Tag Archives: virtual storytime

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 15

Toddler Fun! A longer book compared to my normal selections for toddlers, but I really want to use this book, and I can’t keep agonizing over how to turn Baby Goes to Market into a flannel — someday I will make that happen, but I have no ability to make people out of flannel, and I don’t have the patience for trial and error at the moment.

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: Toddlers need to move, so don’t worry if they act out stories or just skip, romp, or tumble as you read to them. They may be moving, but they are listening.

Book Recommendation: Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke

Image result for baby goes to market

Song: Clap Your Hands by The Alana Banana Show

Fingerplay: Snowflakes Snowflakes

Snowflakes snowflakes dance all around
Snowflakes snowflakes touch the ground
Snowflakes snowflakes in the air
Snowflakes snowflakes everywhere!

— Find more Fingerplays in this post. —

Retelling: The Great Big Enormous Turnip (folktale)

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Action Rhyme: Put Your Hands Up High

Put your hands up high,
Put your hands down low,
Put your hands in the middle,
And wiggle just so.

Put your elbows in front,
Put your elbows in back,
Put your elbows to the side and
QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!

Magnet: Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean

Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest pigs you’ve ever seen.
Wanted to go outside and play.
Oink! Oink!

One jumped into the mud.
Landed with a great big THUD
Now there are four pigs so squeaky clean.

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

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals
Put Your Baby in the Air by Caspar Babypants

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Muhammad Ali

As part of our virtual programming, I run a monthly school age storytime, designed for ages 6-8. This program highlights a different diverse individual from the Little People Big Dreams book series. In February, this program featured Muhammad Ali.

Each program features 1-2 books on the famous individual (one book being their matching title from the Little People, Big Dreams book series). I also highlight music from a diverse artist and include a link to an at-home packet to continue the fun and learning.

Explore More Little People, Big Dreams Storytime Outlines:

Ella Fitzgerald
Harriet Tubman
Jean Michel Basquiat
Malala Yousafzai
Martin Luther King Jr.
Rosa Parks

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

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

Watch the full storytime here.

In the event description, I included the link to the printable at home activity packet.

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Muhammad Ali by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Image result for little people big dreams muhammad ali

Movement Break: Banana Banana Meatball by Blazer Fresh (GoNoodle)

Second Book: Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born by Gene Baretta

Image result for muhammad ali book picture

Closing Rhyme: See You Later, Alligator

See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly!

Next Time: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 14

Hello again toddlers! I may be shifting the structure and content of these storytime posts soon–I have a few more weeks with a mixture of old and new content, but in March I will be back to much more repeated content than new. I don’t theme my storytimes except for special occasions (perhaps I will make a post about why that is), but I know many librarians follow themes, and I do like reading and curating storytime book lists. So many of those wonderful storytime blogs I find feel a little dated now, since they were most updated during those prime blogging years 5-10 years ago. So maybe a collection of posts on theme ideas with an eye to recent releases and diversity would be useful? Or just redundant? Let me know in the comments. Meanwhile, I’ll keep brainstorming.

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 mistakes on purpose with familiar songs or activities—let your toddler catch you!

Book Recommendation: I Love My Tutu Too!

Song: Hurry, Hurry Drive the Firetruck by Tinsel Town Kids

Fingerplay: The Rain is Falling Down

The rain is falling down splash (clap)
The rain is falling down splash (clap)
Pitter-patter, pitter, patter
The rain is falling down splash (clap)

— Find more Fingerplays in this post. —

Retelling: The Bridge is Up by Babs Bell

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Action Rhyme: Roll Roll Sugar Babies

Roll roll sugar babies
Roll roll sugar babies
Push  
And pull 
And clap clap clap

Roll up high
Roll down low
Roll real fast
Roll real slow

Magnet: Six Little Valentines

Six little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”

Five little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Fox.”

Four little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.”

Three little Valenitnes just for me.
The fourth one said, “Bee my honey, Love Bee.”

Two little Valentines mailed with care.
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”

The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay.
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

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

Manipulative: Shaker
Leap Frog by Jazzy Ash

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Molly of Denali Storytime

Molly of Denali Storytime! I’ve been planning this for a while, but I’ve also been quite nervous about it–I want to do Molly justice. Our community is pretty white, our library staff is mostly white, and I am (you guessed it) white.

In case you aren’t familiar with Molly: Molly Mabray is a 10-year-old Alaskan Native (Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan) vlogger from the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska (near the mountain of Denali). The PBS show is the first show to feature an Alaskan Native main character. Much of the cast and crew, including the voice of Molly – Sovereign Bill of Auburn – are of Alaskan Native or First Nations heritage. The show authentically portrays the life of an Alaskan Native girl (while also having a particular focus on examining and evaluating sources of information).

