Storytime: "Unusual" Transportation

I visit a preschool one day each week, and often tailor my storytimes to whatever special theme they are highlighting that week. They did a week of "unusual" transportation, so I did my best to come up with some unique things to showcase. Its a bit random, but I really like what I came up with-- and the kids did too!

(I read just the pages about pirate ships from Everything I Know, and also identified all the vocabulary for the ship parts)
Cover Art for Hot air balloons Cover Art for Everything I know about pirates : a collection of made-up facts, educated guesses, and silly pictures about bad guys of the high seas Cover Art for Trashy town

Song: Sail, Sail, Sail Your Ship (via Storytime Katie)

Activity: Garbage Truck Sorting (idea from Miss Sarah's Storytime)
I had leftover squares of different colored construction paper from the Little Mouse's houses craft project, so I handed pieces of paper out to the kids and they had to match their paper to the color of the garbage truck on the bag (pictures via Google). Each bag has a different colored garbage truck on each one, so I only have to haul around 3 bags instead of 6!

Flannelboard: A Hunting We Will Go (a Melissa Depper standard)
Clip-Art pairs included: chimp/blimp, sheep/jeep, goat/boat (I used a pirate ship to make it more "unusual"), and rocket/pocket

Flannelboard: Pirate Ships (pattern and rhyme from Fiddlehead Kidlit)
I used the "So Many Pirate Ships" rhyme from Andrea's post, and imported her pattern into the Silhouette Studio so the machine did all the detailed cutting for me! One ship decided to go rogue and not follow the pack :)

I'm a Book Baby (younger group)
These Are My Glasses (preschool group)
Reach for the Sky (both groups)



  1. A bit off topic, do you justify spending that much time off-site? I am the only youth services librarian at my library and my preschool storytimes have been declining (4k, more kids in preschool, etc.). I'm tossing around thoughts of doing more outreach, since none of the preschool/4k sites are within walking distance of the library, but my director doesn't want me offsite. I have to justify all my outreach visits, which right now consist of monthly visits to the 3 kindergarten classes at the elementary school that's several miles out of town and the 4k classes of the daycare that's out there as well. Was this something your library was already committed to, or did you fight for it?

    1. Hi Jennifer. I have been lucky so far, and haven't had to justify my time really. I am also solo, but my director thinks we should be out in the community, so it hasn't been much of an issue yet. I have plans to expand my outreach in the future, and that may ruffle some feathers! We have a small staff (5 FT, 3 PT) so sometimes I have to cancel my preschool visit if I'm needed to cover the main desk, which is something I stressed with them at the very beginning. They are understanding and flexible. Can you work through a county/state organization to find out how many licensed in-home providers and child-care centers there are as a way of "proving" how many preschoolers there are in your area that are not coming to the library? What kinds of information is the most persuasive for your boss? Data? Personal stories of how important the service is for the sites you are already visiting?

    2. Thanks for the ideas! Sounds like you have about what I do - but I cover both the youth services desk and the main desk. I actually agree to a certain degree with my director about being available at the library, but my preschool storytimes are dropping so low that I need to start thinking about replacement ideas.

    3. Yeah... my "office" IS the youth desk, so when I am out of the building, there's not a staff member on the 2nd floor, which isn't ideal. I hear you about wanting to be available to people in the library AND outside the library. It's really tough to balance when you are one person! I only offer 1 preschool storytime (though it's open to all ages) a week, and average about 25. Without the 3 in-home daycares that come consistently though, it would be more like 6-8 kids and 3 moms. Since many of my families are 2-parent working or 1-parent working but 1-car families, I have tried offering evening and Saturday programs that have been dismal flops. I think that helped my situation with the director too, because she could clearly see that I had tried to accommodate their needs, but just wasn't getting a good response. While they are at preschool/daycare they're a "captive" audience!

    4. I do at least 3 programs a week, not counting the storytimes my colleague from the school district comes in to do, and while it's hard to imagine a library without preschool storytimes *sniff* my numbers have been dropping below what my director wants (minimum of 10 kids) b/c so many people have their kids in school or other activities. I think there might be some home daycares nearby, but I'm not allowed to have daycares at storytime. The one daycare I've been visiting I also take books to, so it goes toward circulation. It's a HUGE relief to just show up and there are the kids! No endless fretting over marketing and publicity and omg WHERE IS EVERYONE WHY DO THEY ALL HATE ME. I get a little fraught sometimes (-:)


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