A packed room of participants shared their best storyime tips and tricks. Below are their responses:
What's your favorite way to add SINGING into storytime?
- One participant isn't a big singer herself, so she likes to get the parents to chime in and help sing
- A song box! This is a touch and feel type box where the librarian prints out pictures on paper that correspond to the names of the songs. She randomly chooses 3 to 4 kids per storytime to choose a song to sing and the love it!
- Song cube
- Sing the children's names at the beginning of storytime. The kids LOVE hearing their names and it helps the librarian to learn them.
- In baby time, one librarian goes around with a mirror and sings the children's names. This also helps learn more complicated names.
- Pass around a drum and kids drum out the syllables in their name.
What's your favorite storytime app?
- Sock Puppets
- Felt Board
- Starfall ABCs
- Animal Sounds/Matching apps
- Sandra Boynton books apps
- Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow apps
- Peek-A-Boo Barn
- There's a Monster at the End of This Book
What's your favorite toddler book/rhyme/song?
- The Snappy Little... books by Dugald Steer
- Head and Shoulders Baby 1, 2, 3 song
- Jumping and Counting song by Jim Gill
- Anything by Jim Gill!
- Good Morning, Mrs. Perky Bird (with a bird puppet)
- Choo Choo
- A good tip for this one if you have too many kids to be able to do each one's name is to sing it with the names of colors instead!
- One librarian loves to use puppets in toddler storytime, so she builds her themes around the puppets available.
- White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker
Audience Question: How do you deal with kids getting so excited about puppet and having to take them away?
- One librarian says that when the kids get out of control/too excited about her puppet, she tells them that the puppet is getting nervous and needs to hide for a little bit or that the kids need to be quieter
- Another librarian tells the kids that they can give the puppet high fives at the end
How do you make transitions between activities manageable for kids, especially sensory storytime?
- Do the same routine so they get used to it and how it flows. For example, they know it's now time for a story, now it's time for a flannel activity, etc.
- Sing the song "If You Want to Hear a Story..." (tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)
- Do a stretching or twirling rhyme with them to get any wiggles out.
- One librarian uses a laminated flip book with a visual schedule for ages 0 to 3 so the kids know what storytime activity is coming next. This is a great idea for both sensory and non-sensory storytimes. You could also use a projector/smart board to display the schedule if you have the technology.
- Another librarian hangs laminated pictures of each activity across a magnet board.
Sing your opening song.
- Shake Your Sillies Out by Raffi
- Bread and Butter
- Baby Hop (from CD Diaper Gym)
- We Clap and Sing Hello
- All Together Now by Debbie Clement
- A New Way to Say Hello by The Learning Station
- Hello Everybody Wave Hello (tune: She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain). Add actions for subsequent verses. The librarian who suggested it makes the action for the last verse go with her storytime theme.
- Hello Friends with sign language
- Put Your Finger in the Air
How have you incorporated different languages into your storytimes?
- Use sign language based on your weekly theme.
- One librarian has taught animal sounds in different languages. Use the book Everywhere the Cow Says, "Moo!" .
- Use sign language in baby storytime.
- Ask caregivers to share a nursery rhyme in a different language.
- Have a bilingual storytime
- Sing a song in a different language and let the kids guess the name of the song/language being sung.
Audience Question: I do a preschool storytime and only have 15 to 20 minutes to get through everything. What are some quick, good activities I could add?
- A quick song with movement activities
- A magic bag- You can print off words to drop in as you say a short poem, have the kids say the magic words (I. Love. Books.) and pull a picture or small stuffed animal out.
- Lose 1 of the books you read and add in a flannel or song
- Make you 1 book participatory or interactive so the kids get the most out of it.
Audience Question: How do you feel about incorporating apps/technology into storytime?
- Check out ALSC's white paper about media mentorship for some helpful information.
- We need to roll with the changes and allow all of our patrons to be on an "even playing field".
- We need to take into consideration what's right for our community and what their needs are.
- Have a balance and figure out your philosophy on it.
For those of you who attended the session, if I missed something or something needs to be corrected, please comment below or send me an email!