Crafts Vs. No Crafts, The Great Storytime Debate

There’s been a lot of discussion about this in various circles. When it comes to arts & crafts, librarians often fall into one of two camps.

There’s the “We don’t do crafts in storytime!” bunch and the, “We love crafts! Glitter for everyone!” crowd.

This is how I feel when I hear about libraries that don’t do art or crafts.

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I should say, this is how I feel on the inside because, well, I work in a library. Continue reading

Storytime–Rhythm & Rhyme

When I started this blog I really thought there’d be more storytime stuff. It’s kinda my thing. But that would require remembering to take pictures at storytime which is not my thing. But this time I did remember! So here you go. My first storytime post. Ta Da!

Full disclosure: I’m not a themed-storytime person. I used to be. I’d pick out a theme then find books, music, activities to go with it. It gets hard, though, to find elements to go with each and every theme the longer you do this. I do make exceptions for holidays and seasonal topics; however, instead of planning around a theme, I pick good books, taking note of which early literacy skill they speak to, then create activities and a playlist.  The theme for this storytime was ‘rhythm and rhyme’.

Books

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Cock-a-Doodle Doo-Bop is one of the better jazzy picture books. Michael Ian Black pulls off scat pretty well, and it lends itself to getting kids to scat with you. Preschoolers scatting? Put it on your storytime bucket list!

I love Jane Cabrera’s adorable, thick-outlined illustration style along with the twist she puts on all these classic rhymes. Little kids don’t always notice that the sheep is gradually losing wool. Big kids I’ve read it to were like, “He’s losing hair! He’s naked!” Fun.

Who Put the Cookies features one of my favorite illustrators, Julie Paschkis. I want to hang her work on all my walls. This book is cute, has consistent rhythm and showcases diverse characters.

Want more suggestions? Check out this booklist!

Playlist

Shake Your Sillies Out by the Wiggles

I’ve Got the Rhythm by Splash ‘n Boots

Hip Hop Body Rock by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael

Skinnamarink by Sharon Lois and Bram

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These are some of my storytime props: shakers (easter eggs filled with rice, superglued and duct-taped), streamers (strips of plastic tablecloth remnants tied on plastic shower curtain rings) and a song cube (a tissue box wrapped in paper with sheet protector pockets that hold pictures for various songs-teapot for I’m a Little Teapot, etc. The pocket lets me switch out the pictures to change it up).

Activities

The activities I do at storytime are more centered on early learning skills rather than themes. If there are good activities that fit the theme I do them, but I’m more about creating fun and educational experiences that build skills and speak to different learning styles.

The most popular activity, as in at one point there was a line of kids waiting to do it, was this gross motor game. On a mini chalk board I asked kids to think of different ways to move on the lines–hop, skip, tiptoe, etc. Parents really liked this one.

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Building station with cardboard tubes, styro blocks, wood blocks and cans

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Fine motor station-pipe cleaners and colanders. Even some of the littlest fingers enjoyed this one!

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Sensory station–rice, cans, funnels, spoons, tubing, toy vehicles

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This is a plastic wading pool with colorful scraps and scissors. There was always someone at this station.

I’d say this storytime was a hit. What am I doing next week and will I remember to take pictures? I have no idea but maybe!