When I read THIS POST about creating a Halloween StoryWalk, I was enchanted. I loved the idea of an indoor StoryWalk with craft activities and using felt boards. Brilliant. And a day later, one of our branch library staff called and asked for help putting together something for the Town Christmas party. Last year they had over 100 kids in a very tiny library, and the celebration was moving to a bigger location this year. So I immediately thought, why not do a Christmas book? That was before the whole Holiday Ban-Wagon kerfuffle exploded. I had already started cutting apart the books for our StoryWalk by the time that conversation flooded the scene. I don’t want to dwell on that — but I must say, writing this post has taken me a while because I sure don’t want to be yelled at for creating a Christmas StoryWalk. So I am going to just focus on how I did it and how we’ve used it.
Back to the StoryWalk! In case you don’t know the origins of this fabulous idea, please go to THIS LINK to find out. We decided this time to do the “buy two copies and cut the book apart” method. Mainly because we did not have time to request permission to photocopy, and we wanted to use Barbara Reid’s lovely version with those darling clay Santa Mice. So, I got two copies, and started cutting the book apart. Let me tell you– this is a bit unnerving. I wanted to make sure the pages still looked nice, so I used a sharp blade I borrowed from the folks who do our mending. Once I had the first book cut apart, I realized I needed to figure out where the pages would go. I took pictures of each spread of the book I had not yet cut, to use as a guide. It took a bit of fiddling around with glue and posterboard, but I finally got it all together.
I put post-it notes on the pages so I knew which activities went with which pages, and did lots of double-checking before I put the boards into the laminator. I had already cut apart 2 books, I didn’t want to have to sacrifice another! Finally, pages, posterboard, and activities came together for a really fun StoryWalk! We had activities such as Create a mouse to take along, hang a stocking on the wall, dress Santa on the felt board, count the felt reindeer, dash away to the next sign, and jiggle like a bowl of jelly. We’ve used it several times and it has been a lot of fun!
So on to how we used it: this has been a perfect fit for library outreach events. As I said, we created it originally for a town event– we’ve used it for a recreation party and even a combo indoor-outdoor StoryWalk event with the library and a local craft store. It is a way for the library to be noticed at a bigger event and to take the “holiday” event outside the walls of the library. And such a classic story, kids love hearing it and parents, too. If you’ve never made a StoryWalk, I can tell you — this is a fairly easy way to do it, and it truly is a whole lot of fun!