If someone had told me that I would be doing an “all ages” storytime that had mostly toddlers every Friday, I would have laughed. Honestly, little kids can be intimidating. It takes a special mix of books, songs, and finger play to keep their attention. My previous job was at a school with K-4th and my experience is with school age to teen. Pre-school and Toddlers are a whole new world.
However… wait for it….
I LOVE IT!!!!
The kids are so much fun. I really enjoy reading and dancing with them. Their smiles and giggles are contagious. My very 1st storytime was a bit of a surprise. One of my co-workers had a sick little one and could not make it to work. I managed to pull together a storytime in about 15 mins. Thankfully the parents were very understanding and we all had a good time. Talk about baptism by fire!
Usually our storytime numbers are around 15-30 kids and 15-20 adults. Lately with the awful weather we have been having epic numbers. The last two storytimes had 40ish kids and 25ish adults. It was insane! You cannot do much with numbers that big. Because of our fluctuating numbers we decided to go with a Biblio-bop format. Basically it’s 2-3 books and lots of action songs. We leave out crafts or any other hands on activity to maximize the space in the room.
So far it has worked well. The kids love that we get up and move more. The parents love that we wear them out! My favorite storytime has been a colorful one. The format is below. This works best when your numbers are around 15-30. If your numbers are higher I would recommend skipping the parachute! Feel free to use this if you like. Please offer any suggestions or other songs you love below.
Colorful Biblio Bop
Parental Aside: ( We follow the Racing to Read Early Literacy Program- see LINK)
Welcome to storytime! My name is Valerie and I’m so glad to see all of our friends today
Racing to Read is the Library’s Early Literacy Program. These are the 5 skills we work on in each of our storytimes to help kids become great readers. Today we are talking about Sing and Rhyme! When we sing and rhyme with our little ones, we are making it easier for them to hear language. This may seem like a simple thing, but it will be very important for talking and reading later on.
Let’s get ready for storytime by getting warmed up some songs. Can you stand up and dance with me today? Feel free to sing along if you know the words!
Shake your sillies out- Wiggles (Yummy Yummy CD) -Track 15
Monsters love colors- By Mike Austin (Book)
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes- It’s Toddler Time -Track #9
Press Here- By Herve Tullet (Book)
Clap, Tap and Bend- It’s Toddler Time -Track #2
Parachute depending on numbers- Use “Slow and fast” song from Rhythms on Parade
Optional Book- Don’t push the button– By Bill Cotter
Sometimes I add a book or song depending on the attention span of the audience. I have found out the hard way that you must have options!!! Storytime is quickly becoming one of my favorite weekly events. I love reading to the kids and my dancing skills are improving. At least toddlers don’t care how goofy you look or how badly you sing!