Friday, October 26, 2012

"On Halloween Night" OR:Parents Don't Use Puppets or Flannel Boards or....

I could make cute little finger puppets or flannel boards for every rhyme that I do with the kids--but I don't.

When I'm working with a group of children I am performing in a way that I never did at home with my girls. I "razzle dazzle" them, as the saying goes because the dynamics of working with a group are totally different from that one-on-one with your own child.

But the thing is, my goal is not just to entertain that group--though I certainly hope that I do--but to educate their parents and caregivers as to what THEY can do when they're not at story time.

When I have a great time with a group but see them go out of the library without books, I don't feel that successful.

But when I have a parent  or caregiver ask me for the words or tune to a song we've been singing, or report that their child "sings that all the time!" I beam with pleasure.

When I have a parent or caregiver specially request we do a song--last week it was "Zoom,Zoom, Zoom" another time recently, it was "Going to the Zoo", I know that I've made a connection.

So a lot of the time I DON'T use flannels or stick puppets or mitt puppets or any other such.
Because I want to show parents and caregivers that all you need to entertain a child is your hands and your voice and a sense of fun!

I could make a flannel board for this poem by Nancy Carlstrom, but why should I?
It's perfect to act out, just the way it is:

On Halloween Night

Stretch your arms in front of you and "pit-pat" your paws!
This is the way the cat walks, the cat walks, the cat walks,
this is the way the cat walks on Halloween night!
She goes pit-pat,
Pit-pat, on Halloween night

This is the way the kids walk....
"Trip-trap" your hands on your legs

This is the way the wind walks..... 
 "Rip-rap" your arms in big circles

                                               This is the way the trees walk......  

                                     Sway your arms in the air & "scritch-scratch" with your fingers

                                             This is the way the moon walks.....
                                   Reach your arms up and "tip-tap" your fingers in the sky

The moon goes........
The trees go............
The wind goes.........
The kids walk..........
 The cat goes pit-pat..
On Halloween Night!


  1. I do a lot of razzle dazzle LOL, but I always point out a simple flannel game that can be made at home or an activity that can continue at home later. I think modeling literacy skills is SO important for parents and hope they do go home and do their own storyitmes. You're right, we want the kids to have great library experiences, but the bigger picture is life-long skills, not just the 30 minute "show" you put on. Great post!

  2. Thank you, Miss Tara.

    My simple point to parents is "I am the icing. You are the cake. All the programs you go to matter very little in comparison with what you do at home"


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