so please share in the comments if you have a favorite title not on the list and I'd love to read it!

To start us off, I loved the definition of "metafiction" from What Do We Do All Day:  A metafictional text is one that subverts traditional, straightforward storytelling.

Okay, here we go!

Easies
E-Ahlberg-The Bravest Ever Bear (c1999)
E-Ahlberg-The Pencil (c2008)
E-Barnett-Chloe and the Lion (c2012)
E-Barnett-Count the Monkeys (c2012)
E-Black-The Purple Kangaroo (c2010)
E-Bingham- Z is for Moose (c2012)
E-Byrne-This Book Just Ate My Dog (c2014)
E-Cabatingan-Musk Oz Counts (c2013)
E-Catalanotto-Ivan The Terrier (c2007)
E-Czekaj-Cat Secrets (c2011)
E-Freedman-Blue Chicken (c2011)
E-Freedman-By Mouse and Frog (c2015) 
E-Gravett-Again (c2013)
E-Gravett-Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears (c2008)
E-Gravett-Wolves (c2006) 
E-Hopkinson-Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek (c2008)
E-Johnson-Harold and the Purple Crayons (c1955)
E-Klausmeier-Open This Little Book (c2013)
E-LaRochelle-It’s a Tiger (c2013)
E-Lehman-The Red Book (c2004)
E-Lehrhaupt-Warning: Do Not Open This Book (c2013)
E-Lendler-An Undone Fairy Tale (c2005) 
E-Macauly-Black and White (c1990)
E-McDonell-A Perfectly Messed Up Story (c2014)
E-McKinlay-No Bears (c2012)
E-Nesbitt—More Bears (c2010) 
E-Novak-The Book With No Pictures (c2014)
E-O’Byrne- Open Very Carefully: A book with bite (c2013)
E-O’Malley-Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude (c2005)
E-O’Malley-Once Upon a Royal Superbaby (c2010)
E-Panzieri-The Kindhearted Crocodile (c2013)
E-Perry-The Book That Eats People (c2009)
E-Rubin-The Big Bad Bubble (c2014)
E-Schwarz-Is There a Dog in this Book? (c2014) 
E-Schwarz-There are Cats in this Book (c2008)
E-Schwarz-There are No Cats in this Book (c2010)
E-Scieszka-Battle Bunny (c2013)
E-Scieszka-The Frog Prince, Continued (c1991)
E-Scieszka-The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (c1992)
E-Sesame-The Monster at the End of this Book (c1971) 
E-Smith-It’s a Book (c2010)
E-Tullet-Help! We Need a Title (c2014)
E-Van Allsburg-Bad Day at Riverbend (c1995)
E-Watt-Chester (c2007)  on order March 2015.
E-Watt-Chester’s Back (c2008)
E-Watt- Chester’s Masterpiece (c2010)
E-Watt-You’re Finally Here! (c2011)
E-Wiesner- The Three Pigs (c2001)
E-Yates-Dog Loves Drawing (c2012)

Early Readers
ER-Willems-We are in a Book (c2010)

Chapter Books
JFIC ANDERSON-Whales on Stilts (c2005)
JFIC BOSCH-The Name of This Book is Secret (c2007)
JFIC Bruel-Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble (c2014)
JFIC FUNKE-Inkheart (c2003) plus sequels Inkspell (c2005) and Inkdeath (c2008)
JFIC GIDWITZ: Grimm series
JFIC GRIFFITHS-The 13-Story Treehouse (c2013)
JFIC GRIFFITHS-The 26-Story Treehouse (c2014)
J FIC HORVATH-The Pepins and their Problems (c2004)
JFIC SNICKET-A Series of Unfortunate events
JFIC WILLINGHAM- Down the Mysterly River (c2011)
JFIC VIORST- Lulu series

Sources consulted (thank you to everyone!): 

Children's Literature at the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library
Metafiction Pinterest Board
NoveList K-8
Seth's Shelfari
What Do We Do All Day

Image source: Open Clip Art

Monday, March 23, 2015

Seuss Celebration 2015

Every year we throw a party in March to celebrate Reading Month and Dr. Seuss (read about last year's event here). I didn't get a chance to take a picture of all of our stations this year, but I will tell you about them anyway. Most of them were adapted from ideas we found online. I tried to include the sources when I could find them again, apologies if your idea was not credited--let me know, please and I will fix it! Our program is a 90-minute drop in, station-based program.  Here we go:

  • Cat in the Hat Toss (used a store-bought Seussian hat and giant craft pom poms)
  • One Fish, Two Fish, You Fish fishing game (we did this one last year and it was a hit again!)
  • Reading corner where my co-worker treated us to some awesome read-alouds of Dr. Seuss books, which I was madly impressed by because I do not find his books easy to read aloud to groups at all.
  • Seuss Photo Booth We are loving photo booths at our programs because they are simple to put together and it provides a word-of-mouth advertising for us as parents post photos to Facebook and Instagram of their kids in costumes having fun at the library
  • 2 craft stations: Cat in the Hat nose craft and Thing One paper bag puppet (see below) We used treat bags from Dollar Tree so I had to adjust the size of the template for it to work. I skipped the arms because it was too much cutting for the audience size we were expecting (70-115 people have attended this event in the past 5 years).




Monday, March 16, 2015

Life Size Chutes and Ladders

I wanted to share a really fun, easy program we did here that I learned about through Amy, Anna, and Kelly: life-size chutes and ladders! This would be a great program to fill out summer library programs or even a quick one to throw together on a snow day. It took about an hour of prep to put down the construction paper squares but that would be relatively easy to hand off to a volunteer even. We used masking tape for the ladders and yarn for the chutes (not easily seen in this picture thanks to the striped carpeting in our program room).

This program was for 45 minutes after school but the kids would have happily played for an hour or more. We played one round with the board as I laid it out in this picture (taken before the program). Then I had the kids start modifying the board. They wanted more and more chutes! We also played some rounds starting from the original finish point. In the last game, the kids added some extra twists in the form of squares that would have a player: lose a turn, win a second turn, or win the whole game automatically. For the first game we used the spinner Anna made. Instead of projecting it onto the wall, I loaded it onto our department's iPad and walked it around to the kids. Then I gave the kids the option of using a giant foam die that we have and they preferred that over the iPad.

Incidentally, the same girl won three out of four games. I've never seen someone dominate a game of luck so thoroughly! Also pictured is a display of other indoor games and activities. You can also make out the table where I laid out the signs to number the players on the lower left of the photo. We played some Putmayo CDs during the program to give it a party atmosphere without annoying music. The winners got to pick a prize out of a box of temporary tattoos. All in all, a cheap and fun program! Would do again.