Well the week before last our children’s librarian was out for a day and I was the one to do storytime. That said, I still had to read the same books and do the same activities as were done during the other day’s storytime (it’s twice a week). I thought I might write a bit about that.
The day before, I examined the materials for the craft and read the books. This gave me a familiarity with everything without jumping in feet first. Also, it allowed me to decide what order I wished to read the books in. All fit in with the week’s theme of winter clothing; an apt fit after our near blizzard the week before and subsequent snowfalls and arctic temperatures. Also, every book incorporated features good for early childhood learning-repetition, simple words, and onomatopoeia. One book even replaced repetitive words for articles of clothing with pictures of the same. This allowed the kids to join in.
As my duties kept me at the circulation desk right up until storytime, another staff member set up the room. This entailed moving the tables around and setting out all the material needed for the crafts (the kit, crayons. and glue sticks). In the interim, since I do not have an official name tag, I created a one-time use one using the spine label stickers.
When storytime began, the first item on the agenda was show and tell. Each child brought in a toy and came forward to show everyone else. Each time I praised their choice and thanked them for sharing. Next, I read the three books. And I didn’t just read them word-for-word. If something predictable was coming up, I stopped and asked if anyone wanted to guess what would happen next. Every so often, I’d not say a repetitive word and the kids would say it instead. I also did my best to create different voices for the character dialogue. After the readings, we reviewed the letters of the week- B, C, G, and H (for boots, coat, gloves, and hat) by pronouncing them and coming up with words beginning with those letters. There was also a cold weather-themed finger play activity.
Lastly, we did the craft. I showed the children and their parents the example then they went to the tables. Everyone worked at their own pace and I went around making sure no child or parent needed additional help. It seemed like the two most important things I did during this time was to locate missing pieces and obtain glue sticks to replace ones that ran out. Afterwards, the children picked up their color sheets to take home and I cleaned up.
In all, I thing storytime went well. The children were excited throughout. There were points where the children got noisy, but a reminder that quiet was needed to hear the story solved the problem. When the children completed their crafts, most came up and showed the finished product to me and thanked me for teaching storytime. I made sure to bend down to their level and complement their work and say “you’re welcome.”