It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…

Hello and welcome to another fun filled storytime featuring ME the Not So Nice Librarian. With all the hurricane’s that have been beating the heck out of our coast over the last couple weeks; I decided to do a ‘Rain’ themed storytime instead of an Australian themed one – which allowed me to still do my rainstick craft, and might let any of the Littles attending that may or may not have been a little scared if they had seen any of the news lately (my kiddo did, and was very worried that when it rained that we would get flooding like there was on the TV), be soothed by seeing that rain wasn’t really a BAD thing. The kiddos that have been coming to our storytimes have been VERY little; so I have NOT been getting though all of the things I planned on. I’ve been lucky to get through 2 stories before the Wiggles gets the best of them. Which is ok. Little kids were not meant to be still for any length of time. So I just need to keep adapting my program until I find a happy medium. So this time I went with one I’ve read before, an Elephant and Piggie book, Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems.

I figured this was a great book to show kids that rain wasn’t a scary or bad thing. It shows some of the FUN things you can do while it rains. The next book I did, was The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book by Nancy Tafuri.

I knew I wouldn’t have their attention for much longer, so I turned this one into an into an interactive story. In this book a storm is rolling in and 10 animals take shelter in a cave, or a ‘hill hollow’, according to the book. So I found some REAL live pictures of the animals depicted in the book (which adds a non-fiction element to the story and program) and allows the kids to work on their memory and animal recognition skills.

So while reading, when the animal ran to the hill hollow, I would pause and say “Who has *insert animal*? Can you bring them up to the board?” And then we would count how many animals were now in the ‘hollow’. It helped keep their attention through the book; but after the 2nd story, they were done. Which is sad, because I thought they would like the other story I picked. So neither Boom!By Mary Lyn Ray or the nonfiction book Weather made it into the official line up.

I had printed off a 2nd game to play with the kids; but it too didn’t make it to the line up.

Once that second book was done; the kiddos were ready for the craft. And with the addition of the animals in the Big Storm, it had lengthened the program enough that I didn’t feel overly bad about skipping the other books and game.

So Rainsticks! Or glorified shakers… which ever you prefer. This is a really cheap simple craft. If, like us, you have a bunch of left over cardboard tubes from other programs those work AWESOME for this craft. If you don’t, you can make your own tubes out of paper or cardstock. So what you’ll need: tubes rice (or beans work too) newspaper markers and/or stickers and other things for decoration.

First, staple or tape one end of your tube.

Once that’s done, set the tube aside and grab a piece of newspaper. If you’re using paper towel tubes, or something of a similar size, you won’t need a whole sheet of newspaper. in fact, I cut the newspaper into 4-5 inch strips then cut those in half so I ended up with pieces about 4 in x 12 in. That is in no way an exact number, so don’t go grabbing the ruler or anything. Just eyeball it, seriously.

Now twist your strip of paper. It doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect. Basically this is going INSIDE the tube to give the rice something to bounce off of and make noise.

It’ll look something like this after you’re done twisting.

Next, take that twisted paper, find a pen or marker, and twist the paper around the marker in tight coils.

Carefully take it off the marker, try to preserve the twisty, curly-Q shape as much as possible. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next slide your paper curly-Q into the tube.

Add rice. You don’t need a lot. Only a handful really.

Once the rice is in, staple/tape that end closed.

Should look something like this:


Now decorate!

I think the kids enjoyed playing with the rice and stickers far more than they actually enjoyed making the rainsticks. Oh well.  Note to the wise… have a vacuum handy; that rice is like glitter, it gets EVERYWHERE!!!

Even the kids at the Mall Storytime were able to get in on the shaker….er… rainstick, action.

All in all, we had fun. The kids really seemed to like their rainsticks.

On the way back to work from my Mall Storytime, I got a call that no wife really wants to hear, but even with all that drama (which I will probably make a separate entry about later) it was still a pretty good day.

Now I need to figure out what to do for my October theme. I’ve done monsters and scary stories in previous years…. and I wanna lean away from a Halloween theme.

Hmmmm…. decisions, decisions.

Well, until next time; this is the Not So Nice Librarian signing off. Ciao!


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