We preregistered 50 children, ages 2-5. It is an extremely popular program that we could probably run all day long if we had enough staff time and supplies. With 50 children registered, there were around 100 people actually in the program (parents, grandparents, and siblings). This is one of those programs that you don't want to become too large as somehow you have to move the attendees through the building in an orderly fashion (and nobody wants to stand in a 50 person line).
Story Time Portion
We started off the program with stories, rhymes and flannelboards. Here is what we did:
- Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood (gigantic hit!)
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro
- "The Perfect Pumpkin" Flannelboard from A Storytime Year by Susan Dailey
- "Halloween Hilda" from Super Storytelling by Carol Catron
- "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" rhyme
After the stories, rhymes, and flannelboards, we split the group in half and passed out pumpkin bags. Included in each bag was a coloring book that we made, 4-pack of crayons with our logo on them, and a Halloween sticker. Since we have two floors in our building, one group started upstairs and the other group started downstairs. We took the kids around to each of the 4 service desks, plus our administration area.
This is what we purchased for the program:
- Pumpkin bags
- Halloween stickers
- Color-your-own door hangers
- Glitter tattoos
- Halloween stamps
- Halloween fruit snacks
- Trick-or-treat size Play-Doh
We got a lot of compliments for this program from attendees. Not only do they get a holiday-themed story time, they also get things to take home. As you can see from my list of "treats", I didn't want candy. I wanted things that they could use at home or projects that they could do. The parents loved not getting more candy. Another fun thing was that since we went through all of the departments, I heard a lot of comments like "I didn't know this was over here." This is a program where you can promote everybody in the library.
Staff-wise, it is really difficult to keep 25 kids and their entourages together when they are excited about trick-or-treating. Next year, I will post one staff member on each floor (at the top and bottom of the stairs) to direct the traffic. I think that this would help smooth out some of the lines for treats and everybody could work at their own pace.