halloween week storytimes...

PLEASE NOTE: I have a backlog of storytime themes and activities from my first month on the job that I would like to document here; please pardon the dust as I try to catch up. :)

In addition to the special Spooky Storytime (K-4) we did this week, we had a Halloween theme in our regular storytimes (2-3, 4-K) as well.

Here's the Setlist*:

Song: 'Hello Song'Hello, everybody! So glad to see you...
Hello, everybody! So glad to see you.
Hello to _____, so glad to see you!
Hello to _____, so glad to see you!
I first heard this when I attended a Music Together class with some friends of mine and our children (of course). It's catchy and repetitive so parents and children learn it fast. Plus, it welcomes every child by name (we wear nametags) and we even welcome baby siblings, moms, dads, and grandparents when they're with us.

Welcome/Theme Intro
Many of my storytimers came in costume, so we had a little fashion show. For those who didn't come in costume, we gave them a chance to describe what they were wearing for Halloween and congratulated them on keeping it a big surprise! :) We talked about trick-or-treating (I had them pretend to ring a doorbell and I opened up an imaginary creaky door and they all yelled "Trick-or-treat!" and I threw out tons of imaginary candy... gigglefest ensued).

I usually have the kids do a stretch, but today we danced the 'Hooky Spooky'... I made my lyrics up using finger bones, funny bone (elbow), skull, tailbone (bottom), and whole skeleton, but I have also seen fun lyrics with an imaginary pumpkin head, witchy nails, zombie arms, and ghost-self. Instead of clapping after "That's what it's all about" (which can also be modified to "Then give a little shout"), we yelled "BOO!" - which was super fun. It was also a cardio workout for Mrs. D!

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
I first heard this song at my son's preschool a few years back. The little old lady is on a walk through the woods back to her house when she hears something behind her. First it's two boots (CLOMP, CLOMP), then a pair of pants (wiggle, wiggle), then a shirt (shake, shake)... you get the idea. She tells them all she'd not afraid and comes up with a plan to help them fulfill their scary destiny. :)

Flannel: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat
This was also my first Flannel Friday submission!

This time, we did our stretch. :)
Can you wiggle your finger bones like this? (out in front of our bodies)
And can you wiggle your toes bones inside your shoes where no one can see? 
(they always look) :)
And can you wiggle your shoulders? How about your nose? What about your knees? 
(we look hilarious)
And can you keep wiggling like that in a circle?
Now, let's reach up HIGH... (high voice) and down LOW... (low voice) 
And let's tuck in our bottoms and sit right down... for another story.

The Halloweiner by Dav Pilkey
I used this one in the Spooky Storytime, too.

NAF**: Five Little Pumpkins
Mine are printed out from a template I found online. I cut them out, laminated them, and put velcro on the back.

Five little pumpkins, sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late."  (hands on cheeks)
The second one said, "There are witches in the air!"  (pointing above us)
The third one said, "But we don't care!"  (crossing our arms)
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run!"  (pumping our arms)
The fifth one said, "Isn't Halloween fun?!"  (arms out, fingers extended)
Oooo-ooo (make an "O" shape with lips and blow) went the wind 
and (LOUD CLAP) out went the light...
And five little pumpkins rolled (roll fist over fist) out of sight. 

Craft: G-G-G-Ghosts!
Mrs. M came up with this one. We gave each child a piece of white paper, a black marker, scissors, and a length of orange or black yarn. They traced their hands (with fingers closed) and cut them out (with help). :) They then flipped that shape upside down and added a little ghost face. We came around with a hole punch and the kids threaded the yarn through and had a necklace or a decoration of their own - and parents had a little hand keepsake if they wanted. :)

Song: 'The More We Get Together'
I didn't realize that this is a Raffi song... I love the tune and the sentiment, and we sing it at the end of every storytime. I ask the kids to bring whatever craft we worked on to the carpet to share with the other kids and we use it as a prop for the song.

The more we get together, together, together...
The more we get together the happier we'll be.
'Cause your friends are my friends and
My friends are your friends and
The more we get together the happier we'll be. 

* I call my storytime plans "Setlists" because I actually carry a half sheet of paper into the Story Room with me to remind me what I'm doing. It's all keyword/notes, so that's what it looks like to me - a setlist. And, "setlist" cracks me up. We're rockstars! :D

** NAF= Not a Flannel; still something we do with the flannel board or the magnetic whiteboard, but not a flannel project.