spooky storytime...

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. :)

Spooky Storytime was a program planned before I accepted my current position, but since I had the privledge of working with another staff member (who does Books & Babies) to present it, I had no worries about it. Also, Halloween is easily my favorite holiday, so this storytime (and all the spooky fun that went with it) was right up my alley.

Here's the Setlist*:

Assortment of Halloween Riddles & Jokes**
(various paperback books)

Where do vampires buy their pencils?

How do Mama ghosts keep their babies safe in the car?
They put them in their car sheets!

Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi
This is one of my favorite Halloween-type stories for the preschool crowd. Little Baby Mummy plays a game of Hide and Shriek with his mom to forestall bedtime. As he goes through the deep, dark woods, swamp, cave, and graveyard, he encounters Bones, Glob, and Drac as they get ready for bed. While they warn him about the things that lurk in the night, he waves them off with an "I'm not scared!"... until he is!

The Boo Baby Girl Meets the Ghost of Mable's Gable by Jim May
I was completely unfamiliar with this book when Mrs. M said she was going to read it. It turns out that Mr. May is a local resident and friend of Mrs. M's! At first, I wasn't sure where this story was headed. It introduces the Boo Baby Girl and tells you that she attends the Pied Piper Preschool. Then it introduces Mable, a rich old woman who died in her home (with big, steep gables) long ago - with all her gold. Two big, tough, strong boys (8th graders) try to steal Mable's gold and fail when the ghost shows herself. So Boo Baby Girl takes a crack at it. The result is pretty hilarious and we all laughed outloud.

The 'Hooky Spooky'
It's the Hokey Pokey - but way more fun. Same tune, with a few fun changes:
You put your hand bones (I used this one for practice)/funny bone (elbow)/skull/tailbone (bottom)/whole skeleton in,
you put your ____ out,
you put your ____ in
and you *rattle* it all about.
You do the Hooky Spooky and you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about - BOO! (instead of clap)

The Walking Casket***
The text of the story is pretty silly... a walking casket contains a monster who turns his victims into mummies... until a chance encounter with a brave ghost who blows out the monster's candle at midnight. The thing is, casket, monster, victim, mummies, candle, midnight, and ghost are all trigger words for sounds in the story. I think we had more fun watching me trying to keep up with Mrs. M's reading (I was holding up clipart cue cards for the triggers)... but it was a good time.

The Little Orange House***
This was another interactive story, but this time, I was the reader. Every child got a half sheet of orange paper and a pair of scissors, just like the little witch in the story. She's trying to find a house for the winter when a piece of paper blows to her on the wind. Just like the witch, we fold the paper in half, cut off the top corners to make a roof, a special door with a point for the witch's hat, a window to let light in, and a small angled door for a lonely ghost the little witch meets. When we unfold the house, you see the secret inside. :)

The Halloweiner by Dav Pilkey
Another funny favorite of mine. Oscar is teased pretty mercilessly for his stature, but on Halloween night, it's the advantage that takes him from being a Weiner Dog to a Hero Sandwich. A few cute jokes went over the kids' heads and straight to their smiling parents.

Craft: Edible Spiders
The craft was really a treat. We used jumbo marshmallows for bodies and chow mein noodles for legs... then we did the grossly unthinkable and we ate them. :) We also had bat rings, finger puppets, and tattoos from Oriental Trading that we handed out.

It was a great night!

* 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

** I had some reservations about jokes and riddles with a K-4 group, but those reservations just proved how new I am to the storytime game. The kids and parents ate them up with a spoon.

*** These stories were improvised from stories we'd heard about...