Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Flannel Friday Round-Up-The Spooky Edition

Since the round-up is actually on Halloween, welcome to the spooky edition of the Flannel Friday round-up!  Hopefully you all got more treats than tricks in your Halloween buckets.  We've got some great flannel treats for you in this week's round-up!

Instead of felt, Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime shows us how to use Beanie Babies as props for some forest rhymes.

I love it when people give me patterns!  Kim at Literary Commentary created a gorgeous Owl Babies set, complete with a pattern.  

Maggie is contributing to her first Flannel Friday!!!  Check out how she made I Broke My Trunk! into a prop story at Playing the Hits.

Tess at Inclusive Literacy shows us how to make a monster felt board.  This would be a great addition for anyone who leaves a flannelboard out for kids in your department to play with.

Anne at itsybitsymom shows us how to give your old lady puppet a costume.  The kids will love this version of There Was an Old Monster.

That's a wrap!  Start getting your Thanksgiving flannelboards ready as next week is the Thanksgiving Extravaganza at What Happens in Storytime.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter. 


Trick-or-Treat at the Library, Year 2

Last year I came into my new position and this was one of the first programs that I ran.  With a little more experience under my belt, I changed things up this year.

Last year's program was so popular that we filled up really quick.  While I like that programs are popular, I wanted to give more people a chance to attend this year.  This year we registered 100 kids, ages 2-5.

The Program
By having more attendees, I needed to rethink how I was going to run a program with no more staff.  This year we cut out the story portion and had three craft stations.  As kids came into the room, I directed them to our three craft stations and told them to stop by me again when they finished to pick up their trick-or-treat bag.  The crafts had to be relatively easy to do in a short time period.  We had two volunteers who kept replacing crafts on the tables as kids finished.

Craft #1 was a candy corn face made out of a Behr paint strip.  We precut the candy corn shape and provided sticker eyes and crayons for the kids to make their faces.

Craft #2 was to make a spiderweb.  The black paper plates were prepunched and one end of the yard was tied onto the first hole.  Kids were ask to "sew" their yarn through the holes and to add their spider sticker to the plate.

Craft #3 was a pumpkin windsock.  The pieces were precut and the kids were asked to make their pumpkin face and to attach the crepe paper streamers.

As kids finished their crafts, they stopped by my station by the door where they picked up their trick-or-treat bag.  I gave them directions to our 5 trick-or-treat stations and sent them off.  Since we were not trick-or-treating as a group this year, I added more signage by the elevator and stairs so parents could find their way.  I also added balloons to each station so kids could look for the orange balloons to find their treats.


orange balloons weighed down by milk jug ghosts filled with water

Our treats this year included:

The feedback on this new format was excellent.  Families loved being able to work at their own pace, both at the craft stations and trick-or-treating.  We got a lot of compliments on not passing out candy.  The parents really liked that the treats were activity-oriented and I heard back that kids were using them as soon as they got home.

For next year, I am already playing with the idea of staggering start times so we can allow more kids to participate.  While I don't think that we can handle more than 100 kids at a time, it may be possible to start a second program 45 minutes later, which will give staff and volunteers time to reset the crafts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Story Time Emergency Plan

I am going to approach this topic from a different direction than Anne did.  If I were sick, there is often only 1 other staff member in the department at the time and they need to cover the reference desk.  It is entirely possible for someone from outside the department to cover my programs if I get sick.  That can be really intimidating if you are not used to working with kids on a regular basis.  For this brave soul who is venturing into children's programming, I have prepared an outline for them to follow.  For both of my regular groups (12-24 months and 2 year olds), I do have a note that says, "If at any time you feel uncomfortable, put on my iTunes playlist and they will all leave happy."

Babies (12-24 months)
  • Song-If You're Happy and You Know It
  • Book-Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
  • Song-Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Shared book-pass out board book set and read together
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star sung with shakers
  • Book-Peek-a-Moo by Marie Cimarusti
  • Blow bubbles with bubble gun for 5 or so minutes
  • Pull out beach balls to play with for 5 or so minutes 
My actual written out plan has the words for Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle, Twinkle, as well as the locations of the props.

Two Year Olds
Depending on how antsy the kids are, I start with a song or a story and alternate.  Normally we start with a song. 

  •  Song-Shake Your Sillies Out 
  •  Book-start with the longest 
  •  Song-Drivin’ in My Car 
  •  Book  
  • Song-I’m a Little Teapot
  • Book 
  • Song-Head and Shoulders 
  • Flannelboard
  • Song-Jump Up, Turn Around
  • Flannelboard 
  • Song-Ring Around the Rosie (with the giant scrunchie in the closet)

  • Use the iPod.  All of the songs are on a playlist called Lisa Little Listeners 
  • Nametags are on Lisa’s desk in a basket.  They get passed out as the kids come in-I sit up front and they come up and tell me their name.  At the end of the program when I pass out stamps, I collect the nametags back.  Every child who attends gets a sticker on their nametag (or just sticker them all if you forget). 
  • The books for the week are on Janet’s desk.  I normally pick the three easiest.  Then I raid my flannelboard files (all of the file cabinets in my office) for 2-3 rhymes.  The files are in alphabetical order by theme.  Yes, there really are 7 drawers of flannelboards.

So how does this work? I have only been sick 1 time in 14 years so it has only had to be used once.  It is easier to have a plan in place, rather than trying to email one in early in the morning while sick.  My boss did have to do my story times and came out of the program with a greater appreciation of what I do.  As long as it isn't the first week, the parents and kids tend to be great about helping out.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flannel Friday-Leaves

This is another of my monthly flannelboards in our Activity Room.  I always hang a sign next to the board to give parents ideas of what to talk about.

Then I add in my flannelboard parts.  This month I have 9 leaves in 3 different colors and shapes.  There are a lot of matching opportunities.  Plus, since it is fall in Michigan, many of us have these leaves in these colors in our yards at home.

This week's Flannel Friday round-up is being hosted by Library Village!  Stop by for some great ideas.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:
  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.
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