Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Story & Craft, 10/20

Today was the first time I have ever done a school-age story time at this branch, and the first time I tried one on a Thursday afternoon. I was so blown away by how well it went! Here's the format I used for the story time, followed by the craft.

Part I: Story Time

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
The advertised age range for this program was Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, but some kids were as young as 2, and many of my regular preschoolers were in attendance, so I did the hello song as a means of getting the ball rolling. Most of the older kids - who were mainly kindergarteners and first graders - seemed to actually enjoy it.

Book 1: Haunted House, Haunted Mouse by Judy Cox, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler (2011)
This is one of those books for kids who want to be scared, but also want to know everything is okay in the end. My favorite scene is the one where Mouse is inside the candy bag and nibbles a hole, through which we can see the street and the trick-or-treaters. 

Book 2: Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann (2011)
I initially thought of this book as creepy, but my audience thought it was sweet, and they loved the skeletons.

Rhyme: One Little Ghost

Song: Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws
There were a few five year olds who really loved this and had the biggest grins on their faces.

Book 3: The House That Drac Built by Judy Sierra (1998)
There are some pretty gruesome pictures in this one, and I felt a little bit guilty because some of the kids were so young, but I also think sometimes people need to learn the hard way that the age limits on these programs exist for a reason. I had no complaints, but I was pretty aware of how scary the zombie illustration was, and it did worry me slightly.

Part II: Paper Bag Haunted House Craft

I first saw this craft idea during the summer between my junior and senior years in college when I worked at Mohonk Mountain House. We used the paper bags to make any old buildings back then, but I thought it was a perfect idea for a haunted house. So that's what we made today. 


Paper lunch bags  
There were 60 in a package, and I bought them from the dollar store.
It doesn't get much better than that.

Halloween foam stickers
I bought a bunch of cute spider, ghost, and other spooky creature stickers at a craft store. They filled an entire basket, and only about 25 kids participated in the craft, so there should have been enough, but some parents got a bit greedy, and I had to go around begging for extras for a little girl who didn't get any. Next time, if there is anything extra like that, I'll let the kids start their project first and then see to the even distribution of the special stickers myself.

Markers & Crayons
I always include both now, ever since a little boy started crying one day and announced, "Mommy said no markers!"

The instructions are simple. Color the bag, then open it up, stand it on whichever end you like, and add some stickers. Easy peasy. (I prefer to stand the bag up with the bottom of the bag at the top, so it's like a roof.)

Two more Halloween story times to come next week - stay tuned!

Gettin' Crafty Post #4: Stickers

For an introduction to this new series of Gettin' Crafty posts, visit Post #1.

This post is about several different crafts I have done this Fall involving stickers. 

1. Sticker Collages

This craft was born out of a rainy day and  the need for a simple last-minute craft.

Black construction paper

I used leftover summer reading stickers from Catch the Reading Bug and Make a Splash, because I wanted to get rid of them.

Self-stick foam shapes
 These were also leftovers, from my pencil toppers craft.

My example was an abstract design using mostly foam shapes, with a few stickers added on to show the kids their options. Most of the kids got the idea, and were really creative with their own designs.

2. Apple Make-A-Face Sticker Scene

I purchased this craft from Oriental Trading to use in September, which is when I focused on apples in story time.

Each package includes 12 kits, which consist of the following:
  • 2 sheets of stickers with noses, eyes, mouths, and leaves
  • 1 activity booklet, consisting of six apples all linked together like paper dolls

What I imagined the kids doing was keeping the booklets intact and making their own string of apples. What happened was that the parents ripped all the apples apart and insisted that each child only make one. There were some left intact after the first time we did this craft, so I put them out again on a different day, and  the same thing happened. The up side was that many more kids could participate, but it was a shame, too, because they were so much cuter in a little string of apples!

3. Design Your Own! Firefighter Sticker Scenes 
This one came from Oriental Trading as well, and it was really popular among the preschool crowd. The set of 12 includes the paper backgrounds and the stickers, but there are way more stickers than can comfortably fit in one scene, so if you have some extra paper hanging around, kids can still participate even after the sheets are gone. 

The only problem I ran into was that some of the stickers ripped really easily when I peeled them from the paper, and I am still (two weeks later) finding little arms, legs, and firehats hanging around in various corners of the children's room. 

I purchased a second similar set, the Sweet “Bake Shop” Make-A-Sticker Scenes which I plan to use around the holidays.

Next time: Beaded Bracelets.

7 Kids' Books About Siblings

Big Sister, Little SisterBig Sister Little Sister by LeUyen Pham
The narrator's big sister gets to do everything first, but she will never get to be the little sister!
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1)Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Peter Hatcher must deal with the hi-jinks of his wild little brother, Fudge.
The Day I Had to Play With My Sister (My First I Can Read)The Day I Had to Play With My Sister by Crosby Bonsall
A brother and sister disagree about the rules of hide and seek.
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks, #1)The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Four sisters vacation in the Berkshires and make friends with an interesting boy, despite his mother's objections.
Brand New School, Brave New Ruby (Ruby And The Booker Boys)Ruby and the Booker Boys Series by Derrick Barnes
Ruby tries to make a name for herself, separate from the boisterous personalities of her older brothers.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #2)Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
Greg Heffley tries to survive under the rule of his bully older brother.
Big Red LollipopBig Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Pakistani-American siblings Rubina and Sana struggle with their mother's misunderstanding of American birthday parties.
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