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Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 13

Last storytime of 2020! (Except Noon Year’s Eve of course!) I realized that this set of Toddler Storytimes were designed a bit younger than where I normally aim for the audience of this program (developmentally, the stories and rhymes feel more for 18-30 months than 24-40 months), but I think it was a good change of pace. I have plenty of materials gathered for preschool storytimes in January–I’m excited to try that age range again–plus all of the storytime specials in the middle. 2020 has been a lot to handle, but I am really glad I had an opportunity to immerse myself in storytimes. Storytimes have always been part of my job, but I’ve never put so much of a focus on them. I started as a youth librarian without any regular storytime of my own for a few years, and beyond courses in library school, I didn’t really start paying attention to storytime planning until I took on a weekly storytime about two and a half years ago. 2020 gave me a chance to reprioritize my time, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to curate programs, content, and materials for a variety of ages with so much intentionality. Now, 2021 and beyond, please bring us more diverse books ideal for storytime and developmentally appropriate for all ages, but especially toddlers.

More Toddler Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Don’t make a big deal out of speech mistakes. There is no need to correct your child. Instead, repeat the correct pronunciation. Correcting your child can make them less likely to try new words.

Book Recommendation: I Love Me! by LaRonda Gardner Middlemiss

Song: Jump with Me! by Bobs and Lolo

Fingerplay: Mr. Rabbit

— Find more Fingerplays in this post. —

Retelling: Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Action Rhyme: We Clap and We Stop

Magnet: Five Little Sailboats

— Find more Flannel & Magnet Activities in this post. —

Manipulative: Stuffed Animal or Toy
Little Red Wagon by Olde Town School of Folk Music

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 15

More Baby Storytime fun in November! I am particularly happy with adapting Jane Cabrera’s Row Row Row Your Boat into an animal sounds puppet activity. I’ve been waiting to adapt that one for a while!

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Hearing and making animal sounds helps your child hear different kinds of sounds in language.

Book: Whose Nose and Toes? by John Butler

Song: Clap Your Hands by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

Bounce Rhyme: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 I Caught a Fish Alive

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Put Your Baby in the Air by Caspar Babypants

Puppets: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Got the Wiggles by Bobs and Lolo

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 16

I’m starting to miss seeing the baby’s reactions. I know many people have been saying that for months, but I genuinely don’t mind–and in some ways really enjoy–virtual storytime. My nerves come from people staring at me, and, even though I am being seen by the internet, I can’t see the people watching, so I’m not self-conscious. The lack of feedback is hard, and it makes it difficult to really know if any of my new rhymes or books or animal activities are successful with my intended age range, but I am more willing to try new things because I won’t receive an immediate negative reaction. Does that make sense? Or am I just rambling as my brain tries to rebuild after election week 2020?

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme
(Wake Up Toes and We Clap and Sing Hello)

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Baby Loves Fall by Karen Katz

Amazon.com: Baby Loves Fall!: A Karen Katz Lift-the-Flap Book (Karen Katz  Lift-The-Flap Books) (9781442452091): Katz, Karen, Katz, Karen: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Babies love to take things in and out of larger containers. This helps build understanding of spatial concepts like in, out, behind, under, and over—all of which are important for brain development.

Song: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: These Little Fingers

Discover more Fingerplays. —

Bounce Rhyme: The Bouncing Song

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Dump Truck

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Wiggle It! by Patty Shuka

Puppets: Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Shaky Shaky by the Wiggles

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 10

Some more spooky storytime stories and rhymes this week! I’m back to baby storytime in November, but I’m already searching for more to retell with toddlers in December! If you ever want to watch these live, we have three live storytimes a week on the Westerville Public Library Facebook Page on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9:30 am. My next storytime is for the babies on Tuesday at 9:30 am.

More Toddler Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Make up your own words to familiar tunes to create silly songs. Let your child choose unique animals for “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and unique actions for “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

Book Recommendation: The Ghosts Went Floating by Kim Norman (abbreviated)

Amazon.com: The Ghosts Went Floating (9780374312138): Norman, Kim, Fleck,  Jay: Books

Song: Can You by The Wiggles

Fingerplay: Five Little Pumpkins

— Find more Fingerplays in this post. —

Retelling: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Action Rhyme: Horns and Fangs

Magnet: Five Little Bats

— Find more Flannel & Magnet Activities in this post. —

Manipulative: Shakers (If All of the Raindrops by Old Town School of Folk Music)

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 14

Taking another baby storytime break after this set. I squeezed a few fall activities in this time, and I am very excited for a month of fall and spooky toddler storytimes. I was also super excited for the I Spy on the Farm activity (pictured above, video below) that I wanted to squeeze in before these all have to be filmed at work, and I can’t get quite as creative with the space.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: When talking to your baby, make eye contact. Babies learn a ton from facial expressions.

