How the Rhyming Dust Bunnies Inspired Me to Blog Again

*taps mic* Is this thing still on?

Hello, friends! There’s something about being fully vaccinated that has me returning to my old loves. (Well, vaccines and dust bunnies but we’ll get to that in a moment.) Like Katie, I want to get into a semi-regular blogging routine again. Writing pushes me to reflect and connect, two things I need now more than ever.

So here’s where I’ll start: The idea so exciting I danced around the room in a moment of pure joy.

A little background first. This summer I’m doing a few Zoom programs for kids as part of my library’s Summer Reading Club. One program is called Story Sleuths and it’s aimed at kids in grades K – 3. In truth, I was dreading planning this program. Was there a creative bone left in my body after months and months of Zoom training? Could I plan an engaging virtual experience for kids that encouraged interactivity, supported literacy, AND showcased the awesome books we have at the library? Oh thee of little faith!

I settled on reading a surefire hit, Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman, and I knew I wanted rhyming to be the loose theme. Then I remembered one of my all-time favourite storytime books: Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas. Hmmm, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to do something different than read the book? Wait, I pondered, doesn’t this book have an easy-to-remember plot and odd-shaped characters who would be theoretically easy to replicate? Hmmm, I ruminated, wouldn’t it be possible to make this book into a puppet show??!!

Miss Alison to the rescue! I can never thank all the youth services bloggers of yore for the treasure trove their blogs still contain. I knew in that moment I could create an epic virtual puppet show.

The next day yarn scraps were strewn across the floor. Hot glue threads stuck to my computer mouse. Coloured pencils were dumped unceremoniously on the table. I was in the zone.

And here are my beautiful bun-buns: Ed, Ned, Ted, and Bob. Bob had an unfortunate run-in with orange hair dye. At least that’s what I’m telling the kids. I used chopsticks instead of feet so I can hold them up easily. Everything else follows Alison’s instructions. They are the perfect size for a computer screen and can be clipped together at the bottom for easier maneuvering.

For the puppet show I had a colleague help me out. We grabbed a broom handle and a vacuum attachment as props. I wrote a script that includes a narrator who interacts with the kids and asks them to help with the rhymes. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time.

And that is the story of how the Rhyming Dust Bunnies inspired me to blog again.

What’s new in your corner of the world? What types of blog posts would you like to read? I’m pretty much in a constant state of wanting human interaction so I would be extra pleased if you left a comment today. Thank you for reading, now and always.

62 thoughts on “How the Rhyming Dust Bunnies Inspired Me to Blog Again

  1. So happy to see you back on the blog! I started as a Children’s Programming Specialist in 2018, and every youth librarian I asked about storytime said “You have to bookmark all of Jbrary’s sites immediately.” Now I’m in my second week of being a Youth Services Supervisor, and I still consult those Pinterest boards and Favorite Storytime book lists all the time. Excited to see what comes next!

    1. Thank you, Megan! I’ve been neglecting those Pinterest boards for awhile and this is a good reminder people still use them. I’m really happy that Jbrary has remained useful as you’ve moved on through your career.

      1. I’ve been a Youth Librarian for 2 years and when I first started, I was told your site and Pinterest was the best! I’m taking over a baby program and this was the first place I checked for ideas. Happy to see you back!

        1. Oh, I love baby programs so much! You are in for a treat. So glad to be back and happy to have you following along with me.

  2. This is amazing! I love it and love that you are blogging again! Thank you so much for the inspitation!

    1. One of the kids at the program said, “those don’t look like bunnies to me,” Lol. I’m glad you agree with my evaluation πŸ™‚

    1. Whoa, this is so true! I hadn’t even thought of it in that regard but it’s exactly right. I have been reading about moving from the “schoolification” to the “playification” of the early years and it all starts with our own mentality. Thanks for that revelation!

  3. Hi Lindsey, great to see you on here again! I have been looking for puppet show inspiration and you got me! However, I wonder if you would mind sharing the script you wrote? That would save me some time. Thank you!

    1. I agree 1000%! I want to do this in the fall when we start up again–would you be willing to share your script?

      1. Hi Jenna, yes I have added a link to the script in the blog post. It’s hyperlinked in the paragraph between the pictures. Enjoy!

