Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for July, 2014

Outreach Storytime: Reptiles & Amphibians

aminalI did another two camp groups today.  This one was mixed ages, from 3 to 6.  (The 5s and 6s had so much fun at the library on Tuesday for Monkeys & Bananas that they wanted to sit in on the 3s and 4s visit.  That was nice to hear!)  Each group had about 18 kids and 5 counselors.  I have a bad cold and spent what felt like an unreasonable amount of time grabbing for tissues, but this was still a really fun time.  I did some longer stories than I usually do.  It might have been the presence of the older kids, but everyone did really well, even with The Aminal, which is a long narrative without a lot of opportunity for interactivity.  It’s nice every once in a while to try something outside my usual comfort zone and just trust the kids and the stories to get along.  I’m almost done with my summer storytimes, but once we start up again in fall I’ll have to remember to try some longer books!

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Outreach Storytime: Crazy Pets (again)

dear-zooI did two outreach storytimes this morning at the Park District with 3- and 4-year-old day campers.  There were 10 kids and 3 counselors in each group.  I changed up the stories from my outdoor storytime version of Crazy Pets to add in Dear Zoo – a classic I chose not to read last week because another one of our staff had just used it at the same program.  So we read about the child who rejects a load of zoo animal pets in favor of a puppy, a spider who wants to be a pet, and a little girl who thinks a bear is a very silly doggy.  Fun (and crazy) times!

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Outdoor Storytime: Crazy Pets

spiderThis was my second outdoor storytime of the summer, and it definitely went more smoothly than the first.  The ground was pretty wet, and I ended up setting up in a location where the kids needed to sit closer together.  That definitely helped.  I also planned to move a little more quickly.  I read three books and did only one action song instead of two.  Some of the kids were in strollers to keep dry, and there were a few older kids in front who were ok with participating verbally but didn’t really want to get up and dance, so less movement turned out to be a good thing.  That was my final outdoor storytime of the season (the rest are up to other storytellers), so it was nice to end on a relatively high note.

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Monkeys & Bananas Storytime

count-the-monkeysThis was an outreach storytime for a camp group of 5-6 year olds. There were 18 kids, including several with autism spectrum disorders. I had chosen a slightly older mix of stories than I might do at a typical preschool storytime, and the humor was definitely at just the right age level. Even though I was exhausted (is it really only Tuesday?) and my voice is giving out, I had a ton of fun. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves too.

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Preschool Explorers: Water

water-beadsThis was the third and final program in my Preschool Explorers Science Storytime series.  It was a ton of fun.  We made rheoscopic water bottles, scooped and measured in a huge tub of water beads, made underwater sticker pictures, and tested a variety of objects to see which were absorbent.

It was very gratifying to hear patrons talk about how much fun they had in the series and ask for more science storytimes.  I even had one patron pop in without her kiddos to find out what we were doing because she uses the library to get activity ideas!  I think I’ll try another one of these during Thanksgiving Break and/or Winter Break, when we’re not holding our regular storytime sessions.

Want to know more?  Read on!

Boys and Books: The Dunderheads

dunderheadsWe had our July meeting of the 3rd and 4th grade parent-son book club this week.  It was loads of fun.  We used our food as a building challenge, discussed the book, created our own library heist story, and chose books for our fall meetings.

One of the things I have found very gratifying about this club is that I have boys who are readers and boys who are not, and they all really seem to have fun coming together to talk about the book and do the activities.  Sometimes they haven’t all finished the book, but at least they’ve tried.  This month, most of the parents had also read the book, which was no small accomplishment.

Since May, I have booktalked a few selections and allowed the attendees to vote on the next selection.  This gives me a chance to see what they are interested in, gives the participants a feeling of ownership in the selection, and introduces them to some other titles they might like, so it’s all good.

Want to know more?  Read on!

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