Sometime around Halloween, we plan one or two family Halloween storytimes outside of our usual storytime schedule. We encourage kids to come dressed up, and we focus specifically on Halloween stories, songs, and crafts. This year, I got the Saturday morning before Halloween, and another staff member got the Wednesday evening before. Traditionally, the weekday evening storytime has been bigger, and this year was no different.
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Story: The Spooky Box by Mark Gonyea. The kids and adults were both really into this one, guessing what might be inside. Interestingly, the adults, but not the kids, were bummed at the end when the “real” answer is not revealed.
Song: “The Costume Song“. The key to this song is to use the costumes you actually see. So if there are no witches and goblins, start with princesses and superheroes (or whatever you actually have). It’s nice to end with “All the kids and the grown ups,” so that everyone gets a turn, even if they didn’t come in costume.
Story: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Like last year, I read the words, but I brought in shoes, pants, shirt, etc. and I called up kids to hold up the props and do the clomping, wiggling, shaking bit. I think the kids and parents like seeing kids come up, so this is a fun way to do it.
Song: We smashed bubbles while listening to “Monster Mash” on the CD Halloween Party Music and Scary Sounds.
Story: Trick or Treat by Leo Landry. I hadn’t used this one before, and I loved it, but I don’t think the kids got it. You have to know that the ghost accidentally invited the kids and the kids didn’t know he was a real ghost, all of which went over their heads. I’m guessing it would have worked better with an older group. There are some nice features – like guessing who the guests will be based on their houses and their shadows – which add some interactivity.
Craft: I am all about crayon resist painting right now, so we made ghosts magically appear by coloring them in white on white paper and then painting over them in black and orange. I actually put out other colors of crayons, too, in case they wanted to make something else. Some of the adults had never seen this before and were totally intrigued. Most families made more than one. The parents of the very little guys made it fun by drawing the pictures themselves and then letting the toddlers paint over for the big reveal.
The Costume Song
Sung to the tune of “Frère Jacques”
All the witches and the goblins,
Stand on up, stand on up.
Turn around and take a bow,
Turn around and take a bow,
Then sit down. Then sit down.