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Steal This Story Time: Glow in the Dark


I love it when librarians put their story time plans online. I “borrow” them all the time! In an act of reciprocation I figured I might as well throw my story time themes at the Internet to see what sticks.

Disclaimer #1: I will credit others whenever possible; however, I’ve kept pictures and notes about my themes for years but have not been keeping track of where I got the ideas. In the spirit of generous, helpful librarianship, hopefully everyone will understand if I accidentally omit a source.

Disclaimer #2: Even the name of this blog is not original. The lovely Kiera Parrott from the Darien Library used to post her story time plans under this same title. She now is a regular contributor to the ALSC blog. Go visit her there, she’s fantastic.

My story times are not usually this elaborate, but we had so much fun doing this one that I wanted to write it up first. In connection with this year’s summer reading theme of “Dream Big” we put together a glow in the dark story time. I had help from several teen volunteers — otherwise there is no way we could have pulled this off. I called it Light Up the Library!

The stories we read were:
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
I did this one first, with the lights dimmed, to give people a chance to sneak in a little late and not enter a completely dark room. But when we got to the final page, of course the lights were turned off! (Yes, I have a copy where the battery still works. Amazing, no?)

What? Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum
This was the biggest crowd pleaser. We put black paper on the wall and used a black light. Each prop was added in order of appearance. Since it was pretty dark and I had my hands full, I told this story instead of reading it. A teen volunteer also popped out on stage with various fluorescent animals, with sound effects. And of course, whenever granny yelled, “Whaaat??” I held up the sign and the kids shouted along. So fun.

What Was I Scared Of? A Glow in the Dark Encounter by Dr. Seuss
I used a small flashlight for this story, holding it on the page so I could read and also activate the glowing parts. Then, I took the flashlight away before turning the page.

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray
To switch things up, I brought out a disco ball (it really is amazing what friends and family have tucked away. All you have to do is ask!) I couldn’t attach it to the ceiling so I hung it from a mic stand to create the effect of stars throughout the room. 

For the grand finale, two teens, with glow necklaces taped to them in the shape of a stick figure, danced a very awesome routine to the Wiggle’s song “Hot Potato.” This was the most unexpected part of the program and had everyone laughing.

Our craft at the end was a glow in the dark paper plate spider. I got the idea from Mollie’s Mom. The paint sticks were generously donated from two local hardware stores.

On the way out the door, everyone was given a glow bracelet... and I gave a large sigh of relief that all went smoothly. Whew.



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I stole your storytime!

I don't think I ever shared this with you

Glow in the Dark

How did you make the story pieces? Is that a special type of paper?

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