Thursday, April 22, 2021

National Crayon Day - Virtual Storytime

One of my weekly storytimes fell on March 31st, which is National Crayon Day. Not only are crayons a great way to teach colors, but scribbling, coloring, and drawing are great pre-writing activities and a crayon-themed storytime is a great way to encourage this at home.

When I talk about this with caregivers I always make sure to reinforce the idea that it is the process of holding and manipulating the crayons and expressing themselves creatively that is important, not the final product, and remind them that letter-like forms come before actual letters, and backwards letters are common and developmentally appropriate.

Crayon storytime
One of my goals for the last couple of year is to try to introduce more non-fiction books in storytime, not only to help with vocabulary and background knowledge, but also to show how books are also a source of information as well as entertainment (and maybe boost our non-fiction circulation in the process 😉). 

So after the "hello" song and introduction, I showed the book The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow and Steven Salerno. I didn't read it, but showed a couple of selected pictures, and paraphrased the beginning to tell how Edwin Binney was prompted to develop Crayola crayons for children by his wife, and encouraged them to check out the book to learn more. I personally found the story interesting, and the illustrations engaging.

crayon storytime
I did a lead-in song and then read the first story, The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf and Michael Letzig. This is an older book, but it has a timeless message of not only embracing, but celebrating diversity and recognizing that everyone has something to offer. 

A box of crayons at the store cannot get along, each color disliking the others. The child narrating the story decides to buy them anyway. As the crayons see the picture the child has created using all of them, they realize every color is beautiful and all are needed to make the picture complete. The story is written in rhyming verse that has a nice rhythm when read aloud.

I followed that with a fingerplay and flannel board, though I didn't have quite enough time to add all the details I had planned to my felt crayons.

Five Little Crayons

Five little crayons, waiting in a row.

The first one said, "I'm red you know."
The second one said, "I'm green like a tree."
The third one said, "I'm blue as the sea."
The fourth one said, "I'm yellow as the sun."
The fifth one said, "Being purple is such fun!"

Five little crayons, as happy as can be,
Coloring pictures with you and me.

For our second story I choose Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin. Not only is this book very bright and cheery and shows how to blend primary colors to make secondary colors, it is a lot of fun to read. 

It has words that incorporate movement, like "mix, dance, and wiggle" and sounds like "growl" and "howl". The words are also written in larger fonts that call attention to them, and the words for the colors are printed in the respective color, which is great for print awareness. Plus, the monsters are just cute! 

I closed by showing The Crayon Man and another non-fiction book about how crayons are made, and encouraging people to come by the library to check them out or let us help the find more stories about crayons or colors, followed by a good-bye song.

How It Went

This was a fun theme, and while I got a few views, there were no comments or interaction from viewers, so it's really hard to know if anyone is really watching and engaging. Even though our libraries have been open for most of the last 8 months and have had curbside service all this time, few kids and families are coming in, and few youth materials are being checked out. I put up displays, promote books in my virtual programs, provide lists of suggested books in the kits, and have done a couple of online booktalks, but nothing seems to make a difference. It's all rather discouraging. I'm really hoping things pick up a little this summer, and maybe we can try some outdoor in-person programs.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! I'm planning a similar storytime and have been debating about how to incorporate "The Crayon Man". Summarizing and showing pictures sounds like a good idea!