Molly of Denali is a wonderful show, and I encourage you to watch it yourself, explore the website (and app and podcast), and find ways to promote it at your library. I tried to keep Molly’s energy during this storytime while focusing on some of the places Molly frequently visits in Qyah as well as some of the popular storylines from the show.

There were some adjustments for me. I’m used to music being a big part of my storytimes, but the music featured in Molly of Denali is wrapped up in her culture. Dancing (often nonsensically) to the Daniel Tiger or Pete the Cat theme song felt fine–wiggling, swaying, and shaking along to Molly’s theme song felt like it might be closer to cultural appropriation. Instead, I played the Molly of Denali theme song before I came on screen, and I promoted official Molly of Denali content on YouTube with this playlist.

Looking back, I’m afraid I focused a bit too much on animals and too little on Molly’s culture. My reasoning for this during planning is that my main audience for these storytimes are ages 2-3. While some of the concepts were still there for older kids to explore, I knew I needed to keep the attention of those bouncy toddlers. In hindsight, this program would have been better suited as a separate event aimed for ages 6-8.

Just like past virtual storytimes, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Many of these materials are from PBS. Download it here.

Watch the short preview video below. I tried to not dance through this the way I often do, instead highlighting storytime activities:

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

Molly of Denali Storytime Outline

Intro Song: Molly of Denali Theme Song (played before I came on screen)

Daniel Tiger Story: Crane Song

Exploring Qyah: I really like when these storytimes have some kind of unifying theme. For Molly of Denali storytime, we were simply exploring Qyah along with Molly.

Denali Trading Post: 5 Shiny Agate Stones

We started out at Molly’s parents’ store: the Denali Trading Post. Molly and her friends were trying to buy a new tubing raft, so they were selling agate stones again. We talked a bit about agate stones before jumping in with the rhyme shown below.

Down around the corner at the trading post,
There were five shiny agate stones at the most.
Along came a neighbor with a dollar to pay.
She picked out an agate and took it away.

Dog Kennel & Vegetable Garden: Anka Playing Hide and Seek
Tooey didn’t show up to help with the agate stones, so we went to find him at the Dog Kennel to make sure everything was okay. His dog, Anka, is missing again–but Tooey doesn’t think she is lost this time, just playing hide and seek…in Trini’s vegetable garden! Did you know that vegetables grow ENORMOUSLY large in Alaska? I learned that from Molly.

Anka, Anka playing hide and seek!
Are you behind the _?
Let’s take a peak!

Fish Camp: Five Little Salmon
Off to find some fish for hungry Anka at the Fish Camp! Catch your pretend salmon by tossing out a line and reeling it in or snatching a salmon from the air like a bear.

Alaskan Animal Adventure
Now that Anka was taken care of, it was finally time to explore Alaska by looking for something Molly loves and Alaska is well-known for–its amazing wildlife! I gave some hints for each animal before revealing the puppet and after the reveal, I encouraged viewers to do a quick motion.

There’s something by the river,
Now what can it be?
There’s something by the river,
That I can’t really see.

Wrapping Things Up
And that was it! For the reasons mentioned above, I didn’t have a closing song either (which was unusual for me). I once again directed people to the official Molly of Denali PBS playlist.

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 11

My last week of Preschool Storytime! I ended up doing quite a few changes at the last minute here–I really do like the Amy Wu books, but the day of storytime I just wasn’t feeling Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon, so I swapped it for an old favorite. (Do make sure you check out Amy Wu though!)

I also filmed a video for Little Blue Truck but that did not appear at all in my storytime. There is a lot of rhyming in that book, which makes it harder to ad lib/not recite word for word (and this was not a week for memorization). Also, the flannel set I so carefully crafted is way too big to fit on my flannel board setup. I was so proud of the work I put into this flannel set–and it ended up not working out at all beyond a YouTube video (though at least I have that).

Even though Little Blue Truck was a wash, I did get to present one of my favorite storytime activities ever–Make A Pig. This is much more entertaining with an audience in front of me, but it was great to return an old favorite, even in the more limiting virtual format.

Next week is another storytime special week–I am very excited to have fun with Molly of Denali and celebrate all things Alaska. If you aren’t familiar with the Molly of Denali show (or app or podcast) check it out–it is so well done.

More Preschool Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

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

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Playing

Go on a letter hunt at home! Pick a letter and find all the items that start with that letter. This will help build your child’s letter knowledge while having fun!

