Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Winter Break Time

We just wrapped up our Fall Programming season this week at our library.  We divide our program year into quarters and always have a break in between, ranging from two to four weeks.  We use the time to plan storytimes and other programs, develop a new story or two, and put some energy into sometimes-neglected parts of our jobs, such as collection development (not like we don't do that all year, it's just that December's a great time to catch up).
quarters and

So I'm afraid I won't be posting any new stories here for about a month.  Weekly posts will resume around January 15th.  Meanwhile, I'll continue to post a new video each week on the "Storytelling with Puppets" youtube channel.  Coming this weekend:   "Anansi the Spider" by Gerald McDermott.


  1. In your family storytime, what sort of things do you do between stories to get the children moving that would appeal to a wide variety of ages? I have decided to end the preschool storyhour and am starting an evening storytime for all ages. I tried a few sessions last fall and had a wide variety of ages -- babies through 2nd/3rd grade. The older kids seemed interested in the stories but the songs & rhymes were too "babyish". They ended up going out into the children's room to browse. I realize this may happen no matter what I do. But I need to break out of my "Hot Potato" & other toddler songs and find some things that appeal to all ages. I would like for the whole family to be engaged and everyone attend instead of just mom with the toddlers.

  2. We always do an "in-betweener" between every story. These are stand-up-and-move things, rather than sit-down-fingerplay ones. Using familiar ones that a lot of kids know is is repeating the favorites. So we'll do "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed," "The Grand Old Duke of York," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes..." With simple ones (like "Head, Shoulders...") you can make it appealing to the older kids by playing around with it....doing it fast/slow, with silly voices, having them clap instead of say the words). We'll sometimes play a recording, like something from Jim Gill or Raffi that has action and motion. If there's a rhyme we're not sure about, we google it to find demo videos that we can adapt or copy from. Some libraries have youtube pages with staff demonstrating, and these are useful, though they usually include lots of baby/toddler stuff too. The WCCLS Birth2Six page is one that I especially like (