I recently made a guest appearance at Monsters’ Ball, the annual Halloween celebration at the Niles Park District. They throw a great party: dinner, costumes, games, and a storytime under the stars (if the weather allows). Side note: I don’t know who did the decorations, but they completely blew my mind!
Anyway, it’s an easy program to plan since it’s only about 20 minutes. And yes, the conditions are unpredictable: there’s a noisy street less than twenty feet behind me, a bonfire on my right, and 150 strange kids crazed with suger and eye-candy. But they’re fired up, and ready to go.
With such a short program, there’s only time for a few activities. And because it was dark, books and flannelboards didn’t make much sense. I started with If You’re a Monster And You Know It (the Rebecca Emberley version), followed by the hilarious jump story Ruby Red Lips, and finally an activity I like to call my special magic spell.
This is a tricky storytime activity, because it all hinges on cooperation from your volunteer(s). But when it works, the results are total hilarious mayhem. Here’s how it works: I ask for volunteers to come up. Then I wiggle my fingers and say some magic words.
Hocus pocus, Ala Kazaam,
Become a kitty cat if you can!
(Now I cross my fingers) and if I’m lucky, the kids immediately begins to meow.
I picked 2 girls who were dressed as kitties, and they were awesome! So I turned them back into kids using the reverse spell:
Hocus pocus, ala kazoo
now turn back into you!
And hands went up all over the place. Kids were coming up 5 at a time. I asked who wants to become a dog?
Hocus pocus, ala kanoodles
Turn these kids into poodles!
For my final transformation I picked a wild little bugger who was dressed as a mummy. He ran up in a flash, he was bursting at the seams he was so excited. He bounced up like a little super ball.
Me: Ok, mummy, what do you want me to turn you into?
Mummy: A POOP! TURN ME INTO A POOP!!
Me: A POOP!?!? I don’t know, that might be pretty stinky! Let’s put it to a vote: what do you think everybody? should we turn him into a poop?
Luckily, that didn’t get him down.
Me: I have an idea, how about a tasmanian devil?
Me: Hocus Pocus, Ala kanevil, now you are a tansmanian devil!
He spun away like a little tornado, and his dad managed to catch him before he did any serious damage.