Historically, I haven’t really done themed storytimes. When I first started doing storytimes it was helpful to use a theme do help me organize my thoughts and program, but after a while I felt limited by themes. So for a few years I just stopped doing them. As a coworker said to me recently “the theme for every storytime is my favorites”. Folks at my new library use themes and that’s totally fine because they don’t require me to by any means. However, I share toddler and baby storytimes with a coworker (she does one time slot, I do the other) and it’s just easier to make our storytimes as similar as possible. This discourages patrons from double dipping and helps with planning any after storytime activity. She likes themes and I’m flexible so themes it is!
Today’s theme was colors and here’s what I did:
*words to rhymes and songs can be found here
Clap Everybody and Say Hello by Kathy Reid-Naiman
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear action rhyme: to get everyone sitting down (as much as that’s a possibility for toddlers)
Read: Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek
Lots of “ooooh!” and “wow!” from this book, as usual. They seemed to genuinely enjoy the insects and colors throughout the book so the butterfly was like icing on the cake. Even though this is a longish book they were with me the whole time.
Jump Like a Frog action rhyme
Itsy Bitsy Spider (regular sized spider, then big humongous spider, then eeny teeny spider with a squeaky voice, of course)
Read: I Went Walking by Sue Williams
They love “walking” with their hands on their laps. The older kids in the room definitely stole the spotlight by answering the “Who do you see?” every time, but the little guys seemed to be okay with that and some of them even answered in their own good time, as if they didn’t even hear the older kid shout out the answer.
Shakers: We’re Tapping by Kathy Reid-Naiman
Did this song twice and we tapped the shakers on our knees, rang by our ears, and shook like crazy!
Shakers: Freeze Dance (instrumental)
Scarves: Put Your Scarves in the air, in the air
Scarves: These are the colors over you
Goodbye Bubble song and pretend to blow the bubbles away
Real bubbles to Splish, Splash
The activity: white construction paper and daubers-simple and they LOVE it!
Another toddler storytime done: 72 people in the room for this one, but they were an amazing crowd so I didn’t even notice the size. Caregivers are catching on that their toddlers are more attentive and involved when they are participating along with their child. I even had about half the grownups standing up and dancing with me! My goal is 100% but it’s going to take some time. Have to teach these guys how to be silly. I’ll get them soon enough. 🙂
*Exciting side note for me: here’s a link to an article about our library. Plus some pictures of toddler storytime in action so you can see what it looks like (I’m the tall one in a plaid shirt)! Our children’s library is certainly something to see (pictured is just the program room) and is becoming a popular gathering place for families in the community.