Book: The Babies and Kitties Book by John & Molly Schindel

Amazon.com: The Babies and Kitties Book (9780358164050): Schindel, John,  Woodward, Molly: Books

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Apples in a Bowl

Bounce Rhyme: Zoom Zoom Zoom

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Here’s a Little Pumpkin

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Grand Old Duke of York by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Shakers (Shake It Baby, Shake It by Rainbow Songs)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 13

What is the best way to label baby storytime outlines? I don’t use themes, but does the current weekly title make sense? Should I change the titles to the title of the book I used? Now that I’ve been at this for a while, I’m starting to doubt my blog organization skills. It’s starting to remind me of my closet that I reorganize once a year.

I didn’t actually present this storytime (I was sick!), but I still thought I would share the outline and videos with all of you.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Look in the mirror and name body parts. Ask questions like “Where is baby’s nose?” Then point to your child’s nose (and your nose!).

Book: Look! Babies Head to Toe by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Anoosha Syed

Song: Wheels on the Bus by Laurie Berkner

Action Rhyme: One, Two, Peek-A-Boo!

Bounce Rhyme: Jelly on a Plate

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: A Hippopotamus Got on a City Bus

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Baby 1, 2, 3 by Peter & Ellen Allard

Puppets: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals (Little Red Wagon by Old Town School of Folk Music)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 11

And we are back! I haven’t presented a baby storytime in over two months, which feels a little odd, but makes it more refreshing to come back to this age range. Trying out some new bounce rhymes, a new action rhyme, and a new puppet activity. I’m also super excited about my Shaker Song this week–Baby Loves Beignets by Jazzy Ash.

I also really wanted to use this perfect new baby storytime book, but alas, my August counterpart claimed it for storytime two weeks ago. But you should use it!

Welcome to the Party: Union, Gabrielle, Evans, Ashley: 9780062978615:  Amazon.com: Books

Welcome to the Party by Gabrielle Union

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Sing all the time with your little one—make it a part of your routine. Tune “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is great for singing about daily activities.

Book: Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Amazon.com: The Wheels on the Bus (Jane Cabrera's Story Time)  (9780823444793): Cabrera, Jane: Books

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Put the Beat On

Bounce Rhyme: Ride that Horsey

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Bounce and Stop

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: One Little Finger by Super Simple Songs

Puppets: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Shaker Rhyme & Song

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 7

I am bouncing with ages quite a bit in June, and while I will be presenting two more virtual preschool storytimes this month, I am also back to Baby Storytimes the whole month. I’m excited to be back with babies, though not so much to have to live up to my coworker’s adorable baby who made appearances throughout May.

As I expected, I am recycling some of my content here that I used in the first six weeks. Repetition is good for this age, and I also keep to a more strict routine with this age range week to week (though I am reordering my middle slightly). I have had more time than I may have had in the library, so I was able to do more research than usual, and I am planning to scatter a few new content pieces throughout, especially new body rhymes and puppet activities, which will mean a couple new videos a week.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Talk to your baby as you go about your day, even if they can’t respond with words yet. Encourage, listen, and respond to your baby’s babbling.

Book: Peek-a-Baby by Karen Katz

Amazon.com: Peek-a-Baby: A Lift-the-Flap Book (9781416936220 ...

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Make Your Arms Go Up

Bounce Rhyme: Humpty Dumpty

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Here We Go Bumpy Boo

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Puppets: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Scarves

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 9

While we look at moving back into the library (I’m back in the library two days a week now–starting today!), virtual programs continue. We are discussing how to transition to filming in the library, especially since our building will most likely be opening to the public soon, any regular programming spaces are being used for quarantine of deliveries or returns, and an open-office staff space with no area for private filming. Returning to the library gives others staff members who don’t have the at-home tech an opportunity to film storytimes…but that also means restarting a learning curve about the technology and the differences between an in-person and virtual storytime, at a time when the patron expectation in program quality is higher (after all we’ve been doing this a while).

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Babies understand more than they can say. Using gestures, including simple hand signs is a great way to communicate with your little one. More, Stop, and No are great words to practice.

Book: Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Leo Loves Baby Time: McQuinn, Anna, Hearson, Ruth: 9781580896658 ...

Song: She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Head and Shoulders

Bounce Rhyme: Old Grey Mare

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Two Little Boats

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: Jump!

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Noon Year’s Eve Storytime

Noon Year’s Eve Storytime! I’m still recovering from this one.

