Oh, so did I mention that today I did three storytimes AND an hour-long program for grade-school kids? No? That’s probably because I didn’t know I was doing those things, either. But it’s all good.
Today and tomorrow, my supervisor and I are going over to the park district’s preschool to read some Halloween stories. Good thing there are, like, twenty million awesome books about Halloween.
My first storytime this morning was not great. I hadn’t done a storytime in a year and a half, and I’d forgotten some of the most important rules of storytime:
1. Don’t let anyone touch the puppets unless you’re prepared to have everyone touch the puppets. As soon as one kid touches the puppet, it’s all over. I like letting everyone come up at the end to touch/hug/get a kiss from the puppet, but having it happen in the middle of storytime is super disruptive. Also, keep the puppets in your bag when you’re not using them, or risk being treated to a rousing chorus of, “BUT I WANT TO MEET THE PUPPET NOW!”
2. Don’t ask open-ended questions during a story (it’s fine at the beginning when you’re chatting with the kids). Questions with one-word answers are usually okay, although even that can have dire consequences. (Try “Does anyone have pets?” Seriously, I dare you. Try it.)
3. Have a very clear introduction and conclusion. Introduce yourself, tell the kids about the library (Have you been to the library? Do you know what we have at the library?), and sing some kind of hello song. At the end, sing a goodbye song (I like to use the “hello” song with some words changed out), give puppet kisses, and then get out.
…well, anyway, after that first storytime (in which I failed to follow any of those rules), I got back on my game. The afternoon went a lot better. What did we read?