Scarecrow Storytime

The same scarecrow side-by-side: he's happy about something and sad about another thing.I’ve mentioned briefly before that our Children’s Librarian retired a few weeks back.  One thing that her leaving meant was that I would be taking over the WeeRead (infant to 3 year olds), Baby and Me, Toddler Time, and Preschool storytimes (on top of the K-2nd that Mary and I work together on, and two 3rd-5th grade book clubs that I run solo).  Yowsa!

Thankfully, the Preschool, K-2nd, and Book Clubs are repeats of what we’d done over the past four weeks (thank goodness for that change in format that I recently implemented).  It’s only the baby/toddler storytimes that I need to plan.  Our Children’s Librarian left with a great deal of information and had created a sheet of songs/rhymes for the next two weeks’ storytimes, but no real activity or books to go along with them.  The theme was scarecrows.  I grabbed the three books that our library has on scarecrows and was rather disappointed in them.  They’re lovely and evoke the moodiness of fall, but I was like, “For babies or toddlers? Heck to the no.”

So the other day I threw this together and did my first storytime with it the very next day.  It was enough of a success that I decided to share it with the world in case anyone would like to use the resources that I’ll provide for free (woohoo!).

The inspiration for what I did came from a Raggedy Ann book that I had when I was very young.  It had a mouth that you could make smile or frown depending on what was happening in the story.  Obviously if I have a very vivid memory of that book several decades later, then it would be fun to do my own version.  Therefore I made a scarecrow that would smile or frown!  Click on any of the images below to get a printable pdf or jpeg that you can use:

Free printable of a mouthless scarecrow.A simple twist will turn your scarecrow's frown upside down.Don't be afraid to go "off script" or change what happens in the story. The scarecrow fell down twice in one story because the kids thought it was funny.

How To:

  • Print out the “no mouth scarecrow” and the mouth onto cardstock paper.
  • Cut out the mouth (smoothing out the rough edges).
  • Attached a small brass brad to the mouth (using mounting putty).
  • Poke a hole in the “no mouth scarecrow” and stick the brad through.
  • Finally, attach the brief story outline to the back of the page.

The back of the cardstock paper with the scarecrow's face and mouth on the other side.

The simple story worked great.  I elaborated on the simple bullet-points, and try and work the audience depending on what they had a reaction to (such as did they enjoy the sad moments more, or the happy?).  I had the kids make gestures (like plants growing), sounds (crows cawing), and also asked them to show me a happy or sad face.  We also went through one of the picture books and just talked about the pictures without reading the long story.  Finally, we had a coloring time where I had made a coloring sheet of our emotional scarecrow, and the kids used a special crayon (6 CRAYONS IN 1!) that’s perfect for little hands still gaining motor skills.  Click on the image below to get your very own coloring sheet:

Sweet colored-in scarecrow from our Toddler Time with an example of our special crayons for the wee ones.

I think that I may do a similar storytime in the future for the preschoolers, and after doing my short story, ask them to create a story where the scarecrow would be happy or sad. I think it could get creatively silly in no time.

Also worth noting is that this would work really great as a felt storytime as well (with even more emotions added in).

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