Virtual storytime with buddies

I miss doing storytimes! And my kiddo misses her friends. So, we planned a Saturday morning virtual storytime with four of her buddies. We used Google Hangouts to “meet.” I used my usual storytime format, with fewer books, assuming that it might be harder to hold their attention, even though they’re older (4.5 years) than my usual group (2- and 3-year-olds). And yeah, I have a song cube at home.

Song cube, books, shaker egg and maraca

  • “Hello Friends” song with ASL from Jbrary
  • “Where Is Thumbkin?”
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen: A long lead-off book, but one or two of them were already familiar with it, and it seemed to hold their attention pretty well.
  • Song cube: “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands”
  • Only A Tree Knows How to Be A Tree by Mary Murphy: I planned yoga poses to go along with this, which my kiddo was happy to demonstrate as I read the words to the story and showed the pictures. (Yoga poses: Tree, cat, dog, fish, mountain.)
  • Song cube: “I Had A Little Turtle” and “I’m A Little Teapot”
  • A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman: We got this book from a friend relatively recently, and it struck me right away as perfect for storytime. I had been planning to read Bark, George! by Jules Feiffer as the third book today, but swapped it for this one. (I also had The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak as a backup, but there are already great videos of the author himself reading it online.)
  • “Shake Your Sillies Out” (I had told the parents ahead of time that the kids could each “bring” a musical instrument, so we had shakers, a harmonica, and a tambourine as accompaniment.)
  • “Goodbye Friends” song with ASL from Jbrary

I hope everyone is staying safe and doing okay in this strange time. Wash your hands, stay inside (and go for walks in non-crowded places), connect virtually, and hang in there.

 

2 thoughts on “Virtual storytime with buddies

  1. Hi Jenny,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, so far. What drew my attention to your site was your posted caption, “Look out, honey, ’cause I’m using technology.” Virtual Story Time buddies is an excellent example of the use of technology to reach young children through their favourite story time activity at the library. My three year old daughter still lovingly talks about her story time sessions at our local library. Can you please share with me the advantages of using, Google Hangouts?” Thank you :)Karen

    • The quote is from an Iggy Pop song called “Search and Destroy.” Virtual storytimes aren’t the same as in-person ones, but they’re what we’ve got, for now, and it’s still a good way to bring the familiar home (plus new books – we’re mostly stuck with what was already in the house). As for which platform, I often have to move from one to another to find one that works for the whole group – Zoom, Hangouts/Meet, FaceTime, WebEx, jitsi. (Things to consider: privacy, copyright/fair use.) Hope your 3yo keeps those good memories of the library and gets to go back as soon as it’s safe!

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