Monday, January 06, 2014


MELSA Storytime PALOOZA (Dec 17, 2013-Roseville Public Library)

I, along with a fairly large SPPL contingent, attended the Storytime-PALOOZA  and have come back with many interesting ideas and resources as well as some cute animal finger puppets and some staff won early literacy prizes to bring back to their libraries.

First we learned about iPad storytimes (some apps are free and some have a small cost, click on the link for more information on the app):

Ramsey County Library told us about their E-tot Digital Storytime which is set up like a baby stortyime: interactive storytime, talk, sing with the difference being that they have iPads for kids to use and they project one iPad on a tv screen using an Apple TV.

One app that they use is called Felt Board which allows the user to move virtual felt board pieces to tell stories or to create matching and other games.

Hennepin County Library demonstrated a free app called Fingerpaint with Sounds which makes different sounds when you trace letters, images with your finger on the screen. This can be used for the letter of the day. They also use an app called My A-Z which has A-Z cards and you can customize the cards by taking photos and inserting them into the corresponding cards. HCL has used this to insert photos they have taken around the community and also during storytime.

Anoka County demonstrated the app Spot the Dot which can be used for finding different color dots. They have also used Fireplace Live to provide atmosphere for a camping storytime, Toca Robot Lab for a robot storytime,  iBird for a bird storytime,  Free Animal Sounds for an animal storytime, Hand Turkey for a craft activity, and they used Finger Paint with Sounds when they read The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse to make their own copies of the animals in the story.

Washington County Library demonstrated Bunny Fun app by Rosemary Wells, which has a bunny that dances to and sings "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" in English, French, Spanish, and Japanese,  Ask Me Colors and Shapes, Nursery Rhymes with Storytimes, Touch and Learn Emotions, and Calgary  Public Library Grow A  Reader app.

Dakota County Library talked with us about screen time and early literacy and mentioned some books on this topic that may be of interest: Big Disconnect, Screen time, How Children Succeed and studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics which look at the negative impact that too much screen time can have on focus, sleep, weight, etc. As a group we discussed that as librarians we recognized that mobile and other electronic devices are everywhere and are heavily used so that we want to model healthy digital literacy and to show resources that are interactive and enhance and expand non-digital resources and activities. We discussed that the Fred Rogers Center has some good research and recommendations. HCL has a link to this site as well as to other sites with information on good digital resources for children.

The next half of Storytime-PALOOZA was a Showcase in which various staff demonstrated and/or discussed popular storytime activities:

One staff member showed us her puppet “Fergus” who was kind of a monster puppet. During storytime they spell out words and then “throw” the words to Fergus who eats them up.

Other staff discussed various uses for cardboard boxes:

Turning the flat (bottom) side of a box and turning it into a stage by cutting out holes that puppets can peek through (one presenter mentioned having an iPad hidden in the box and she would press a button to play animal sounds and the kids would guess the animal and then she would have that animal puppet come through the window in the box).

Other staff have taken the flat side of the box and drawn or made scenes with paper and then put Velcro on so pieces could be added and taken away. An example is a scene with a tree that has Velcro spots for apples for a counting rhyme.

Scott County did a “Drive-in-Movie” storytime (after they explained to the kids what “drive-in-movies” are), the decorated boxes to look like the front of a car with a paper plate for a steering wheel and then the kids and their parents sat behind the “car” and read different driving/car stories and sang driving/car songs and then watched the film version of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”.

Washington County did a storytime based on the book “Not a Box” where they used a  box with a rabbit puppet to tell the story. Kids got to have their own boxes to take home and do their own box stories.

St. Francis Library told us about using the Bean bag Song which is available on the cd “Can a Jumbo Jet Sing the Alphabet”. (SPPL’s copy is missing but it also seems to be available on  Miss Ella’s Playhouse)

We were also treated to “Da Moose” song and told that the Minnesota DNR can come for story times and has done story times on moose where they brought a moose skull and pelt and can bring their fish tank, the one that’s at the State Fair,  for an outdoor story time or event. Here’s a picture of this happening at RCL.  The Minnesota DNR has also come as part of their I CAN series and was part of a library camping event where the library staff did camp stories outdoors and families could learn about camping.

In the last part of the Storytime PALOOZA we discussed  “How do I handle….?” types of situations that occurred during storytimes and everyone offered their advice, suggestions, etc.

Fun was had by one and all.

Submitted by Erin Z-R, Librarian I, Central

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