    2. Yes, of course! I have added a link directly to the script in the blog post. It’s linked in the paragraph between the two pictures. It’s a very flexible script so have fun with it πŸ™‚

  4. Everyone here at Albany Public Library in NY turns to you for imaginative songs and fingerplays. Thank you so much!

  5. I am so surprised to see a new blog post! I am a newly appointed Spanish Children’s Librarian out in Texas and I rely on your site for inspiration and ideas and it has been sad to see no new posts for a while. I am so glad to see that you are doing ok in these rough times and we look forward to hearing more from you! Thank you for this wonderful resource! Gracias!

    1. When inspiration strikes I have to jump on it! I hope I am able to keep it up. It really helps getting these lovely comments, so thank you too.

  6. A co-worker and I did the Rhyming Dust Bunnies as a puppet show years ago! We made the dust bunnies out of fuzzy car mits.

    1. Awesome! I saw a few tutorials for the car mitts version but I couldn’t find multi-coloured car mitts that shipped to Canada in a reasonable time. So yarn won for me. Those ones are probably much easier to maneuver though and you can make them bigger for in person puppet shows. These little guys worked great for a virtual version.

  7. I only recently started going through your archives and preparing for my first storytime. So I’m glad to see you are still posting. everything has been very useful, and really everything is new too me, so I’m sure whatever you post next will be very informative.

    I’m looking forward to it!

    1. Welcome to the best club in the world – THE STORYTIME CLUB. Seriously, my favourite part of the job. Wishing you all the best in your first one and I’d love to know if a particular topic comes along that you can’t find many resources about. I love writing those types of blog posts.

  8. Love seeing this and thank you for the inspiration! As I’m planning my own story times and parent support services, you bring me so much content and joy! THANK YOU!

    1. Thank you for those words of kindness, Lindsay! What an honour to be able to spread joy to my fellow storytimers. πŸ™‚

  9. It’s really great that you are blogging again! I really enjoy your writing and posts, puts things into perspective. Just FYI, whenever I forget a tune for a story time song I turn to Jbrary YouTube. Thank you and Dana for all your hard work.

    1. Thank you, Mary! I felt like my voice came through in this post so I love hearing that people enjoy the style πŸ™‚ I also rewatch my videos often – Who can possibly remember so many songs off the top of their head, haha!

  10. It’s always inspiring to look at your blog and I’m so glad to see you’re back at it.! And those dust bunnies are da bomb ; )

    My colleague, Kai, and I had a blast reading “Give Bees a Chance” by Bethany Barton together at an outdoor storytime recently. It’s one of my favorite kinds of books for early elementary kids – very nerdily funny, (please temporarily disregard the fact that “nerdily” is not a word, because it’s actually the perfect non-word in this instance for books that are not only really funny, but also packed with amazing facts,) and it also got lots of laughs from the grownups. It’s not a puppet show book, but a book for two people to read out loud together and ham it up πŸ™‚ SO fun.

    Keep on blogging please! I will definitely keep reading your posts!

  11. I was so delighted to see a new blog post! It was just another sign that maybe things are returning to “normal.” I’d love to see a post about what you’re reading with your niece now that she must be getting older and reading on her own. The leaps from picture books, to early readers, to chapter books and beyond is so fascinating to me!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Brittany! She is 10 now, I can hardly believe it. I’ve never written much about middle grade reads before, but it would be fun to share round-ups now and again.

  12. I’m so glad to see a new post and it sounds like a really fun program! I am a Children’s Assistant Librarian and I just did my first storytime this past week and it was a success. I want to thank you for the resources and inspiration that you have provided on this site. I would not have been able to do it without you!

    1. Congratulations on your first storytime! I promise it keeps getting more fun the longer you do it. I’m so glad Jbrary has been helpful in getting started. Makes me feel really proud πŸ™‚

  13. So — much– fun! I think the Rhyming Dust Bunny Show might even make an appearance Down Under since you’ve so graciously shared the script and the puppets! You mentioned Rhyme Crime, John Burgerman is such a good author. I’ve had a lot of success with his book “Splat”- so funny!

    1. Wahoo, I’ve got readers all the way in Australia! So cool to think how far my little blog reaches. And yes, I love all of Burgerman’s books. The kids laugh for a good long minute when I first read his name. They don’t believe it’s real, haha!

  14. Don’t remember the last time I’ve left a comment on a blog. This might be my first blog comment ever in life. Just want to say that I’ve been so, so, so helped by Jbrary for several years. Thank you for being such an incomparable resource for me and other children’s librarians and for sharing your ideas, thoughts, and warmth. Love and light and much thanks from a librarian in California.

