Monday, May 18, 2015

Play, Baby, Play! – Paper Everywhere!

Kendra has also blogged about this process, but it's so much fun that I decided to steal her idea again. Seriously, if you do nothing else this summer, bring this out at least once in your storytime. I did it last summer and parent's still talk about it! It will definitely be making another appearance this year.

First, you need to get a bunch of shredded paper. Make friends with your business manager, or simply take out all those papers in your file cabinet that you're never ever going to use. You know the ones I'm talking about. The person before you wrote out every program they did by hand and you've never looked at them. Give them a second life in this program.

After getting a good amount of paper, you need to make sure you have the cleaning up supplies ready. Get a vacuum, a broom, and a dust pan. Find a sweet naive volunteer if you're very lucky.

Do your normal storytime jam (or make it all about the parachute if you'd prefer), and then tell the parents you're going to get crazy. Warn them that it will be a total disaster area, but you don't mind the mess and you just want people to have fun. I always encourage parents that this is something that they would most likely never do at home (unless they're really cool), so they should take full advantage of it here.

I lay out the parachute, get everyone to gather around, and then warm everyone up. We do a round of peek-a-boo, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat– then I dump out the paper. 

Everyone freezes at first. 

Then it becomes a total frenzy. You can sing another song if you want, but I choose to skip it. I just let everyone play with the parachute without instruction. After about 10 minutes of shaking and shrieking (the good kind), parents laid the parachute down and kids starting just playing with the paper.

We had one kid playing "SURPRISE" with the paper. A great game where you grab as much paper as your tiny hands will hold, throw them in the air, and yell "surprise". This was definitely a crowd favorite.

We had kids who wanted to see how much paper they could put on their head and their entire bodies. I had a parent come back a week later and say she found handfuls of paper in both her child's pockets and her own.  

After 30 minutes of chaos, I had to shoo everyone out so I could do a quick clean-up for my next storytime. I did the best I could and the next session came. After a great time was had by all, I started the real clean up. It took about an hour to clean up the entire room. 

It was totally worth it. So, why do we do a program like this? Using the parachute is a great way to build those core muscles, Grabbing tiny shreds of paper improves fine motor skills. The "SURPRISE" game involved imaginative storytelling because it eventually became all about a surprise birthday party. Also, it's just a lot of fun. 


  1. Sounds like a blast! Definitely will be using this one :)

    1. You absolutely should! It was so much fun.



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