Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for October, 2015

Letter E Storytime

vision-activitiesThere were not quite as many choices with E as there have been the past few weeks, but between elephants, eggs, and ears, we managed.  Surprisingly, the stories I most expected to work did not, while the one I was most worried about went over well.  I guess this is why you keep trying to introduce new things.  Even when you think you’ve got it, you don’t always got it.

Like last week, I did activity centers instead of a craft, and it was really fun.  I think we’re ready to change the wording in our official storytime description, which does specifically mention an “age-appropriate craft”.

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Letter D Storytime

dot-table-3D was another good letter for storytime themes. I worked in dads, dogs, dinosaurs, driving, ducks, dancing, and dots, and there were tons of other subthemes I could have tried. I have the feeling E will be harder, but we’ll get there next week.

This week I’m thinking about the craft / activity after storytime.  I have worked at libraries that don’t do anything afterwards and libraries that have done crafts.  Here, we have traditionally done crafts, and while I try to keep most of my crafts process-oriented, the kids still have a product to take home at the end.  This year, our three storytime staff have been trying out some less craft-ish options.

This week, I had the kids make dots in three different ways.  All three tables were covered with butcher paper, so it was more of an activity center than a take-home craft.  This seemed to work well with our no-chairs model, which I mentioned last week.  At least one of our storytime presenters has had positive feedback from parents that they like to see these types of activities because there is zero motivation for the adults to take over.  If it’s not coming home for mom, dad, etc. to see, why bother to make it pretty?  We’ll see how this develops over the coming year.

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Letter C Storytime

black-catWe recently remodeled, and we’re still playing with how the new space works differently than the old space.  Our old program room had a bench across the back that just screamed out for the caregivers to sit there instead of joining the kids on the rug.  We tried to tackle that problem, but the room was working against us.  Our new room has no bench (yay!), but we still have the kids’ craft tables set up in back, so in the first week, caregivers were just pulling out the kids’ chairs from the craft table to recreate that back seating.  In week two, we put away most of the chairs and put the remaining few in a stack in the corner so that they were there if someone needed them, but they needed to actively take one.  I am still trying that, but the first adult into the room just took all the chairs and spread them out (as if maybe, just maybe, I forgot that part!)  The behaviorist in me is still searching for a solution that is immediately visible just from the room setup without us having to always tell people what to do, but clearly we are still working against the expectations set up by our old space.  And, having no chairs at the craft tables works better for some crafts than others.  This week, we did drawing and painting, which might have been easier with chairs.  On the plus side, when we sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” one of the kids wanted to choose “tickle” as an action, so that sent the kids back to their adults for two verses.  (It was so fun, we had to do it twice.)
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Boys & Books: The Chocolate Touch

chocolate-touchYou know when you do a program that’s really simple and fun?  And then afterwards the parents rave and the kids say how it was the best program ever?  And it was kind of cool, because they loved it, but kind of not cool, because how are you ever going to top it next month?  This was that program.  We talked about the book, and then we ate stuff dipped in chocolate.  Seriously simple.  And yet, still awesome.

 

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Letter B Storytime

i-will-not-readJust like when we did our color- and shape- themed storytimes last year, we’re already finding that the challenge with letter-themed storytimes is that some of them are a little thin (what on earth will we do when we get to X?) while others are so full of possibility that it’s almost impossible to cut it down to just three or four books.  Letter B was definitely in the latter category.  I’ve done whole storytimes on just bears, beach, balls, bathtime, bedtime, butterflies, bugs, books, babies…  It was super hard to choose!  So far, I like the general intellectual challenge of locating and selecting books by letter; we’ll see how I feel once we’ve hit some of the more challenging letters.

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