Today kicks off our fall series of storytime programs, and mine is “Step Into Storytime” for two- and three-year olds (though siblings are allowed to join, and we’re pretty lenient about ages; the come-and-go-as-necessary philosophy enables kids and their grown-ups to leave if they’re having a tough time and come back in when they’re ready, or next time).
We started off, as usual, with an introduction and a few guidelines (keep doors clear, take snacks outside), then our welcome song: “Hello friends” with sign language. I sang it through once with the motions, then showed each sign (should have done that first!), then we sang it through again, and lots of the kids and adults participated. Next:
- Song cube: “Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon” (standing, twice)
- Book: Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelley
- Activity: Adding leaves to the tree on the flannel board. I think every kid participated and we had 16 leaves!
- Song cube: “I had a little turtle”
- Book: Hooray for Hat by Brian Won (“Show me your grumpy faces!”)
- Song cube: “ABCs”
- Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Activity: Very Hungry Caterpillar flannel board. At the appropriate point in the story, a kid would come up and remove the fruit the caterpillar ate that day (apple, pears, plums, strawberries, oranges). One kid who wanted to participate didn’t get a chance to take fruit off the board so I let her take the caterpillar off. And note to self: I need to make a butterfly!
- Song cube: “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” (standing, twice)
- Book: Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex (kids loved the big sneeze!)
- Song/activity: I passed out shaker eggs and we stood to sing “Shake Your Sillies Out.” Kids brought the eggs back to the front and put them in the bag at the end of the song.
- Book: The Duckling Gets A Cookie by Mo Willems (I put my flannel Pigeon and Duckling up on the flannel board but we didn’t do anything with them)
- Song: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to calm a slightly squirrelly crowd. I meant to do the “Goodbye Friends” song with ASL like usual but I forgot!
- Activity: Coloring with crayons. I traced one of the pages from Blue Chameleon and made copies for kids to color however they liked. We have a giant bin of crayons and they color right on the floor – next time I would scoop a few smaller bowls of crayons and spread them out around the room. People were great about putting the crayons back when they were finished!
Overall, this was a great storytime. Hooray for Hat seemed to be a favorite, several kids recognized The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I think the Mo Willems book might have been more successful earlier in the lineup.
We have a whiteboard along one wall, and after “Welcome to Step Into Storytime!” I had written the five activities that support early learning: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play. Next time I want to incorporate more early literacy information into the storytime for caregivers, explaining in a sentence here and there why I’m doing what I’m doing (why sing songs twice, for example, and why do fingerplay or sign language) to support that early learning.