Saturday, March 29, 2014

Guerrilla Storytime

Yesterday at the Michigan Library Association's Spring Institute, Anne Clark, Megan Goedge, and I hosted Guerrilla Storytime.  Despite the early hour of the session, there was a lot of good sharing from Michigan librarians.  Here is what we learned:

Megan started off by showing us magic with her Dove Pan.  She uses hers with plastic eggs and mini stuffed chicks.  The secret is to put something into the pan, such as eggs or seeds, and have something else larger at the end of the story (in this case baby chicks).  Megan used the book Hatch, Egg, Hatch! by Shenn Roddie.  Kids love it and think it is real.

Our first question from the Guerrilla Storytime challenge bucket was "Show us your favorite scarf rhyme or use of a scarf in storytime."

Take your scarf, roll it into a ball,
Make it very small.
Count 1, 2, 3

Put the oil in the pan and make it real hot.
Put the popcorn in the pan and begin to grin.
Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, POP!

There's a spider on the floor
(Can watch on YouTube-use a scarf instead of the puppet.) 

I pulled out the giant stretchy ring next as many people haven't seen one before.  My 2 and 3 year olds love it as they just won't hold hands when we since Ring Around the Rosie.  On the other hand, they love holding the ring.  This show and tell led to teaching the additional verses of Ring Around the Rosie.

The cows are in the meadow eating buttercups
Thunder, lightning, we all jump up.


Ring around you, ring around me
We all jump up when we count to three.

Anne pulled out the parachute for some active fun.  She discussed how she uses her parachute at the end of her programs.  She uses the parachute with The Wheels on the Bus, Row, Row, Row Your BoatJohnny Works with One Hammer, or Head and Shoulders.  Her end rhyme is to have half the kids sit under the parachute as they say:

 Let's go riding on an elevator
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Gradually bring the parachute up in the air on 1-5, then bring down quickly on 6.

People jumped in with their great parachute ideas.
  • You don't need an actual parachute.  A colored sheet I thworks just as well and you can change it depending on the seasons or theme (ex. blue can be water).
  • Show parents that they can do the same thing at home with a blanket or a pillowcase.  Kids love to bounce things up and down.
  •  I throw stuffed animals on the parachute, depending on the song.  For example, when singing Five Little Monkeys, I throw on my 5 monkey puppets.  With The Bear Goes Over the Mountain, I use a large teddy bear puppet.
  • When folding up the parachute, talk about how it looks like a pizza in sections (slices).  You can count how many are left after each fold.  This is also math!

Our next question out of the challenge bucket asked about our favorite homemade props.  I showed off my paper plate steering wheel that I use with Beep, Beep and my envelope airplane puppet that I use with The Airplane Song.  Here are some of the suggestions that came up:
  • One person uses a similar steering wheel along with Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman.
  • Another person uses the paper plate as a steering wheel and cuts out the middle.
  • There's a storytime mouse who has props to fit the theme of the week at another library.
  • You can use a teddy bear to illustrated getting dressed.  It's always fun to put the clothes on wrong first and have the kids correct you.  For example, put the socks on its ears.
  •  One library keeps a large selection of rolled socks.  They can be used to make snowmen or have an indoor snowball fight.
  • Megan cut a giant pair of underwear out of a sheet to go along with Froggy Gets Dressed.
  • You can make a colored bird hunt.  Make a number of birds in different colors, both big and small.  Then have the kids hunt for the birds, while discussing color and size as you find them.

Question 3 showed off our shaker knowledge.  What do you do with shakers?
  • Popular shaker songs include Alabama, Mississippi, Shake with You, Shaky Shaky and Shake Your Sillies Out.
  • You can clean up shakers by singing We're Putting the Shakers Away to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell.
  • Megan has kids sing their name to the beat of a shaker (each syllable is a beat).
  • With my 12-24 month kiddos, I sing songs like Twinkle Twinkle along with shakers.  While singing slows down language, singing with shakers tends to slow it down a little more.  This way kids can hear the sounds better that make up the words.
 Shake it on your knee, on your knee.
Shake it on your knee, on your knee.
Shake it on your knee.  Shake it on your knee.
Shake it on your knee, on your knee.
Move onto other body parts as you go.

Anne pulled out her movement dice next.  She usually fills the spaces with cards representing nursery rhymes or songs used in storytime.  She has also used them at her Down on the Farm party to roll spaces for a cake walk.  Here's what else we learned:
  • You can make your own movement dice with empty book tape or kleenix boxes.
  • If you have two dice, you can write numbers on one and actions on the other.  When you roll, you can have kids do actions like jump 3 times.
  • One library has a symbol on each side of their die that represents a song.  For example, a boat means Row, Row, Row Your Boat or a star means Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
  • Oriental Trading sells a set of inflatable fitness dice.

Next up from our challenge bucket was "What's your closing song?"
  • Super Silly Tango
  • Where is Thumbkin? using finger puppets (giraffe is tall man, pig is pinky, etc.)
Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around and tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
The stories are over
So wave goodbye.
Roll the ball to _______.
He rolls it back to me.
Roll the ball. Roll the ball.
Roll the ball to me.
Goodbye goodbye goodbye
Goodbye goodbye goodbye
Goodbye goodbye goodbye goodbye
Goodbye goodbye goodbye
To the tune of The Farmer in the Dell
We clap and sing goodbye.
We clap and sing goodbye.
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing goodbye.
To the tune of The Farmer in the Dell
Wave goodbye it's time to go.
Wave up high and wave down low.
Now wave fast.
Now wave slow.
Wave goodbye, I'll miss you so.
To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle
Wave high
Wave low
Wave goodbye.
Do you know what time it is?
What time it is? What time it is?
Do you know what time it is?
Storytime is over.
To the tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man?
With a little bit of time left, we opened up for questions for the group.  Megan had been wanting to know how do you make people feel not guilty when you see them out and about and they haven't been to your programs the past couple of weeks?  Here are some of our group answers:
  • Show off that you aren't perfect either.
  • Relate to the hard work they have to do just to make it out of the house, much less to storytime.
  • Tell them to come back whenever they are ready.
  • Tell them that whatever time they make it to a program is the right time.
That's a wrap for this edition of Guerrilla Storytime.  If you are unfamiliar with some of these props or songs, we created a Pinterest page for the event.  Because I am not perfect and only can take notes so fast, I am sure that I missed something.  If you have it in your notes, please let me know in the comments below and I will add it in.  Thanks!


  1. This was a great session! Thank you all!

    1. Thanks! GS is always so much fun to put together and you never know what you're going to get.

  2. Guerrilla Storytime is a great idea...I think that it should be included every year at Spring Institute. It is such a great way to share your ideas of what works for storytime. Thanks for your great blog!


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