Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Laurie, who works with children and families at the Tecumseh Branch Library.
When it comes to planning October storytimes, the one I look forward to most is Halloween. With so many books and crafts related to the holiday, it’s nearly impossible to narrow my options down. I typically start mentioning that I will be hosting a Halloween-esque storytime starting a few weeks prior to the day so that parents and caregivers can be fully aware and prepared for the plan, not only to avoid any issues in case they do not celebrate the holiday, but also to make sure they know they are welcome to join the children in dressing in costumes! On the day of the Halloween storytime, I always make sure to have some last minute costumes readily available in case a parent or child comes unprepared.
BOOK: Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan
One spooky night in the fall, Mouse creeps out and hears bats flying: flit, flit, flit! and apples dropping: plop, plop, plop! and children singing: Trick or treat! What could it be? Storytimers will love revisiting our old friend Mouse and guessing what each sound means.
SONG/MOVEMENT ACTIVITY: “Monster Boogie”
Storytimers love dancing the Monster Boogie!
BOOK: In a Dark, Dark Wood by David A. Carter
An old tale with a new twist, storytimers will love this spine-tingling tale with an appropriately spooky surprise ending. This book has just the right amount of scary for a Halloween storytime without causing too much fright. It’s a surprise pop-up book at the end and the storytimers enjoy the surprise.
SONG/MOVEMENT ACTIVITY: “Halloween Stomp”
This is another fun dance activity that will get the storytimers up and moving!
BOOK: Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood, illustrated by Jed Henry
From rattling bones to ghostly footsteps, the best scares of the season are captured in this book that teaches the storytimers what to say in the face of fear: BOO! This is a fun interactive book that will have storytimers shouting “Boo!” with every turn of the page. I change the ending of the book so that we end with “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank you!” as this leads us directly into our next activity.
ACTIVITY: costume parade around the library and trick-or-treating at the reference desk
I have the storytimers line up at the door with their parent or caregiver, then we take a wide sweep of the library, taking a lap up to the reference desk where the desk staff are waiting to hand out candy, trinkets, or other fun items to the storytime trick-or-treaters. I always make sure to have other options besides candy (such as pencils, temporary tattoos, etc.) in case the parents or caregivers prefer them not to have candy.
CRAFT: cookie decorating and coloring
After trick-or-treating, we head back to the program room where we decorate sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles. We even have apple cider on hand to eat with our cookies. If parents or caregivers would prefer not to have their storytimer decorate cookies, I provide coloring pages or another fun craft for kids to color or take home for later.