…storytime, books, and ideas

Posts tagged ‘Storywalk’

The Night Before Christmas StoryWalk

???????????????????????????????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 oust walk 5t. 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 ost walk 2f doust walk3ble-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 limicebrary 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!


Show me the Awesome!

Artwork by John LeMasney, lemasney.com

Artwork by John LeMasney, lemasney.com

This week I am participating in a librarian Awesome-fest called, fittingly,  “Show Me the Awesome”. As you may have guessed, it is all about the awesomeness happening in libraries — because of the librarians! It was an idea hatched by Kelly, Liz, and Sophie; you can find links to all participating librarians on those blogs. You can spread the word by tagging your related posts with #30awesome on Twitter, Tumblr, Vine and/or Instagram if you’re liking what you’re reading and want to talk about it!

And now… my bit of Awesome.

I want to tell you about StoryWalk ™.  You can read all about how it works on the ALSC blog, on this post from June 2012.  Basically,  StoryWalk ™ is this:  a picture book is posted along a walking path. As you walk, you read the story. It can be that simple– juStorywalk launch 025st the pages of a book along a path. Or you can ramp it up and create signboards with replicated pages, and add some activities to go along with the walk. That’s how we did it. And it is awesome. Nothing like seeing a bunch of kids (and adults)  jumping, running, skipping, and reading at the same time.

But even more awesome, and what I wanted to share here, is the cooperation that happened in order for our   StoryWalk ™  to happen. first off, I had to get the publisher’s permission. The folks at Tundra were super nice and happy to work with me on this. The illustrator loved the project, and because he is a local guy (one of the reasons I chose this book!), he was around to help us with the launch. Kirsten Cappy at Curious City was fantastic in sharing her ideas and how-to tips. The local recreation departments helped me come up with the activities. The towns and park staff where we installed the story boards got everything done just right. Funding came from the Community Health Boards.Storywalk 002

So yes, the kids love it. Parents love it. I get emails from people who stopped in on vacation and want to know how they can get one in their community. It is a feel-good project that makes for good press. And it only happened because of a Good Idea from Vermont, and a whole lot of people putting in some effort.  I organized the whole thing – I wrote the grant, I did the legwork in getting the boards designed and printed, I got permission from the publisher, etc. But I did not do all the work! Sharing & partnerships is where the awesome comes in.

Just like this idea of Show Me the Awesome — yes, we are promoting the cool and awesome things we’ve done. But I can guarantee that some librarian somewhere is going to read about another Good Idea as a result, and the awesome is just going to continue!

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