Story Time Planning

7 Jan

I’m always curious when a new session of story time comes around to see how the adults react in story time. I am much more patient with children in story time, than I am with their caregivers. Children, especially the toddlers I hang out with, (2 – 3 1/2 year olds) experience story time in very different ways, which I understand, but caregivers often don’t understand the amount of work and time that I give to planning and preparing my story times each week.

When I first began my story time career, I thought it was focused solely on the children, but it’s just as much an education for parents and care givers as it is for the little ones. It never fails that I have a caregiver (or a couple) that just want to spend story time socializing with other adults, which I can understand. But story time is a time for caregivers and children to interact together and experience the library and reading in a fun and positive way.

My story time planning is more than just grabbing a couple of books off the shelf and running into the story time room 5 minutes before we begin. I actually spend time selecting development, age, and interest level themes that I hope kids will enjoy. After I select a theme, I then begin looking for books that work with the theme. Finding books for toddlers that work well in story time isn’t always easy, but tis fun to find the best books that work for story time. Themes must be basic, with a little text and large book formats that kids can see in a crowd. Once I find the books I want to use, usually 3-4 books, I then head to the blogosphere for great rhymes, songs, and finger plays that I can add into my story time as transitions. Once the transitions are in place with pieces that focus on both developmentally appropriate gross motor and fine motor skills, I then re-read the books out loud to practice the rhythm for story time and make a mental note to add a short blurb of information for caregivers about early literacy skills. These are usually one sentence comments so make about something going on in story time or ways they can extend our activities at home.

Parents and caregivers need to be educated about how to provide their children with the early literacy skills needed to go to school and be ready to learn how to read. Throughout my story time, I am constantly reminding the parents and caregivers in story time to participate – kids will see they caregivers having fun and will be more willing to participate as well. If I can stand up front and sing (off-key) during story time, so candy the other adults in the room. My story time sessions begin in a few weeks and I’ve got some new ideas about ways to reach out to my parents and caregivers, which I’ll definitely be blogging about in the next couple of weeks.

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