    1. Oh man you are making me tear up over here! Thank so much for these kind and thoughtful words. It means so much to me and I’m honoured to be your first blog comment πŸ™‚ I grew up in California and have a special place in my heart for libraries down there.

    1. BRING BACK THE BLOGS! (Must be sung to the tune of Rupaul’s Bring Back My Girls) I’ve missed you too and I can’t wait to read every single thing you write about.

  15. THANK YOU LINDSEY!!! I used to live in New Mexico, land of Jan Thomas, and I am a huge fan (I have 5 autographed copies of What Will Fat Cat Sit On, for example). She presented at the library where I worked and also at a bookstore near my house. Anyway, fast forward to today, I’m still children librarying, our library is returning to in-person programming this fall, and I get to premier a family story time with another colleague. This blog is GOLD to interweave with our intriguing, interactive ideas! And I thank you for the book title, Rhyme Crime (which I was not familiar with, and there it was on our library shelf just waiting for me).

    1. I had no idea Jan Thomas lives in New Mexico, what a cool local connection you have! She’s definitely one of my all-time favourite storytime book authors. Everything she writes is gold. I’m so glad things are returning to normal for programming. If you end up liking Rhyme Crime, Burgerman has a few others that kids find quite funny.

  16. It’s invigorating to read your blog Lindsey. I think covid isolation sapped my inspiration. This morning I got an injection from you.

    1. Me too – that’s probably why it’s been so hard to blog. Happy to be inspo buddies πŸ™‚

  17. Yay! So great to hear from you. You nailed it on the head when you said we are craving human interaction. I did my last virtual storytime today and then it is onward and upward to in person storytimes!

    1. Congratulations! I think my library is going to retain a small offering of virtual storytimes because we’ve had good feedback from caregivers who can’t make it into the library. Especially those new parents with babies. I can’t wait to do in-person storytimes again though!

    1. Thank you, Vivian! Glad to be back and feeling super motivated by all these encouraging comments.

  18. YEAH!!! So happy you are back to blogging!! Love the dust bunnies, amazing job with them and the script! I bet the kids LOVED it!

  19. I am so very happy you are blogging again! Your ideas and resources have helped this 30 year K-5th school librarian cope with the addition of PreK students to her day – my 3 and 4 year-olds love library time thanks to Jbrary! And now that I’m helping out part time at my local library, I need the blog even more!

    1. That makes me so happy to hear, Renee! It is never too late to learn something new. I hope the preschoolers bring some extra joy to your day πŸ™‚

  20. I have to share my Rhyming Dust Bunnies Story Time Story. I was doing this book for a group of slightly older kids and right in the middle a little boy raised his hand and shouted out “I know what we are doing for craft! We are going to clean the library!” So that’s what we did – got out clothes and a little cordless sweeper and dusted and swept the whole children’s room. Everyone had such a great time and I got a clean (?) library!

    1. OMG I am dying!! That is too funny. Reminds me of my niece who would get so excited to clean the windows with me because she got to use a spray bottle. Thank you for sharing that story – it’s a gem!

  21. I’m really late in asking the question…Is it possible to do the puppet show with only one person or do you think it would be too complicated. I don’t have a staff member willing to do it, unfortunately and I really want to try!

    1. Hi Kati, yes I think you could swing it with one person. You’d have to make some adjustments for sure. I would suggest using 2 dust bunnies – Bob and one of the others. Hold one in each hand. For the broom and vacuum part you might have to practice moving the dust bunnies to one hand while you grab the broom/vacuum with the other. With some practice I think it could work!

  22. Welcome back Lindsey! I just discovered today that you are posting again–HUGE smile on my face. Just seeing your new posts made me feel better about my professional work as a children’s librarian. I am in Seattle and we are not doing in person programming yet at my library. I have really started to question my work and whether or not librarianship is the profession for me…not having the consistent in person programming component has drastically changed my work along with many other things during the pandemic. Still figuring it out but knowing that you are posting again brings me immense joy.

    1. Oh wow, Ren, that is such a lovely comment. I know exactly what you mean – feeling like part of a community who are all struggling with the lack of programming makes things a bit more bearable. I am lucky that we were able to start in-person programs again this fall. It has brought me so much joy. Knowing that my blog has this kind of impact on others makes me so, so happy. I hope you are able to get back into working with kids soon, whether that’s in a library or not. My heart goes out to you! Also, if you subscribe to the blog by email you can receive blog posts as soon as they are published πŸ™‚

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