Lullaby and Goodnight…Bedtime Storytime

January 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

When I did bedtime storytime, I did wear pajama pants and a shirt with our library logo.  I wore slippers (well, really a pair of treaded fuzzy socks). Families that attended wore pajamas (well, the kids did and maybe a couple moms). However, I did not read bedtime stories. Ever.  Why not?  First, there aren’t enough good books about the subject to keep me or the families interested for a 9 week session and forget about enough to do all bedtime books for a whole year.  I did find a way to tie a nighttime storytime into the bedtime title: I used a dreamcatcher (inspired by the directions here).
04-09-10-0151 (2)Some colleagues do a magic trick to introduce the storytime theme.  I find that the items or laminated images that go into the magic bag are too small for all the kids in a large storytime to see.  So I thought the dreamcatcher could catch clues & we could noodle out the theme together from the clues.  The dreamcatcher could be hung from the ceiling, but since I have a short window to setup and tear down for other programming, I decided to just attach the top of the dreamcatcher to a tripod.  Then each week I would weave images into the yarn as if the dreamcatcher had trapped those thoughts.  For example, during the Autumn theme, there were fall leaves and pictures of pumpkins and apples in the dreamcatcher.  Or for farm week, there was a barn, a cow, a pig and a chicken.

During the first storytime for each session, I would explain what a dreamcatcher is. I’d also say that my giant dreamcatcher mostly catches good things, not the scary things, so that I could remember good stories to tell. Then I’d say I fell asleep before they arrived and I hadn’t had time to check what was caught from my dream.  Together we would identify each clue then figure out what they all had in common.  Then on with the stories, rhymes, songs and finger plays!

The biggest challenge of bedtime, or family, storytime, is preparing for a diverse crowd.  I found that even simple stories could work for older, more sophisticated storytime participants as long as we followed a simple story with an activity.  My favorite thing to do each week was come up with an action song that had everyone up in a circle acting out the theme.  For example, during the Autumn theme, we sang “Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down” (to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down).  Each verse had an action tied to autumn leaves: First they were falling down, then we had to rake them up, then we jumped into the pile.

Like any good storytime, I would include at least 2 books, an action song, a puppet or flannel story, and some sort of motor activity to transition to the books.  I usually included an open ended craft that was appropriate for a wide range of ages that could be done in about 5 minutes. After the craft, we turned down the lights, I would yawn and say how nice it was to share a dream with them this week.  We would sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” softly.  As they left the room, I’d pass out a small snack to eat at home before they went to bed.  Sleep tight, little ones!

*Note: The dreamcatcher above is not the one I created for storytime.  That one has been repurposed and I never took a picture of it before dismantling.

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Entry filed under: Storytime: Bedtime. Tags: , , .

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