April 10, 2019

Potty Talk: Potty-Themed Storytime and Event Plans, "Potty Power," by Ivy Coleman

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If you follow this blog, you know I have two new books coming out later this year: "Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?" and "Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?" (West Margin Press, October, 2019). This means I'm currently in the planning stages for future storytimes and themed book events for these new books.

Most of my prior books incorporate sign language, and as such, I have a deep supply of reader resources related to early literacy/ASL that I share here on my blog as a way to support my current readers (and the adults who support those readers, i.e. teachers, librarians, parents, professional caregivers, etc). I would like to begin to develop a similar depth of resources for readers of my new books, and the adults that support them.

To this end, a few months ago I put out a call for guest contributors for a new blog series featuring story time event/activity ideas for three themes: "Cowgirls" (including "Western" and/or "Cowboys") "Pirates," and "Potty" (Potty Humor, Potty Training, Potty Science...)

Today's post, the first in the "Potty-Talk: Potty-Themed Storytime and Event Plans" series, features an interview with Ivy Coleman, a youth librarian at the Tippecanoe County Public Library in Lafayette, Indiana.

Dawn Prochovnic: Welcome, Ivy! Thanks so much for your willingness to share your time and expertise. I came upon your name while searching for Potty-Themed Storytime and Event ideas in the Storytime Underground Facebook group.You mentioned that you have facilitated a potty-themed storytime that you call “Potty Power.” Can you share the highlights of this program with us, or any elements/activities that stand out that the kids (and/or their caregivers) seemed to enjoy the most? 

Ivy Coleman: They liked the "no diaper" chant, and throwing the diaper into the garbage.

Photos provided by Ivy Coleman

IC: The parents also enjoyed sharing their potty training concerns with the group. The kids liked decorating their "underpants" (link here for paper cutout/template).

Photos provided by Ivy Coleman

IC: We also danced the "Potty Dance available on the internet."

DP: This sounds like it was loads of fun! Do you have any event mishaps or cautionary tales that other storytime/event planners might benefit from knowing about (or simply get a kick out of)?

IC: The only thing I remember is that our communications dept. put a naked baby on a potty on the poster. I felt uncomfortable with that graphic, so I had them change it.

DP: Good call on that one! Any suggestions for novelty items / swag that would be a good fit for potty-themed storytimes or events?  

IC: I borrowed potty dolls - dolls that came with their own potties. I set them on the tables.

Photo provided by Ivy Coleman

DP: I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to potty-related items, and I'd not yet seen the potty dolls. Thanks for this idea--I've updated my board!

Thanks so much for sharing your "Potty Power" event experience with us, Ivy!

Readers: Do YOU have a favorite activity or idea related to this post, or an interest in being a guest contributor for a future post about your experience facilitating a Cowgirl / Pirate / or Potty - themed story time program? Your post could be original, slightly revised from a prior post you've done for another purpose, or a Q and A interview format. I would also welcome links to an existing blog post you might have written (and/or other web-based resources you have compiled that you are willing to share) summarizing past events related to one or more of these themes. Please get in touch via the contact form on the left side of this page, via social media, or by commenting below.


Potty Talk and Start to Finish Story Time are occasional features of Dawn Babb Prochovnic's blog. Dawn is the author of multiple picture books including Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?, Where Does a Pirate Go Potty? (forthcoming, 2019), and 16 books in the Story Time With Signs & Rhymes series. Dawn is a contributing author to Oregon Reads Aloud and a frequent presenter at schools, libraries, and educational conferences. Contact Dawn using the form at the left, or learn more at

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