Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Sing Talk Read Write PLAY

I’m lucky enough to co-present storytime at my location on Fridays. We’ve been examining our storytime routine and doing some deep thinking on how we are integrating the five early literacy practices of sing, talk, read, write, and play. We determined we needed to find a way to better incorporate PLAY into our storytime. But how would we do this and where to put it? 

We like to incorporate a variety of inclusive movement activities. Therefore, we decided on a rotation of three activities – parade, follow the leader, and dance. We’ve placed this play time strategically between both books and sandwiched it between some breathwork to bring us back. 

For logistics, we use a portable bluetooth speaker that is synced to my phone. When we do follow the leader and parade, I carry the speaker with me and start the line while my co presenter brings up the end (a grown-up in the audience could also do this part if you present solo). We snake ourselves through our library space and see many smiles from our patrons working in other spaces. They have even commented to us how much they enjoy seeing the joy in our storytime programming!

Using songs with a strong beat (but are not too fast) are good choices for these activities. Then you (as the presenter) are not completely exhausted and can read story #2. I generally pull from this Spotify Storytime Party playlist and go back and forth between music written for children and music written for all ages. 

What new things have you been incorporating and trying during your storytimes? What have children and grown-ups been appreciating?

Today’s blog post was written by Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez, Youth Services Librarian at Washington County Library (Minnesota), on behalf of the ALSC Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee. She can be reached at katelyn.martens-rodriguez@co.washington.mn.us. This post addresses competency III. Programming Skills.

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