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Adventures in early literacy

Tiny Tots and Toddler Storytimes: the show must go on


You know those times when something happens in storytime and you panic momentarily realizing there’s not a damn thing you can do but keep going? That happened so many times yesterday. Not only did I lose my voice halfway through the first storytime (and there were 65 people in the room so really NOT a good group for that to happen with-thank goodness the parents are so awesome and sang super loud for me!), but I choked on my cough drop in between storytimes which was supposed to ensure I wouldn’t lose my voice in the second storytime, AND then spilled water all down my front trying to stop the coughing. But, the show must go on. So, I mopped up the water, spit out the cough drop, drank more water (without spilling) and welcomed a second ginormous group of toddlers and their grown ups to storytime. None of the kids or parents seemed to mind at all that I sang like a bullfrog, I asked them to help me out by singing loud and they rose to the occasion. THANK YOU PARENTS! And THANK YOU to my amazing volunteer who helps me SO much every week. Don’t know what I’d do without her!


Hello Bubbles

Hands are Clapping

Penny Pointers (Tiny Tots, only)

Two Little Blackbirds (Toddlers only)

Book in Tiny Tots: Machines at Work by Barton Byron (Um, wow. Can we say mesmerized? They LOVED this book!)

Book in Toddler Storytime: Dinosaur Dig by Penny Dale (this was a little too much for this group today so I kind of glazed over a lot of it)

Jump Like a Frog

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Tiny Tots, only)

Wheels on the Bus (Tiny Tots, only)

Book in Toddler Storytime: Tip Tip, Dig Dig by Emma Garcia (Anne mentioned doing this in storytime recently and since I love it so much decided I needed to do it, too even though I hadn’t planned on it)

Parachute: We used the HUGE chute today (I don’t know, maybe 24 feet? It is SO BIG!) so I asked the parents to move to the far edges of the room to make room for the whole thing. The toddlers went on top of the chute today. There were so many, I didn’t want to risk injury with them under the chute not being able to see in front of them or their parents. Since I didn’t know how many kids we would have, I just prepared myself before storytime to pull out any songs that might work with them over or under. BE FLEXIBLE (and ready for anything-picture Rocky warming up with some punches) is my #1 storytime tip!

These are the Colors UNDER You

Mix a Pancake (I tickle attacked any little ones in arms reach much to their delight at “Catch it if you can” and saw many parents following my lead-we said the rhyme 3 times)

Ten Little Bubbles (tune of Michael Finnegan-because we seriously need to stop calling it 10 Little Indians)- another librarian helped me blow bubbles so all the kids would get some, plus this is when I lost my voice! Luckily the parents knew the song so were able to sing while I blew bubbles. It was perfect!

Book: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera (Clap Your Hands, Go Kiss Kiss, and Jump Around)

Goodbye Bubbles

Splish Splash

Activity: Free play with foam puzzle blocks, plastic interlocking blocks, stacking cups and toy cars/trucks. I had to run to a Latino Mom’s group so chose to do a non-messy activity so there wouldn’t be a lot of clean up.

Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

2 thoughts on “Tiny Tots and Toddler Storytimes: the show must go on

  1. Kendra,

    Just a cautionary note about forcing yourself to sing when you’ve lost your voice – that can do permanent damage to your vocal cords. Don’t sing if you’ve really lost your voice. Take care, Good Librarian (wish I could try out your baked goods – if they’re as good as your librarian work, oolala!)

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