One of the best things that I’ve ever done for my storytimes is to create an opening and closing routine for both me and my patrons.
I love that using these routines gives us all structure and a sense of stability. More importantly, it helps reinforce how beneficial repetition is for early literacy, by repeating the same songs and activities every week.
Here’s what I do for each storytime:
- Welcome Song: “Clap and Sing Hello!” (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
- Introduction & Announcements
- Storytime Rules
- Opening Song: “If You’re Ready for a Story” (Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
What I especially enjoy abut this opening routine is that I’ve built in time for parents to arrive and come in without immediately expecting their children to settle down. By always introducing myself and going over storytime rules, no one feels left out if it’s their first time attending. And I really like having a time to tell parents about programming opportunities and other library changes as a group.
- Song Cube
- Goodbye Song: “We Wave Goodbye Like This” (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
- Clean-Up & Greet Puppet
Towards the end of storytime, the beginning of our routine serves to tell the kids that we are getting ready to say goodbye. I also like that the closing routine has a lot of personalization — choosing a song using the cube, greeting Applesauce (our storytime mascot) and having each child responsible for putting their seat cushion away. Also, each child has a chance to interact with me one-on-one as they tell Applesauce hello, as well as interacting with their peers by taking turns.
It took me a long time to come up with all the components of our routine and I’m always willing to try new ideas. What do you do in your storytime for opening and closing routines? Let me know in the comments!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library