Book: Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Song: Jump Jump by Joanie Leeds

Fingerplay: Shapes Song

Discover more Fingerplays. —

A circle is a shape that is round
A circle is a shape that is round
A circle is round, no corners can be found
A circle is a shape that is round

A triangle has three sides, three sides, three sides
A triangle has three sides, 1, 2, 3
A triangle has three corners, three corners, three corners
A triangle has three corners, 1, 2, 3

I am a square. A lovely square!
I have four sides. They are all the same!
I have four corners, four lovely corners.
I am a square, and square is my name.

Book Retelling: Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (not used in storytime)

Discover more Book Retellings. —

Action Rhyme: Row, Drive, Fly

Row, row, row your boat (sway)
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

Drive, drive, drive your car
So quickly down the street
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Driving can’t be beat!

Fly, fly, fly your plane
Fly your plane so high
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Way up in the sky!

Chug, chug, chug the train
Goes quickly down the track
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Hear it click click clack!

Flannel: Make A Pig

Discover more Flannel & Magnet Activities. —

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Martin Luther King Jr.

As part of our virtual programming, I run a monthly school age storytime, designed for ages 6-8. This program highlights a different diverse individual from the Little People Big Dreams book series. In January, this program fell on Martin Luther King Day, so it felt like a great time to feature Martin Luther King Jr. in my Little People Big Dreams Storytime.

Each program features 1-2 books on the famous individual (one book being their matching title from the Little People, Big Dreams book series). I also highlight music from a diverse artist and include a link to an at-home packet to continue the fun and learning.

Explore More Little People, Big Dreams Storytime Outlines:

Ella Fitzgerald
Harriet Tubman
Jean Michel Basquiat
Malala Yousafzai
Muhammad Ali
Rosa Parks

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

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

Watch the full storytime here:

In the event description, I included the link to the printable at home activity packet.

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Martin Luther King Jr. by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Little People, BIG DREAMS, 33): Sanchez Vegara,  Maria Isabel, Degnan, Mai Ly: 9780711245679: Amazon.com: Books

Second Book & Audio: I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson
We listened to a recording of Martin Luther King Jr. reading the part of his speech that corresponded to the pages of this book.

I Have a Dream (Book & CD): King Jr., Martin Luther Dr., Nelson, Kadir:  9780375858871: Amazon.com: Books

Third Book: Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Let the Children March: Clark-Robinson, Monica, Morrison, Frank:  9780544704527: Amazon.com: Books

Closing Rhyme: See You Later, Alligator

See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly!

Next Time: Muhammad Ali

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 10

Gosh I’m having fun with preschoolers! The hardest part has been narrowing down my content for these three weeks. Everything is so up in the air with virtual vs. in person programming, and I’m not typically on the preschool rotation (never was in person and only sparingly virtually)…so sometimes these feel like I’m trying to cram in everything I can because I never know which storytime will be my last with a particular age range.

With that in mind, when I’m back to toddler storytime in February, I am going to be repeating more content. There has been so repetition here month-to-month, especially if you go through all of the virtual storytime plans I’ve shared, but I’m going to let that be the norm a little more often once I get through the last of my dwindling stack of flannels and magnet sets that I can’t wait to make into videos. I’ve got almost a year’s worth of content on my library’s YouTube page now…though I do really like making these videos, so maybe I’ll continue on my own time through Book Cart Queens? Not sure yet.

More Preschool Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

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

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Reading

Children learn new words best in context. Rather than teaching new words in isolation, discuss words as they come up in stories or conversation.

Book: Don’t Feed the Coos! by Jonathan Stutzman

Amazon.com: Don't Feed the Coos! (9781250303189): Stutzman, Jonathan, Fox,  Heather: Books

Song: Can You by the Wiggles

Fingerplay: Five Little Snowmen

Discover more Fingerplays. —

Five little snowmen went out one day!
Rolling through the snow
They played and played.

Out came the sun,
And it shined so bright,
One little snowmen melted out of sight!

Repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1

Book Retelling: Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera

Discover more Book Retellings. —

Fingerplay: Itsy Bitsy Spider (practicing audiation)

Discover more Fingerplays. —

The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.

Flannel: Five Little Eggs

Discover more Flannel & Magnet Activities. —

Give it a whack, (clap)
Hear it crack, (hand behind ear)
Drop it in the middle, (pat hands on your lap)
One egg frying on the griddle.

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 9

Preschoolers I’m baaaacccccckkkkkkk! I think Noon Year’s Eve and Daniel Tiger Storytime (and the rest of the world) took out any of the new energy I should’ve collected during my few weeks off of weekly storytime, so no book retelling this week. I have so much fun with those, so this makes me sad, but developmentally I’m good with two books for preschool age (I’d much rather have the babies and toddlers moving or exploring books differently).And most importantly, the Elmo Slide is back!

More Preschool Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

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

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Playing

Action songs build physical awareness. Try songs like “The Hokey Pokey,” which name specific body parts.

Book: Every Little Letter by Deborah Underwood

Song: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

Fingerplay: I Built a Little Snowman

Discover more Fingerplays. —

I built a little snowman.
He had a carrot nose!
Along came a bunny,
And what do you suppose?

The hungry little bunny
Looking for his lunch,
Ate the carrot nose…
Nibble, nibble, crunch!

Book: There’s a Superhero In Your Book by Tom Fletcher

Action Rhyme: Galoomp Went the Little Green Frog

Galoomp (hop) went the little green frog one day
Galoomp (hop) went the little green frog
Galoomp (hop) went the little green frog one day
And his eyes went blink blink blink

Repeat with last line added on each time:
Arms went flop, flop, flop
Feet went splash, splash, splash

Flannel: Snowball and Mitten Hide and Seek

Discover more Flannel & Magnet Activities. —

Snowball, snowball
Cold and round!
Behind which mitten,
Can you be found?

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Daniel Tiger Storytime

The first themed Saturday storytime special of 2021! We started the new year with the one and only Daniel Tiger Storytime! This set a highly unrealistic attendance expectation for 2021, but I am very happy with the final product. If nothing else in 2021 works out whatsoever, maybe my storytime game will be on point?

Daniel Tiger is close to my heart because of Mr. Rogers, though I did learn in this process that I am not the biggest fan of the Daniel Tiger tv show. But, there is most definitely an audience for Daniel, and, if we ever return to in-person programs in the next five years, this is something I would like to recreate as a party-style event. The heart of the story is excellent, and in person I could use some Mr. Rogers tunes–something Facebook strictly does not allow (it WILL shut down your stream, mid-stream or immediately after–be warned). Daniel Tiger songs are fine.

I talked about Daniel Tiger during the well-attended Noon Year’s Eve Storytime, and I could tell the Facebook event had a lot of interest (over 1000 people responded to the event), so I did not make a trailer for this one. (Also, Noon Year’s Eve was barely a week prior, and I’m tired.)

The trailer was not needed because, following the Noon Year’s Eve Storytime fun, we once again broke attendance records. This is the most-well attended program I have ever done…ever. (Except for the in-person Wizards & Wands Festival, but that is a whole other thing.) Final attendance was 770 people, most of which were from central Ohio based on anecdotal info (where we are located), and even knowing that Facebook’s one-minute view count isn’t the most accurate, we had 400 people just from families self-reporting how many people were watching in the comments (so they stuck with us long enough to hear my announcements).

Moral of the story: Daniel Tiger > Dog Man.

Just like past virtual storytimes, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

Watch the full storytime here (starts about 5 minutes in):

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

Daniel Tiger Storytime Outline

Backdrop Setup: Daniel Tiger pennant banners, book covers, and images. I’m happy to share these printable files if anyone is interested–just let me know in those comments or send us an email.

Intro Song: It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger Story: Meet the Neighbors!

Meet the Neighbors! (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood): Shaw, Natalie, Style  Guide: 9781442498372: Amazon.com: Books

Neighbor Day Help: The premise for storytime was that it was time for the annual Neighbor Day Festival, and we needed to help all of our friends in the Neighborhood of Make Believe get ready.

Each time we were ready to find a new friend we took a seat and pretended to “drive” trolley.

Driving Round in My Little Red Trolley
Driving round in my little red trolley,
Driving round in my little red trolley,
Driving round in my little red trolley,
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

When we got to a location, we would receive three clues to figure out where we ended up.

And then we figure out where we ended up (the bakery!) and see which friend is waiting for us there (Miss Elaina!):

Before starting that location’s activity:

Bakery with Miss Elaina to Mix a Cake

Mix the batter, stir the batter
Shake some flour in
Mix the batter, stir the batter
Pour it in a tin

Sprinkle in some chocolate chips
Put it in to bake
Then open wide the oven door
And out comes the cake!

Faster, Faster!

Music Shop with Katerina Kittycat for Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!

Playground with Prince Wednesday for Animal Guessing Game

Grocery Store with O the Owl to Count the Balloons

Red Balloons, red balloons, how many do we see?
Red balloons, red balloons, count them now with me!

Post Office with Daniel Tiger for Letter Matching

Oh, have you seen the letter W
The letter W, the letter W
Oh, have you seen the letter W?
It makes the sound wuh-wuh-wuh

Wrapping Things Up
After helping Daniel find all of the letters for his friends, we found one more lost letter that needed a home! But this one was addressed to…us!

When we opened it, we discovered that since we were so kind to all of our new friends, we would become honorary residents of the Neighborhood of Make Believe! First, we just had to sing our song one more time:

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.