I learned something with this program that I pose as a challenge to myself and all of you: Not everyone is “zoomed out” or “over virtual programs.” Keep trying. Figure out what works for your audience, put in all of your energy, and try and try again when nothing seems to be sticking.

I was not that excited for Noon Year’s Eve Storytime & Dance Party. Honestly, the content is not my favorite. While I loved my dance party lineup, I didn’t like the book I was reading and some of the other activities felt like they drug on too long. I didn’t expect an audience because my library doesn’t regularly have a consistent Noon Year’s Eve program (so no built-in viewers), and we typically slow down our storytimes in December because our audience shrinks (which was reflected in our virtual storytimes throughout the month too).

Our Noon Year’s Eve Storytime received a little more press than regular programs. We weren’t able to advertise it at weekly storytimes the week before, since we didn’t have any the week prior, but a local newspaper and tv station briefly mentioned the program in their lists of ways to celebrate the New Year. I made a “commercial” advertising the event too but that is a regular practice for me.

In Ohio, per our state library, we count live program stats for programs that air live, like Facebook Like Storytimes, by adding the number of 1-minute viewers and the number of additional people mentioned in the comments. We ask families to let us know how many people are watching behind the screen in the comments, to get a more accurate count.

Our regular storytimes have been averaging around 30-50 people, with some peaks up to the 60s-80s, maybe 100 at a particular popular Saturday storytime.

Virtual Noon Year’s Eve Storytime Attendance: 439 people.

I was blown away. When I started the stream, five minutes early to give people time to join, I saw the “live view” count immediately jump to 25. That felt unusual so early, but fit within our normal numbers. By the time I started, five minutes later, the “live view” count was 65. I haven’t been really, genuinely, nervous presenting a virtual storytime since April–but those numbers genuinely terrified me, and you can sort of see it during the first few minutes based on how out of breath I am.

Anyhow, after that long-winded introduction, Noon Year’s Eve Storytime & Dance Party content awaits below.

Check out my preview video! I had a lot of fun with this one, reflecting on 2020 and including some fun bloopers:

Watch the full storytime here, including the dance party (storytime starts about 5 minutes in):

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable.

Noon Year’s Eve Storytime Outline

Backdrop & Logistics: New Year’s Eve pennant banner and decor.

Since everyone’s clock is going to be a little bit different, plus there is a delay on Facebook, I used two iPads to keep track of the time until our (approximately) noon countdown. They were synced, with one displayed beside me and another behind the camera, so it was in my line of vision, and I didn’t need to keep looking away from the camera throughout the whole program to check the time.

I also attempted a balloon drop, filled with balloons and confetti. This didn’t work quite as planned, with maybe 3 out of 20 balloons falling, but that might have been better than what I expected, which was everything, tablecloths included, to fall on my head 5 minutes into the program.

Intro Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs (my go-to opening storytime song)

Book: The Night Before New Year’s by Amy Wummer
I struggled with this book. I wanted a more diverse representation of New Year’s Eve, but the only diverse options I had access to before the program were Our Favorite Day of the Year, which feels like a back-to-school book, and Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas (and I can’t get past some of the rhyming choices in Shante Peas). I did like that this book showed one family celebrating at home by themselves (no extended family or community parties). I tried to find a middle ground by spending some time before and during the book talking about how everyone’s New Year traditions are different and how not everyone celebrates New Year’s on Dec. 31. (This issue, right here, is why I struggle with theming storytimes–decisions are made for the sake of the theme instead of the quality of the materials, their diversity, and their developmentally appropriate content.)

Amazon.com: The Night Before New Year's (9780448452128): Wing, Natasha,  Wummer, Amy: Books

Song: Dance Freeze Melt by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael

Hilda the Dragon, Playing Hide and Seek
I wanted to include some of the familiar characters we saw at virtual storytime specials during 2020, so I decided to have us discover some characters while hunting for our library dragon, Hilda (see a photo of 30-foot, smoke-breathing Hilda here.)

Zoom Zoom Zoom, A New Year’s Coming Soon
As always, thank you jbrary.

Fabulous Fireworks

If You’re Ready for the New Year (If you’re happy and you know it)

We finished If You’re Ready for the New Year with just about a minute until our countdown, which I still almost missed because I talk too much.

And it was finally time for our 20-minute dance party! I used these songs:

And that was 2020 Virtual Noon Year’s Eve Storytime and Dance Party! I didn’t receive much specific feedback from this program, other than those attendance numbers, which makes me a little sad (I really rely on that feedback to keep my energy up), but I think it went well enough. I just hope some of those people listened to my always-rambling announcements and return for our weekly live storytimes next week and Daniel Tiger Storytime on Saturday.