Librarians all over the country are gearing up for summer reading programs. You know what that means: storytimes galore! Everyone is trying to beat the summer slide, when kids lose two to three months worth of learning over summer vacation. Studies have shown that reading is a major factor in keeping brains thriving on these hot, lazy days. And while we hope that every child is enjoying books in their own homes, the reality is that storytime might be the only chance they have to hear a really great story.
Parents and kids alike love storytime and the opportunity it presents to relax in the air conditioning and be fascinated by a tale of wonder, weirdness, or mystery. But pulling off a great storytime can take more than a loud voice and a good book. Follow these tips for storytime and gain a captive audience week after week!
- Caregivers welcome! Make sure parents and caregivers know that their presence is an essential ingredient for a great storytime.
- Plan ahead. Choose 2-3 books, plan your songs, plan your moving games, plan your craft, and plan what to do when kids (or caregivers) get fussy.
- For younger kids, choose books that have repetition, movement, and singalongs. Squirmy toddlers will have a better time (and so will you!) if they can get up and move to the beat and participate! Printing the lyrics to singalongs on a bookmark and handing them out to caregivers is another way to engage families.
- Picture books are always popular, but try to add some poetry and nonfiction into your storytime repertoire. The library is a great place for kids to discover new material!
- Props! Puppets, flannel boards, hats, whatever you can thing of to include make your storytime interactive and engaging.
- End your storytime with a fun craft for everyone to do. This will give the kids something to take home to remind them of storytime.
- Have fun! If you’re not having a good time, your listeners won’t be having a good time either!
Follow these great sites for more storytime tips. Happy reading!
Miss Meg’s Storytime
Miss Mary Liberry