Friday, October 21, 2011

The Story-Time Scene

I am quite new to the StoryTime scene.  I have read stories in school to children for years, but now that my Lil Guy is ready to sit and listen to stories we have been going to bookstores and local libraries to for storytime.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but was happy to hear the kids sing a few songs, stand up and do motions, and some other really cute little activities.  The past few weeks I have been trying a new storytime at a new library that really hits my fancy.  At this storytime not only do we get to sing songs and hear stories but we also get play things.  I admit, before these story times I didn’t really understand the merit of felt boards (gasp!) or props that help children interact.  Now though, I am won over to the interaction with books, stories, and music that can come together during toddler storytime.

My Lil Guy is 2 and ½.  He loves books but sometimes storytime can be overwhelming with unruly tots and long stories that take too long to tell to a group since everyone really wants to see the pictures.  He also loves to sing-along (my fault, since I constantly sing at him) and is an enthusiastic singer for favorite songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes or Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  All of this being said, he would still ask after each story, after each song or chant, “Are we finished yet?” Meaning he was just read to go home.  I was beginning to worry that storytime was more for me than him.

Well, a few props, felt board activities, and interactive songs later, and we both are enjoying storytime more.  Imagine a room of 10 to 15 toddlers sitting on a carpet in the library on a rainy day.  What do you think would be a great prop for them to play with?  How about umbrellas?  I wasn’t sure when they started passing out the umbrellas to the kiddos and expected them to all control themselves.  What I discovered was that every child wants to hold an umbrella, twirl it around, pop it up and down, and it is a perfect prop when tied to a song or story.  Another surprise was when our storytime leader turned off the lights and passed out flashlights to sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  Lil Guy loved this!  Egg shaped shakers, sticks to hit together in rhythm, puppets and stuffed animals, feathers, and rubber duckies in the hands of toddlers all inspire imagination and play.  

So, maybe every storytime has these creative and fun interactions, or maybe I just lucked out and found a great storytime with nice kids, fun interaction, and good stories.  How about you?  What do you think of storytime?  What’s your best experience with your Lil One and storytime?

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