Guerrilla Storytime Recap: Maryland Library Association Conference 2016

Here at SU, the joint chiefs get so much joy from hearing about all the Guerrilla Storytimes that are springing up all over the country. We encourage you to share notes, pictures, and videos with us, as well as any personal stories about what you’ve learned or experienced through GSTs. Don’t forget to let us know about your GST so that we can add it to the map and calendar, too!




Today we’re posting (some of) the recap from Maryland Library Association’s Guerrilla Storytime! You can find even more by clicking here. Check out the videos!


How do you incorporate number concepts and early math into storytime?

  • Counting songs
  • Flannel boards
  • Orders; use language to order concepts
    • First, second, third
    • First, next, last
    • Smallest, bigger, biggest
  • Organization of shapes; groupings of items
  • 5 little _____ songs & rhymes, counting up and counting down
  • mind parents of cardinal and ordinal concepts
  • Simple subtraction and addition of items- there were 4, one’s gone, now there’s 3.


How would you adapt scarves or shaky eggs for children with disabilities that can’t grip objects

  • Try another type of object
  • Peek-a-boo
  • Hold child’s hand around the egg and shake with them
  • Tie scarves to chairs
  • Attach item to a scarf or scrunchy that will go on child’s wrist
  • Noisemaker that goes on an arm or wrist


Favorite ways to use musical instruments in storytime

  • As children enter
  • Music playing during an extension activity
  • Music sometimes playing in the children’s area
  • Basket of instruments for free use
  • You can interact with kids as you play an instrument more easily than if playing a recorded song.
  • Playing an instrument provides more freedom to be silly and include children’s ideas
  • Ukulele, slide whistle, harmonica, accordion,


A child keeps pulling felt pieces off your board, what do you do?

  • Ask parents to keep control over kids (but say it nicely)
  • Put flannel board up high out of reach
  • Give each child a piece of flannel to add to the story


Favorite way to use puppets

  • Finger puppets- variations on “2 Little Blackbirds” (2 little [anything that goes with theme])
  • Waiting for families to file in, walk up to kids individually to interact with the puppet
  • Mother Goose’s “I Went Out for A Walk One Day” Uses animal sounds and not voices
  • Mascot puppet, puppy taps/kisses each kid on the head to count the kids


How do you get kids to do call and response?

  • Get very loud and excited
  • Talk to parents at beginning about participation and then call them out later (in a humorous way) if they don’t play along
  • Do a practice round
  • Have a partner lead the response part


What can you do with a stretchy band? Also called cooperative bands, & brand name “ElastaBlast”


  • Make a circle
  • Sit down in a circle with legs straight out, holding band, & do motions w/ band while seated:
    • Shake slow/fast
    • Storytime crunches/lean back
    • Row row your boat
    • Hold up high
    • Hold down low
  • Bounce to the beat of a song as you walk in a circle
  • What color are you holding? If you’re holding [color] then shake it. Then pass the band around to get a new color & repeat
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