Tag: Interactive stories

Bear Hunt Obstacle Course

Bear Hunt

I’ve had A Librarian Less Ordinary’s Bear Hunt Idea in my file for one year. Finally I worked out the details in my head and had time to work on the props during my program break…

For the program itself I read the book to the children. There’s a new pop-up edition, so I used that one. Then we sang a couple of bear hunt songs:

  • “The Bear Hunt” by The Learning Station from Here We Go Loopty Loo
  • “The Cool Bear Hunt” by Dr. Jean from Dr. Jean Sings Silly Songs
  • “Goin’ on a Bear Hunt” by Greg & Steve from Kids in Action

As I did that in the program room my co-workers placed the props in the children’s room…

I had the children line up and I lead them through the obstacle course:

Bear Hunt (11)
The children entered the children’s room by crawling under the “Pine Cone Forest” table.


Bear Hunt (1)
The children tromped through the dark forest, then “swam” through the river.


Bear Hunt (2)
The children had to put on their snowsuits and brave the snowstorm. (There were wooden dowels with snowflake beads, white streamers, and snow balls. The picture doesn’t really show it.)


Bear Hunt (7)
Finally we mucked through the mud and tip toed to the cave…


Bear Hunt (3)
I used two garbage bags and covered a table. I strung star lights under the table and had a scary bear (about 4 inches tall) hiding in the cave.


Bear Hunt (6)
The kids ran through the obstacle course for about a half hour, singing and playing. The parents started getting hungry, so I had to start cleaning up so the kids would get their coats on!

It took about two hours of prep time to paint the bulletin board paper and make the wooden dowel props. I found 4′ dowels at Home Depot and tied crepe paper of different colors on each one. I was banking on throwing all the props away at the end of the program, but amazingly they all survived! I will be able to reuse them for another idea…

Such as:

  • Rosie’s Walk
  • Ghost Hunt
  • Mammoth Hunt
  • Lion Hunt
  • Martian Hunt
  • Monster Hunt
  • Dinosaur Hunt
  • Looking for Dracula (by Charlotte Diamond)

For more storytime ideas, check out Kim’s Literary Commentary. She’s hosting this week’s Flannel Friday. To find out more about Flannel Friday, check out the website, the Pinterest board, and the Facebook Group.

Press Here: A Story Mob

Ever since I heard of Toronto’s Story Mob, I’ve been wanting to try it. I wasn’t sure exactly how I could make it work as an after school program, but I finally figured it out! I have great success with series programming at my library. I decided to run this program as a series:Press Here All Lights Out

  • Week One: Design and Decorate Props
  • Week Two: Design and Decorate  Props
  • Week Three: Practice
  • Week Four: Perform for parents

I chose one of my favorite stories, Press Here by Herve Tullet, to be the inaugural story. I ordered the following materials for the props:

  • DIY Knight’s Armor from Oriental Trading. I ordered 2 dozen: you need 15 for the story, plus a few in case of mistakes! $22.99 with shipping
    Or, you can use two pieces of 11 x 17 white construction paper and two strips of 3 x 11 for shoulder straps
  • Glue sticks (about 1 stick for each prop: total of 15)
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper in 9×12 size:
    • 12 Yellow  (2 for each Yellow dot costume, plus 1 for 1 Red, and 1 for 1 Blue)
    • 10 Red (2 for each Red dot costume)
    • 10 Blue (2 for each Blue dot costume)
  • Construction paper in 11×17 size:
    These will be used to create the dots dancing and getting bigger at the end of the story. You can cut a variety of circles: whole, half and quarter. 

    • 7 Yellow
    • 7 Red
    • 7 Blue
    • 7 Orange
    • 7 Purple
    • 7 Green
  • Circle stencils (I used the lids of my pots and pans set from home)
  • Black crayons
  • 2 pieces of masking tape or Velcro to add 2 Yellow dots on top of 1 Red and 1 Blue for the beginning of the story
  • Optional: Musical instruments: I already have egg shakers and scarves from storytime
  • Optional: 5 small flashlights and hole puncher
  • Optional: I laminated each Dot costume because I used this for class visits and for professional development.

