Tag Archives: toddler storytime

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 4

My fourth (and final) virtual toddler storytime this week! Next week we are on to preschool!

I had quite a bit of fun with this age range. My baby storytimes tend to focus on the 12-24 month crowd because of their size and tendency to dominate the program, so this was just a small nudge up that allowed me to use slightly longer books and activities with more motions. I’m bouncing all over the place age-wise now that we are sticking with virtual programs for a bit, moving into semi-regular preschool storytimes and a return to baby storytime in June.

These virtual storytimes have been really helpful for my storytime repertoire–I came into libraries as the only youth librarian in a large department who wasn’t presenting a regular weekly storytime. I filled in and did outreach, but there is so much more to learn week-to-week. I was suddenly tossed into baby storytime knowing nothing other than that babies have large heads and don’t respond when asked a question, but I was able to get my footing with that age range and figure out a program structure that worked well for me and that the parents (and littles) enjoyed. Being able to dig into some of the older age ranges consistently is letting me explore and discover new (to me) content in a great way.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation: Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap

Song: Can You? by the Wiggles

Fingerplay: Here is the Beehive

Retelling: White Rabbit’s Color Book

Manipulative: Stuffed Animal Play

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 3

My third virtual toddler storytime this week!

Some new materials for me in this storytime–this is my first time reading Spunky Little Monkey in a storytime. I also decided to use some of the materials that I didn’t have time for last week–they fit a bit better than some of the new rhymes I was planning to try this week.

Weird question for the wide world of virtual storytime presenters: if you have a team presenting virtual storytimes, do you coordinate with them? Choose the same intro/closing songs? Talk about what you each have planned for a particular week?

For example, one of my coworkers did the scarf activity I was planning to do with toddlers this week–adapted for babies–at Baby Storytime last week. Generally, at in-person storytimes, I don’t know about or care about this kind of overlap, as we mostly have different audiences for each storytime. However, these virtual storytimes feel different. Yes, I’m preparing an activity for toddlers–and that activity can really work for babies and preschoolers too–but a decent portion of our audience is the same at every storytime. Is it weird to do the same larger activity–not talking about opening/closing songs and more intentional week-to-week repetition–at two storytimes in the same week when the audience is the same? Am I overthinking this? (Answer: yes.)

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Settle Down Rhyme: This is Big

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation: Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr.

Song: Walk and You Walk and You Walk and You Stop by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: Bubble Bubble Pop

Flannel: Five Little Penguins

Action Rhyme: The Elevator Song

Manipulative: Shaker Time!

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Extra, Extra:

No video for this, but I was planning to read Snip-Snap Pop-Up Fun, but I cut it due to time.

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 2

My second virtual toddler storytime this week (and my first in my new set for the month of May!).

I’m mixing up my routine a little bit with this age range, including adding some new types of materials. I think attention-span-wise I am pushing preschool with some of this material, but from what I can tell in the Facebook Live comments, most of our audience is preschool age, so I think that’s okay. Next week leans more toddler.

I’m also working on getting to that 30 minute mark–I have a clock now that I can see while presenting, which really helps. I’ve also figured out my setup so that I can see myself–I can’t read comments, but I can tell if I disappear off screen, which is a little more likely since I am mixing up my activities.

For sake of time, I dropped the intro bits from my videos…it saves me a few minutes a video, and I’m looking for ways to make this take less time, since our audience does seem to watch them. I did realize that now I don’t introduce myself, so I’ll adjust for that next week.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation: There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

Song: Hot Potato by the Wiggles

Action Rhyme: Roll Roll Sugar Babies

Book Retelling: Bark George

Action Rhyme: Bananas Unite

Flannel: Little Mouse

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Extra, Extra:

Virtual Baby Shark Storytime

This has been a crazy past week of storytimes, but I kicked off May family storytime Saturdays with Baby Shark Storytime!

I ran this program in person back in January to a whopping 185 people! While that was just a few months ago, it feels closer to three years, and it was also something easy enough for me to replicate virtually that has a strong following.

We had a 30 minute storytime followed by about 10 minutes of Baby Shark bubbles and dancing. Videos of most content can be found below–as usual, there are a few more videos than I actually had time for during the storytime.

I also made a PDF for families filled with Baby Shark activities to do at home. See and download below:

We had about 63 live viewers, with 100 one-minute views by the end of the live recording. Not a bad turnout for one of our slowest virtual storytime days of the week.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Introduction Song

We sung and danced along to Shake Your Sillies Out. I can’t upload a YouTube video of this one because of copyright.

Fingerplay

Apparently I never uploaded the video of the fingerplay we did to get ourselves settled for our first story.

We did Two Little Sharks:

Two little sharks in the deep blue sea,
One named Luna and one named Lee,
Swim away Luna, swim away Lee!
Come back Luna, come back Lee!

Continued with: Swimming on a wave…Dorothy and Dave

Book: Baby Shark

Baby Shark: Bajet, John John: 9781338556056: Amazon.com: Books

Song: The Goldfish Song by Laurie Berkner

Puppets: Slippery Fish

Magnet: 5 Sharks in the Bathtub

Book: Shark in the Park

Shark In The Park: Nick Sharratt: 9780857534781: Amazon.com: Books

Closing Song: Baby Shark

Extras

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 1

A sick coworker led to my first virtual toddler storytime–and my first toddler storytime in over a year! It was fun to explore this age group again.

This week’s content is visible through the videos and links below.

In my livestream description, I always include three links for viewers, designed for the age range the storytime is made for:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Introduction Song & Rhyme

I started with Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs, which I couldn’t upload a video of due to copyright. Listen here:

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation

I didn’t create this combined video this week because the book I was sharing isn’t available in our catalog as an eBook.

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I talked about giving little ones at least 10 seconds to process a question you ask and to formulate a response, before sharing Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt.

Fingerplay

Song

Action Rhyme

Magnet Activity

Action Rhyme

Song

Manipulative Time – Stuffed Animals

Closing Song

Baby Shark Storytime

Baby Shark is popular. I know this. I use the song regularly in my storytimes for all ages. However, I don’t think I realized how popular until I had 185 kids and adults crammed in our programming space for Baby Shark Storytime.

Like many libraries, we are generally short-staffed on the weekends. While we provide a weekly Saturday storytime, many of our other popular programs, especially for the 0-5 crowd, take place on weekdays. This works better for us, and those events still get large crowds, but working parents do not often get a chance to attend these party style events.

This was my second Saturday Tales @ 10 “takeover” (read about Mother Bruce Storytime to learn about my first one). I like using this programming slot for a bigger event because you have a guaranteed built-it audience (our regular weekend storytime attendees), and you also provide an opportunity to attract new faces to the library without having to ask for an additional staff member to work that weekend to cover your desk time.

Baby Shark Storytime was a celebration of all things Baby Shark. We had a shark-themed storytime followed by a collection of shark activities in place of our regular free play.

My storytime powerpoint is available below:

Baby Shark Storytime

My storytime followed a very similar structure to our standard family storytime. I tried to not make everything Baby Shark related so that parents wouldn’t pull their hair out (though, surprisingly, I think this just confused parents).

Opening Song: I Wake Up My Hands by Rainbow Songs

Opening Rhyme: Open, Shut Them
Open, shut them; open shut them.
Let your hands go clap, clap, clap.
Open, shut them; open, shut them.
Drop them in your lap, lap, lap.

Walk them, walk them,
Walk them, walk them,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open your little mouth,
But do not let them in!

Book: Bedtime for Baby Shark
This baby shark title has some easy to replicate hand motions without just singing the song (which we will get to) as a group in book form.

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

Fingerplay: Two Little Sharks
Two little sharks in the deep blue sea.
One named Luna and one named Lee.
Swim away Luna, swim away Lee!
Come back, Luna, come back Lee!

Action Rhyme: Slippery Fish
Slippery fish, slippery fish, swimming through the water.
Slippery fish, slippery fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp! (clap)
Oh no! It’s been eaten by a…

Continue with: Octopus, Great White Shark, Humongous Whale

Magnet: Five Sharks in the Bathtub
One shark in the bathtub
Going for a swim
Knock, knock (clap twice)
Splash, splash (slap knees twice)
Come on in! (wave)

Book: Shark in the Park

Music: Baby Shark! by Pinkfong

Magnet: Five Little Fishies
Five little fishies, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark — “You Can’t Catch Me!”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be…
And (claps) SNAPS that fishy right out of the sea!

Closing Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs

Activites

After the storytime, many parents bolted because 185 people in a room meant for 75 is a lot.

But for those folks that stayed, we had some activities in the room as well as a scavenger hunt around our youth department.

Shark Fin Hats

Since this was my “easy” craft, it ended up being a bit more complicated than I would have liked. Each headband required 2-3 grey strips of paper–1-2 for the standard headband and another across the middle that the grey shark fin would be attached to. A standard shark fin shape was printed on grey cardstock to create the fin.

Shark Clothespin Puppets

The more complicated craft. Kids colored their own shark prints (found here) to make moveable shark clothespin puppets. I tried to have folks use glue dots instead of bottled glue to attach the sharks to the clothespins. That wasn’t the best idea, as they didn’t stick very well.

Pin the Fin on the Shark

This is exactly what it sounds like. Kids played pin-the-fin-on-the-shark with our lovely Baby Shark banner print from our marketing department. They received a button made on our button maker afterwards.

Feed the Shark Bean Bag Toss

This game was designed to be a standard bean bag toss game. Kids threw our toy fish into the shark’s mouth. They received a sticker after a successful throw.

This sort of worked out as planned, but essentially became a fascinating activity for our younger kids (ages 0-2) who just wanted to pick up the fish, put them in the shark’s mouth, take them out, put them in the basket, and dump them back out. Since this activity seemed to work best for the little kids, this helped the flow of the room since the older kids focused on the crafts.

Baby Shark Scavenger Hunt

Our last activity was our Baby Shark scavenger hunt, which got parents and kids out of our cramped programming space and into the youth department. After completing the scavenger hunt, each kid received a Baby Shark bookmark.

Storytime Prop: Bark George

Funny stories and book retellings are a staple of my storytimes. I love leaning into the humor of preschoolers, and I particularly like when a story can make parents snicker as well.

I like retelling stories in different formats, and I am always looking for books that can be retold with large props or puppets. Personally, I have never been a huge fan of flannel board story retellings. I do not have great vision, and I struggle to focus on (or even see) tiny flannel pieces. We often have large storytime crowds, and all I can think about when holding small items is that if I was sitting on a chair in the back of the room, I would have no idea what the librarian was holding up. The same goes for finger puppets.

Because of that, I look for ways to adapt things in a large scale way. The book Bark George by Jules Feiffer is a perfect story to retell with props. Essentially, the dog George makes various animal sounds that dogs don’t make (moo, quack, oink, etc.). When George goes to the vet, everyone realizes he has swallowed these animals. The vet pulls them out safe and sound. This continues until George barks again. At the very end of the story, George says a slightly ominous “hello.”

When I was in library school, I saw an amazing online post where a librarian retold Bark George with a giant dog stuffed animal with a mouth that opened. She cut the seam inside the mouth and used some awesome sewing skills to make it possible to physically stuff the dog with animal puppets that can be pulled out as you reach that point in the story.

I unfortunately don’t have those sewing skills, but another amazing librarian blogger made a dog out of a box, and I copied their structure for my Bark George prop.

I found a large square box (about 18-20″ on each side). I taped the flaps and reinforced the seams with duct tape and shipping tape. I then cut a slit diagonally down two sides and about two-thirds of the way down the new “front” of the box using a box cutter.

This creates a “mouth” that can be opened easily for me to reach inside and find various animals.

I used brown butcher paper to wrap the box, aiming to keep all seams as invisible as possible. In this case, seams are located on the inside, bottom of the box, the back of the box, and underneath what eventually are covered by dog ears.

This was my second time making George, and I had learned a few lessons from the first time. Double sided tape and shipping tape were my main tools. In the past, I attempted to use hot glue, but that resulted in a lot of peeling over time.

After wrapping the box in brown paper, I worked on the smaller elements to create the dog face. I used dark brown construction paper for the ears.These wrapped around the front corners of the box, to cover the paper seams. Ears were secured with double sided tape.

From my first version of George, the ears were the element I had to replace the most often. I have debated laminating them, but I am not sure how the shiny ears would look on the overall box.

The rest of the dog face was created using black, pink, and white cardstock and black sharpie.

George is a staple in my family or preschool storytimes. I hide him in a large black garbage bag before it is time for him to make his debut, with 4-5 animal puppets inside. Since I tell the story myself, I pick whatever puppets are most readily available that make obvious animal sounds. Just make sure you remember what puppets you put inside–it was an interesting storytime the day that George said “oink” but hadn’t eaten a pig.

Do you have a favorite storytime prop? I’d love to learn about it in the comments!