Friday, January 16, 2015

Glow-in-the-Dark Storytime

I loved everything about this program (minus the iPod incident)!!!

The program started at 6, right as it got really dark outside.  I was able to adjust the lighting in the room by having my lovely co-worker (Julie) sprint back and forth to the light switches at designated times.  Even with both lights off, the room wasn't pitch black on account of the dim emergency light that stays on, but did get pretty dark.

Opening: "Bread and Butter" Watch here as the amazing Jbrary duo shares this chant

Bread and butter
Marmalade and jam
Let's say hello as quiet as we can
(loud, fast, slow, high, low)

Books:

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle: One night a very lonely firefly goes in search of some friends. Each time he sees a light he flies toward it, but none of them are fireflies.  Finally he finds lots of flickering friends (the book has little light bulbs that light up).
(Lights on except for at the end) 

I introduced the kids to my Folkmanis firefly light-up puppet

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise:  I used to think this book was so dull.... until I had kids. Now I think it is so charming with the perfect amount of repetition and randomness.
(This book only works in big book format for a storytime.  The lights were completely off and Julie used a flashlight to illuminate the pages and highlight the specific items the text mentioned).



Duck's Not Afraid of the Dark by Ethan Long: Duck insists that he's not afraid of the dark, but he does prefer to leave the light on!
(Lights dim so that the kids could still see the illustrations, but appreciate the light I was switching on and off.)

Nighttime Nursery Rhymes: A Bedtime Shadow Book: I used a flashlight to project the images onto the wall and shared "Hey Diddle Diddle", "Little Boy Blue", and "Star Bright".
(Lights off, obviously)
 

Flannel: "Five Little Firecrackers"

5 little firecrackers getting ready to zoom (hold up 5 fingers)
Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle (wiggle fingers upward, building anticipation)
BOOM (clap hands above head)

4.... 3.... 2... 1...

My last exploded firecracker has starts that light up.  Random clearance find at Target last year.

This rhyme starts with the red, unexploded firecrackers on the board.  Each time we got to the "BOOM", Julie would slap the exploded firecracker over them.




Songs:

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (Lights off)
I turned the lights off and we used these finger lights (left over SRP prizes) to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  It was really beautiful to see all the lights!

"Cha Cha Slide" (Lights off)
Every child got two glow bracelets to wear (and keep) while dancing the "Cha Cha Slide".  This was probably the highlight of night!  I'm glad I didn't got with "The Hokey Pokey" or something.  The parents got DOWN, the kids dug it!

Right as it started to play... my new, Black Friday, fully-charged iPod went black.  As I started panicking, Alyson, a high school student who was babysitting my kids at storytime, pulled out her iPhone, found the song on YouTube, and plugged it into my sound system with my auxiliary cord!!!  As Dar Williams would say, "Teenagers kick our butts,"..... mine anyway!
Craft: Light-Up Fireflies
We made these guys using Easter eggs, LED tea lights, google eye stickers, and used strips of duct tape to attach paper wings that I pre-cut.
 My little sweetheart holding a firefly... and my brother-in-law lounging in the background LOL

As much as I want to pretend this was an original idea, I must admit I first saw it at http://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/09/21/steal-story-time-glow-dark..... but Kristy Raffensberger was practically begging me to "steal" it!

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015: Our Many Colored Hair

These first two trend-setters (Lesilee and Jenn)  inspired some of Perry staff to bring in the new year with some new color!

Lesilee
 Jenn


 Julie

Lesley
 Linda
 Sandi
Shannon

Yours Truly


Happy 2015

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Caroling in the Library 2014


This was the 8th year the Perry Branch Library in Gilbert, AZ has put on this big event.  This event was created by my colleague Allison Burke several years ago and I've shared in the joy and hard work of pulling this off ever since.  Every year we make improvements and small changes, but the program is solid at this point with lots of the same key players involved.  Allison got a well-deserved promotion with another District last year, so this year I had to use a LOT of elbow grease to get all the coordinating, planning, and organizing done.... but man, was it worth it!

Attendees: 1,300 (That's on the conservative end)

Whew!

Snowman Cookie Decorating:
Cookies decorated: 470

Thanks for the home-made cookies, Perry High School Culinary students and your amazing, hard-working instructor, Angela Stutz!

The cookie decorating room:

 Culinary students hard at work prepping the cookies:

 Masterpieces:

 You'll see this little guys a few more times in this post!
 We moved the line along very fast this year by inviting the kids to decorate in the main area of the library if they didn't want to wait for a decorating table in the meeting room.

For the kids who did wait, I put out sidewalk chalk (hand wipes available on the way in), a bubble machine, and had a very sprightly elf give the kids blue snowflake stamps on their hands (or cheeks).  So Elsa!




Refreshments
30 dozen cookies
15 gallons of hot chocolate
 Again, thank you Angela Stutz and culinary students!
 Elf Station:  
The children visited with our lovely Perry elves to write over 300 letters to Santa (will get email responses), take pictures, and get create-your-own-Olaf stickers (see here)

 Elf Kara, Elf Mae, Elf Becca, Elf Ashley

 Told you these kids would pop up again.  They are mine all mine!

Caroling: 
Thank you to Mr. Joe Little and the PHS choir!  You did a great job, especially performing in front of such a large and energetic audience!


Anna and Elsa Storytime:

Drum rolllll.... They were a hit.  I love, love, love, loved these two royal ladies.   They were honestly incredible and captured the audience and knew how to work the crowd and make every child feel special during pictures. 

I could not more highly recommend working with http://www.enchantedinaz.com/. Gina Archer was WONDERFUL to work with, never a lapse in communication, and extremely reasonable to book considering she had to arrange for Anna and Elsa's travel which included a boat, a train, and a reindeer.  Oh, and reindeer food.

The read a book about being sisters:
 This is what 1,300+ audience in our humble library looks like:
 They sang 3 songs....
 ...and invited all the kids to stand and do the arm movements.  Those kids belted out every song!

And they humored me by letting me build Olaf with them using the flannel pieces I made.  Olaf stands about 45" tall.  

Anna started by singing, "Do you want to build a snowman?" and I built Olaf as they narrated back and forth.  

Of course he had to try on a few noses before finding the right one.

I don't have a picture of this, but I gave Elsa a whole bowl of fake snow to create a "personal snow flurry" for Olaf and it made a mess but WAS SO WORTH IT!.  She threw snow all over Olaf and into the audience.  The kids were collecting it and making snow angels in it after the program was over! 

Pictures with Elsa and Anna


 The amazing staff who helped pull it all off.  I apologize to my co-workers who played a huge role in helping, but did not end up in the picture.


I already have more plans for next year!  I'll see you then!