My First Storytime: A Reflection
Last Thursday I had my first in-house storytime as a children’s librarian! It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I had already gone to a few schools for outreach storytime, and those went really well! Kindergarten and First-Grade seem to be good age groups for me, so I was feeling really confident for my in-house storytime, which was geared for toddlers and preschoolers.
I actually used one of my graduate storytime projects for this week’s storytime! I really loved the theme and felt confident with it since I had practiced it so much for class, so I figured it would be good to start with.
Here’s the storytime info:
Storytime Theme: Bugs
Hello Song: We’re All Here Today (found on yogibrarian blog! Check it out!)
Action Song: Shake My Sillies Out (Raffi)
- A few librarian friends of mine use this in their story times! I found the song on Spotify and played it from my phone
Rhyme: Criss Cross Apple Sauce (I’m not sure where that originated. One of my former coworkers used it and shared it with me).
Book 1: Can You Make a Scary Face? (Jan Thomas)
Finger Play: Itsy Bitsy Spider
Song/Rhyme: Ants Go Marching (Dan Crisp)
- I used the Big version of the book to go along with my (attempt at) singing.
- We marched along to the first five verses, then it was pretty clear everyone was ready to sit down.
Book: I Love Bugs (Emma Dodd)
Rhyme/Game: The Lovely Lady Bug
- Another suggestion from a librarian friend. I’m not sure where she got the idea, but I’ve seen a few blogs link back to Fun With Friends .
Book: Butterfly, Butterfly (Peter Horacek)
Song/Movement: “Flitter Flutter” (Pinkfong)
- We used scarves to dance to this song.
Goodbye Song: “Jump Up (It’s a Good Day) – Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could Play
- We used shaker eggs with this.
Goodbye Rhyme: Tickle the Stars
Activity: Free Play. Before storytime, I also had nametags set out with multiple writing utensils so the kiddos could practice. I set up books (fiction and nonfiction) on a table that went with our bug theme that the kiddos could flip through before storytime. I encouraged the families to check those books out, as well as the ones I read during storytime. *Note: next storytime I’ll include board books on this table*.
Like I said previously, I made my storytime with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. In total, I had 6 children and 5 moms. Of the 6 kids, 4 were around 1 or younger. The other two children were toddler and preschool aged. So, yikes! It was a bit of an age gap, which I wasn’t expecting, to be honest.
I like movement, and I quickly found that this did not quite work when most of my storytime friends were not able to follow along with the songs as well as the older kids (I was shaking my sillies out alone!). I had the moms help the kiddos with the finger play, which went pretty well. But because so many of my storytime friends were barely walking, the songs and dances kind of fell to the side after about 20 seconds. All the kids did enjoy using scarves and shaker eggs, though. The eggs were probably the biggest hit! Everyone wanted to jump around and shake them.
Initially, I felt like a bit of a failure after storytime.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I thought I would hit a home run on my first try. Then I remembered… it doesn’t have to be perfect, and it was a fun time! I was beating myself up and overreacting over something silly.
The books seemed to hold everyone’s attention pretty well. It was difficult to engage in questions and comments with the kiddos because most of them couldn’t talk and the ones that could talk were a bit shy, but that’s ok! What matters is that they came, heard stories, and got to interact with other kiddos.
Overall, it was an OK storytime. I’m still learning, so things aren’t going to be perfect. For next time, I might get some board books to read since I have such a young audience. This has also made me consider starting a baby time in the winter that could eventually transition into a toddler and preschool storytime later on. The moms of the older kiddos expressed interest in a family storytime later in the evening, so I’m definitely going to keep that in mind for winter storytime.
Most importantly, the kids and their moms seemed to enjoy themselves. One storytime already gave me an idea of what I might need to change for the future – such as a board book from time to time and movements that are more baby friendly.
Librarian friends, what was your first storytime like? What did you learn?