One of my favorite ways to present storytime for preschoolers is to use a theme. Sometimes I will incorporate more than one theme into a storytime to cover more ground. For example, I’ve paired counting and animals, and letters and colors. This gives the storytime some structure, and it also helps me to build strong and easy transitions from one song, story, finger play, or action rhyme to the next. While most of the country is still under stay at home orders, we can share this kind of information with parents and caregivers during virtual storytimes or virtual early literacy lessons with those who are running out of ideas for achieving adequate learning time and some entertainment at home.
Parents who are shown how to create a storytime at home should be prompted to share stories and songs from their childhood and their culture. Storytime at home could become a family activity that also incorporates the contributions of older siblings – stories they like to tell or favorite songs they have learned in school. It is possible that families will not have many books at home, making this a wonderful chance to explore storytelling. We all use amazing sources for songs and rhymes that we find online, we should feel confident sharing those resources with families as they try to keep their children engaged.
As we guide parents through this process virtually, we will be doing a wonderful service for the parents and young children. Of course, my storytimes have themes, but what can you share with families about how you devise your own storytimes? Are there action rhymes or songs that you can teach them through a virtual program that will help? Many states are on lockdown through the next school year, this is something that we can offer families online that they can begin to use immediately. Many libraries are offering online and curbside programs right now, this is just one more way that we may support our patrons and communities.
Eiyana Favers is completing the MLS at Indiana University and is the former Early Literacy Outreach Specialist at Enoch Pratt Library. She wrote this piece for the Early Childhood Programs and Services committee.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group; and III. Programming Skills.