Our family storytimes are held in our very large meeting room. They are drop-in and typically average 40-50 people in the room. While we have a wide variety of ages, I am mostly seeing ages 3-5 as the main participants with a few toddler or baby siblings.
I modified Lindsey’s AMAZING toddler planning sheet for family storytimes. I changed it around a bit, but it is the single most useful planning tool I’ve ever found for a storytime!
I took this idea from Audrey, who shared it with us at Guerrilla Storytime! (PS – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!)
Hi everyone! My name is Miss Katie and I’ll be leading family storytime this session; this is week __ of seven. It’s time for everyone to warm-up. Let’s start with our elbows. (Everyone rubs their elbows.) A couple of quick pieces of information about the library: restrooms are located right outside the meeting room and on either side of the storytime room. Feel free to use them as you or your child needs to.
Switch elbows! It’s all right if you child gets up and moves during storytime. Just be sure to keep them clear of the front of the room as I’ll be walking back and forth throughout the storytime. If they do enter that space, please just re-direct them, although they do not have to sit back down.
Switch to your knees! If your child becomes uncomfortable at any time, please take them out of the room to settle them down. You are welcome to rejoin us once your child has calmed down. If you need to leave, please try to come back next week. Sometimes it takes children more time than adults to be comfortable in a space or program.
Switch to your head! You are your child’s best model for storytime behavior. Please participate in the singing, rhymes, and activities that we are doing. Your child will look to you for how to behave. And with that, I think we’re warmed up. Let’s start storytime!
Our hello song has four words in ASL, which is American Sign Language. The first word we need to learn is “hello”; make a salute from your head. The next word is “friend”; we take one finger and then another finger and our fingers give each other a hug. Then we need to learn how to say “time”; we point to where we might wear a watch. Last, we need to learn the word “say”; we put our finger on our chin and imagine our words coming out of our finger as we move like this.
Okay, now we’re ready to sing:
Hello friends, hello friends
Hello friends, it’s time to say hello
(Insider tip: watch Jbrary sing it here!)
Here’s where everything changes week-to-week. I always have four books, several flannelboards and puppets and props, a featured music CD, and fingerplays/movement activities planned. I’ll talk about those in each write-up.
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. You can try and pry this rhyme out of my repertoire, but I will shout “NEVER!” and cling to it like a first edition signed Harry Potter book.
For our closing song, I just sing “Goodbye Friends” which is also available in the video above!