Starting with the storytimes on January 9th, we made some changes to what was currently “Toddler Storytime”. Last year both the 9:30 and 10:30 sessions were for walkers up to 36 months. Now imagine a room with 35 walking kids in that age group, plus their parents. It’s like the shortest mosh pit you’ve ever seen. But just as dangerous as a full-sized one.
As many of you already know, I argued for adding a third storytime. Now, I still feel we could use another storytime for this age group, but what we did in the meantime addressed the real issue, which was too many big kids plowing over too many little kids. This gives me major anxiety, which is not conducive to a smooth storytime.
Here’s how it is now:
Tiny Tots at 9:30 for walkers up to 24 months
Toddler Storytime at 10:30 for 24 months up to 36 months
WHAT A DIFFERENCE it has made! Parents who stopped coming for safety reasons are back and happy. Because 1 year olds and 2 year olds are at different developmental stages I can adjust storytime to better fit their needs. Despite any grumbling I might have done about essentially planning 3 instead of 2 storytimes a week, it has been fabulous!
Of course, there are many parents who can only make one time and their child is not the right age. That is OK. I just ask the parents of the bigger kids coming to Tiny Tots to keep an extra close eye on their child to make sure s/he isn’t running over the little ones. And little ones in Toddler Storytime? Just be extra cautious since they are so small compared to those almost 3 year olds. So far, everyone has completely understood, agreed with the change, and are expressing their pleasure with the change. Can I get a Hallelujah? Hallelujah!
Here’s the meat of it:
Book: Little Tug by Stephen Savage
Wheels on the Bus (wheels, wipers, horn (tap your nose to honk), doors, wheels again)
Itsy Bitsy Spider with spider hand puppet
We’re Tapping by Kathy Reid-Naiman
Book: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera (3 verses)
Same three openers as Tiny Tots
Book: Meeow and the Little Chairs by Sebastien Braun
Book: Wheels on the Bus by Jeanne Willis (with several pages clipped together to shorten it)
Shakers: same as Tiny Tots
Book: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera (4 verses)
Parent tip in both: Your children learn from watching you. Sing and dance along so when they check in with you they’ll know what to do. Silliness facilitates learning with toddlers.
Activity for both: Blocks and cars free play (if I didn’t love doing art with toddlers so much, every week would be free play because they LOVE IT SO MUCH)