For the last few years, the library where I work has been involved with the local downtown association’s Thanksgiving weekend celebrations. It starts out with Gingerbread storytime at the library (that’s us), a parade down Main Street and Mrs. Claus on a firetruck (I think), a marching band, and ending with lighting the Christmas Tree.
This year we had 305 people attend Gingerbread storytime. 205 in the large meeting room and 100 in the program room. There were four of us doing storytime; two in each room. Like last year, we adapted old (and new) storytime favorites and gave them a gingery twist. (These stories are almost exclusively prop stories.)
We started storytime with two rounds of My Hand Waves Hello.
Fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Cookies, Roll Roll Sugar Cookies, bake, sprinkle, munch munch munch.
Story #1: Little Red Hen Makes Ginger Cookies. An in-house re-write of the classic tale wherein, the Little red hen is really the librarian talking to three puppets who refuse to help make cookies. At one point when rolling out the cookies, I included roll roll ginger cookies to include a local favorite… When the cookies are done and the puppets wouldn’t help with the flour, butter, rolling of the dough, cleaning up, and decorating, but they wanted to eat the cookies the Librarian told them she was keeping the cookies for her cookie exchange.
Song: Because it’s Thanksgiving weekend and people drive from all over to celebrate….Driving in My Car
Fingerplay: To give my partner time to get ready for the next story, and to calm everyone down: Clap, Clap your Lap.
story #2: Have You Been Naughty or Nice by Ethan Long. This was a lot of fun. We had a nice fireplace, a Christmas Tree. Librarian #1 sat on a chair with a duck puppet. Librarian #2 (that was me) from off stage asked the question (in a big booming voice): Have you been naughty or nice? Then Librarian #1 pretty much acted out the book. Being dramatic and attacking the (gingerbread) cookies left for Santa. And during the big duck breakdown…Librarian #2 walked past the scene with this poster:
Then, after the drama, Duck wrote a letter to Santa, and falls asleep. Librarian #2 donned a santa hat, and walked the presents in, took the note to Santa…and said Ho Ho Ho. This was one of my favorites.
Song: Must Be Santa. Raffi. This time we didn’t do the flannel board, but had everyone stand up and do the motions…
Flannel: Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree I’m sharing this next week for Flannel Friday…after Friday I’ll insert the link to the flannel…
Story #3: That is NOT a Good Idea by Mo Willems. This title came out in 2013. Fox picks up a duck and takes her for a walk. There is a chorus of little chicks telling Fox what a bad idea it is. For our Gingerbread story, Fox puppet (with a top hat) picks up a Gingerbread girl.Asks her to take a walk.
During the walk the chorus of chicks, tells the audience that this is Not a Good idea…
The story continues, as per the book, and we learn why Fox taking Ginger out for a walk is really REALLY not a good idea!
We did a few more fingerplays to stretch out our storytime. We were on a strict timeline. Ending too late or ending too early would confuse the situation. One of the activities my co-worker pulled out of her hat was The House Where Santa Lives. I’d never heard it and I encouraged her to do it. She’s been doing storytimes and programs for decades and I love when she remembers old school stuff. (like the hand motions for Must be Santa). It’s good to learn from the master!
That was this year’s Gingerbread Festival. Once we ended, as close to 4 pm as we could), we sent them to the street where the parade would start. Marching band, good time small town stuff…in our warm, medium sized suburb.
Here are some snapshots of Gingerbread Storytime 2013: