Guerilla Storytime Notes

Hi! My name is Elise Brand, and I’m a children’s librarian at the Terryville Public Library in Terryville, CT. I attended the Guerilla Storytime after lunch and took notes.

Where do we find resources/new ideas for storytime?

What can be done with a pear prop?

  • Adapt Laurie Berkner’s “Somebody’s Got a Pig on Their Head” with pear or different objects
  • Practice another language (i.e. practice saying “pear” in Spanish)
  • Demonstrate rhyming (what rhymes with pear?)

What’s your go-to song for calming a rowdy storytime group?

  • “Button Factory”
  • “Dance Your Fingers Up”
  • “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”
  • “Shake Your Sillies Out”

How do people use iPads in storytime?

  • Use the iPad as a treat rather than as the focus (e.g. choose a book that has an interactive app, show the hardcover book, and then hold up the iPad and read the book on the screen)

What is the maximum amount of children you accept in a storytime?

  • It’s a free-for-all with drop in storytimes (Darien and Stamford can have 100+), but with storytimes that require registration the answers ranged from 12 to 20
  • One librarian limits the class to 12, and if there are more children trying to register, the library makes a second session
  • Darien caps the 6-week class session at 15-18 kids

Weekly storytimes vs. Registered sessions

  • Time to recharge in between sessions
  • Most kids that register show up, and if they don’t, call parents after they miss a week or two if there’s a waiting list
  • Email reminders the day before are a huge help


  • Some storytimes have nametags that are made using the die cut machine and follow a theme (e.g. leaves for a Fall storytime)
  • Kids can decorate their nametags, the nametags are collected at the end of class (one way to do attendance), and kids can take their nametag home the last week of storytime

What can be done with a rooster prop?

  • “I Went to Visit the Farm One Day,” “Old McDonald Had a Farm, “Hickory Dickory Dare” (throw animal to each child, good for turn taking, can be used with any animal puppet)

How do you use the parachute in storytime?

  • Retelling the Napping House, play popcorn, have the kids run underneath, have the kids sit on top of the parachute and parents help move the parachute in a circle and the kids go for a ride