Using the suggestions from others on how to improve my original Family Storytime on a Monsters theme, I’ve created a new outline. For starters I wouldn’t use any of the books from that outline. They are all way too long and some have other issues. Really wish I could remember how they went over when I used them!
Everyone who chimed in agreed, MORE MOVEMENT! YES! Best advice for storytime: DO NOT SIT THE ENTIRE TIME. Or you’re doing it wrong (unless you can’t stand and then ok, but you can still get them to stand up or move a lot. You know what I mean.)
In making this new outline I’ve taken in to consideration my own style and taste in books (NEVER read a book you don’t like!!) and have built in flexibility for when the group tends toward the younger end or the older end. This is what a Monsters Family Storytime would look like for me today:
Hello Bubbles (everyone loves bubbles and it’s an echo song which is good practice for those in, or getting ready for, kindergarten)
Little Monster, Little Monster (they get to come up and pull their house color off the board if I pick them)
Eyes open, Eyes closed
Wiggle your fingers, Wiggle your nose
Thumbs up, Thumbs down
Make a smile, Make a frown
Wiggle, clap, Wiggle, snap
Let your hands fly right to your lap. (Snapping makes the school age kids feel pretty suave.)
Book: For the first book I would read the longest I have that is still appropriate for the ages present.
These are the books I might have on my table: Go Away Big Green Monster, If You’re a Monster and You Know It, Can You Make a Scary Face, Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli, Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance. You aren’t going to read them all but you should always have options so you don’t get stuck.
If it’s mostly 2 and 3 year olds I’ll do Go Away Big Green Monster or If You’re a Monster and You Know It. If there are mostly 4-7’s present I’ll read Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli or Leonardo the Terrible Monster first.
Song: Monster Pokey. Kind of like Lisa’s Hooky Spooky but we’d have claws and snouts and tails to put in and out.
Book: If the group is younger read Go Away Big Green Monster or If You’re a Monster and You Know It (whichever I didn’t read before)
If the group is older read Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance or Leonardo the Terrible Monster
Song: Monster Boogie by Laurie Berkner with scarves
Book: If the group is younger or super squirmy I won’t read a third book and we’ll do Ram Sam Sam or more dancing instead. For an older group read Can You Make a Scary Face or If You’re a Monster and You Know It
Closer: Wave Goodbye– I still love this rhyme and it can work with all ages if the parents get involved with the little ones.
In my library I like to say goodbye to storytime because we move to a different part of the room for the activity. But I agree with Linda that in some cases it doesn’t make sense to do a goodbye song.
Activity: Make a Monster paper bag. Make a monster using a paper bag and the random items inside that bag. I also really like Linda’s monster feet. That would be a LOT of fun! Though I tend toward more open ended projects-it’s about process, not product- the physical activity part of making monster feet is appealing to me.
We hope to make this a regular feature of Storytime Underground so if you have a storytime you’d like pimped send us an email!