Blogger Alexa Newman

Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids

I am passionate about yoga, so much so that I went to a yoga school and obtained my certification through Yoga Alliance. Combine that with my love of youth programming, and I had to develop programs for our library.  I teach classes for all ages, from adults (with students over 80!) to preschoolers. My youth programs focus on fun, fitness, and mindfulness.     Yoga has seen a steady increase in interest over the past several years. Yoga for kids is also on the rise. I’ve been conducting yoga storytimes, kids yoga, and tween yoga classes for the past 18 months. They are all popular with our young patrons, with yoga storytime being the most sought after program.   There has been a heightened focus on mindfulness and meditation in the media and with the general public. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness with children can increase concentration and reduce stress…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Storytimes on the Fly

Picture this:  you’re getting settled in for your morning,  maybe getting a cup of coffee, checking emails, going through mail when the message comes in:  someone has called in and now you are going to have to fill in for storytime. With fifteen minutes notice.  And they haven’t gathered their materials together in one place. You’ll have to punt.   This has happened to many of us, mayhap even most of us at least one time in our career.  These moments can be stressful and overwhelming, especially for people who like to be prepared. How do you find a theme, pull books, flannels, music, all in a matter of minutes?   Here are a few tips that I have learned over the years that can help you prepare a storytime on the fly. Have office copies of your favorite picture books.  Have playlists of your best storytime action music. Keep…

Programming Ideas

Incorporating Intellectual Freedom into Programming: Storytime

The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee continues a series of blog posts on incorporating intellectual freedom and information literacy into cornerstone, everyday library programs. These techniques enrich the work you already do as a librarian without disrupting your programming routine. For this post, we’ll focus on tips for including intellectual freedom concepts into storytimes for children ages 3 – 5.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Storytime Books That Will Make Grownups Laugh

Storytime is an integral part of being a children’s librarian. One of the biggest frustrations I’ve come across is keeping the grownups engaged. From ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) Cookies and Conversation, one way to engage parents is by reading books with jokes that adults will also find funny.

ALA Annual 2019

Cookies and Conversation: Early Childhood Programming

On Sunday, June 23 at ALA Annual, ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) hosted a Cookies and Conversation chat in the Networking Uncommons. The goal of this chat was to hear from children’s librarians across the country about what support they would like from ECPS in order to help ECPS plan their next project. We highlight a handful below, but check out the ALSC Connect page for the full set of topics covered.

Blogger Alexa Newman

Community Helper Storytime Series

Celebrating National Library Week 2019   This year’s National Library Week theme was Libraries = Strong Communities. As part of our celebrations my library hosted a week of Community Helper Storytimes. My coworker and I planned the five day event. We invited mystery guests to visit the library and read to the children each day of the week, Monday to Friday. Each day featured a different community helper. Our visitors were really varied from traveling animal ambassadors from the local petting zoo (and their zookeeper), a police officer, a dental hygienist, to firefighters and a ballerina. We contacted and scheduled them approximately two months in advance. Since we requested that they each read a book to the children, we pulled a selection of appropriate titles for them to choose between, and had those ready for their review two weeks before the storytime.   The traveling animal ambassadors program was structured…

Blogger Katie Salo

Stretchy Band in Storytime

A blue patterned drawstring bag with a large multi-color fabric band -- "stretchy band" -- on a wooden desk.

Today’s installment of storytime props is the stretchy band in storytime. (Previous posts: Instruments in Storytime, Parachute in Storytime, Scarves in Storytime, and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) I’d like to introduce you to my newest music and movement prop: the stretchy band! What *is* a stretchy band? The easiest comparison is a really big hair scrunchie. It’s a fabric band with tubing on the inside that works like a rubber band. It’s a great tool for music and movement classes, as well as a sensory storytime. How do you take the stretchy band out? I have the kiddos and caregivers sit or stand in a circle and I pass out parts of the stretchy band from the center. This also works well for collecting the band. The great thing about the stretchy band is that it’s easier to clean up than a parachute. Comfortably, about thirty toddler/preschool children can use…