…storytime, books, and ideas

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Halloween Storytime!

Today I did Halloween storytime – I have to admit, it is my favourite.  Storytime here is a mixed bag– babies in arms, crawlers, toddlers, and 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 year olds attend. You just never know who is going to show up.

Here’s the books we shared:                                                            

Halloween Surprise by Corinne Demas

Ten Little Beasties by Rebecca and Ed Emberley

Monster Mash by David Catrow (song after, more on that later)

What’s in the Witch’s Kitchen by Nick Sharratt — this one was the hit of the books, with the interactive opening of the doors and the cheering YES! or  NOOOOO!. They loved this book.

Felt stories included the Jack o’ Lantern story (you can find pattern and instructions here). They loved the silliness of this and giggled through the whole thing. I also did one of my old favourites, Knock Knock. This one was also well-received. They love the flannel board stories!

Did a few action rhymes, including “Monster Monster Turn Around” (a modified version of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn around), and Two Little Ghosties which was fun, they really enjoyed the BOO! at the end.

I added in some really fun and simple activities. We did Spoon Races — wooden spoons with golf balls that had eyeballs drawn on with Sharpie markers. I was surprised that some of them could actually do it! we do have a set of larger, plastic balancing toys for the younger kids, and they enjoyed these as well. I tried playing Monster Mash after I read the song, and I got them all up to dance, but for some reason, today they were not so keen on dancing. Maybe it was the song, or maybe they were just shy today. Turned it off about halfway through. The favourite activity may have been Fishing. I put some spider and bat rings and little bracelets into a bucket, and the fishing poles were bendy straws.  They got to keep what they fished out. I was MOBBED for this one.

For craft we made handprint ghosts. Surprisingly, the paint was well received by parents and did not get everywhere. I had a wet towel handy (pardon the pun) to wipe off the paint. Easy craft: Paint their hands with white tempera, then they make a print onto black construction paper. I had some googley eyes to glue on as well.  So cute! One little boy brought his truck along, and it made a ghost painting, too.

For snacks we had Apple Monster Mouths and Eyeball Cupcakes (for the apple treats, I used carrots instead of almonds, just to stay away from the whole Nut Allergy thing).  Loads of fun was had by ALL!

So many of these ideas I found on Pinterest. Here’s my Pinterest HALLOWEEN board, check it out for these and more great fun ideas!

Feeling crafty

I’m preparing for a Halloween storytime and a couple of Teen programs, and I’ve been looking for some fun crafts.  For the teen program, I needed a skull template for decorations  (they’ll be cutting out black skulls for decor).  I found the perfect template on the Hello! Lucky blog.  Once I had copied it onto cardstock to use as a tracing template, I realized it made a very nice template for Day of the Dead skulls.  So I made one! Inspiration for these is easy to find, just do a search for “Day of the Dead Skulls” and you’ll find lots –a Google image search yielded many ideas.  I think it could work with preschoolers if you pre-cut the skull shapes, and let them go with glue and collage materials, maybe glitter, too. For school-age, I’d have them do the cutting, and have them search for images in books or online. It took me about 20 minutes to do mine (including a search for beads and yarn). A perfect craft for the end of  October, and you can add some multicultural into the program by sharing what these skulls & Dia de los muertos are all about.
So– how I did it:  Photocopy 4 skulls onto brightly colored cardstock. Cut out (for preschool). Use collage materials — yarn, beads, glitter, sequins, paper, etc to decorate. I glued mine onto another piece of paper just to make it more finished looking. You could make several and they’d be great decorations hung all around the room.

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