A few weeks ago, I had set up for a storytime that had over thirty children registered. I had carefully laid out our craft items, piled up books next to my chair, and eagerly awaited the tiny smiling faces scheduled to come through the library’s doors.
I only had one child and their mom show up that day, for whatever reason.
Instead of being worried about how I was going to do my normally high energy and lots of participation storytime, I took a moment to adjust my plan before we went into the storytime room. Here’s some ideas for if that happens to you:
- Let the kids pick which book comes first or next.
- Spend time talking one-on-one, let those interruptions and connections you would normally move away from shape your storytime.
- Put your patron’s name into the story to make it a specialized experience.
- Change your theme, if you want to, and let your family pick out the books.
- Ask more questions as you read.
- Focus on modeling some excellent early literacy tips for your parent and make sure to explain what you’re doing!
- Let the children each have a turn holding your puppet and singing your song.
- Make more “mistakes” and let your patrons correct you!
- Talk about the parts of the book and have the child hold the book and turn the pages.
- Sing their favorite song instead of the one you had planned.
I’m sure that there are loads more ideas out there — let me know your thoughts in the comments!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library