Instructions for Props:

Assemble 15 DIY Knight’s Armor into three equal piles:

  • 5 for yellow
  • 5 for red
  • 5 for blue

Please note: Yellow’s construction is different than Blue and Red.

5 Yellow Dots:

Press Here Yellow Front
Yellow Front: Front side: One yellow dot in front. Backside: Plain white back.
Yellow Back:  Front side: Yellow dot in front with black crayon for lights out. Backside: Big circles of different colors.
Yellow Back:
Front side: Yellow dot in front with black crayon for lights out.
Backside: Big circles of different colors.

Optional for 5 Yellow: Add small LED flashlights to light up the yellow dots.

Press Here Yellow Flashlights

4 Red Dots:

Red: Front side: One red dot. Backside: Black crayon for lights out.
Red front:
Front side: One red dot.
Backside: Black crayon for lights out.
Red Back: Front side: One red dot with black crayon for lights out. Backside:
Red Back:
Front side: One red dot with black crayon for lights out.
Backside: Big circles of different colors.

1 Red Dot: Add Velcro or tape and add Yellow Dot on top of Red for the first few pages:

Press Here Yellow on Red

4 Blue Dots:

Press Here Blue Front
Blue Front: Front side: One blue dot. Backside: Black crayon for lights out.
Press Here Blue Back
Blue back: Front side: Blue dot with black crayon for lights out. Backside: Big circles of different colors.

1 Blue Dot: Add Velcro or tape and add Yellow Dot on top of Blue for the first few pages:

Press Here Yellow on Blue

Now you’re ready to create a Story Mob! You’ll need 15 children to be each dot. All extra children can have scarves and shakers to dance around with and shake. If you have under 15, you can use parents or adapt the story to fit the amount of children you have. For example, tap the Yellow dot three times.

Are you ready for the story? Here we go…

Press Here Ready

“Ready? Press Here and see what happens.”

Press Here Two Yellow

“Press the yellow dot again.”

Press Here Three Yellow

“Gently rub the dot on the left” (do the same with the right and rip off to expose a Blue dot):

Press Here Yellow Changes to Red

“Five quick taps on the Yellow dot.”

Press Here Five Yellows

“Five quick taps on the Red dot.”

Press Here Five Yellow and Red

“Five quick taps on the Blue dot.”

Press Here Five Yellow Red and Blue

“Not bad. Shake them up a bit!” (Kids dance and shake.)

“Perfect, let’s see what kind of pattern we’ve made…Blue, Yellow, Red, Blue, Yellow, Red. An A-B-C pattern!”

Press Here Patterns

“Uh, oh! Who turned off the lights?!” (Notice that the yellow dots are illuminated by the flashlights?!)

Press Here Yellow Lights Only

“I bet our dots can make a rainbow!”

Press Here Dark Rainbow

“What happens if we clap our hands?” (Clap 1,2,3,4,5 and let the other kids shake shakers, clap hands, wave scarves and run by everyone.)

Press Here Big Dots

“Oh, boy! Should we do it again? Press Here and start from the beginning!”

Press Here Last Yellow The EndMy school collaboration partner, Joanne Moore, and I worked together with the kids to create a video so you can see how it came out. We did this program as a class visit to promote my awesome summer reading programs. I think I’ll have maximum attendance!

It’s a Tiger!

It’s a Tiger!

It's a Tiger Book

David LaRochelle’s It’s a Tiger! makes the kids yell and laugh. Of course, I ham it up a bit. I wanted to make a craft to accompany the story: Its a Tiger craft.

  1. Copy the first page on white paper and cut a slit in the flower patch.
  2. Copy page two on orange paper (one page makes four crafts).
  3. Cut out the tigers and glue onto craft sticks to make a pop up surprise!

Its a Tiger Craft Photo

For more ideas, check out Saturday Share.

Count the Monkeys

Count the Monkeys

Count the Monkeys BookI love this new “counting” book. The children loves listening to it and immediately yell, “Again!” when I turn to the final end pages revealing all of the hidden monkeys. I don’t see how I can make this into a successful flannel story, but I did make a cool craft! Just copy this (Count the Monkeys Craft) double sided and watch the fun. Score the four windows and handout for an interactive coloring page.

Count the Monkeys Craft Photo

For more ideas, check out Storytimes and More on the Go’s Saturday Share.

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