Toddler storytime is a ridiculously fun time. There’s always such emotion and joy in the room, and it’s the storytime that always leads to lots of giggles and silliness. I love toddler time, and wanted to share what mine looks like, in case it helps anyone else plan their own!
At our library, toddler time is about 25-30 minutes. Our toddler time is advertised for 18 months through 2 years. We do have some younger and some older kids, and that’s totally fine. Like I said in my baby storytime post, I just tell parents to see where their child seems to fit and go with that. Obviously, we’re not carding at the door.
Although I mix up the rhymes quite a bit more in my toddler time than I do in my baby storytime, I still stick to a structure every week. Here’s the plan from my most recent toddler time: toddler_storytime_12_3_14. The basic elements stay the same.
Opening Spiel: I welcome everyone to storytime and go over the guidelines for toddler time (i.e. we try to sit on our bottoms during the books, but we have a lot of movement in between them, where the exits are, what to do if someone is fussing, etc.).
Opening song(s): These are the same every week: “I Am Special” and “Open Shut Them”.
Books: If you look at the plan, I have 3 books on there. It’s very, very rare that I get to all of them. Usually, we just get to 2. Flexibility is the name of the game in toddler time!
Rhymes: We do about 10 rhymes and songs throughout storytime. I do a mix of nursery rhymes, action rhymes, fingerplays, and songs. Now that I’ve been doing storytime for a while, this part of the plan gets pretty flexible. If everyone’s wiggly and we have a huge group, I may just turn to all my favorite get the wiggles out songs. If it’s a quieter storytime, we may do more fingerplays and traditional songs. But it’s still nice to have the plan every week as a jumping off point.
Felt Story: We do a felt story every week in toddler time. Some favorites in my storytime: Pete the Cat; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; and It Looked Like Spilt Milk. I do this element at the end of storytime. Usually, by then the kids can’t necessarily focus on a whole book, but they like the felt storytelling element.
Musical Element: We do songs throughout toddler storytime, but I like to end with either a traditional song that we sing together like “If You’re Happy and You Know It” or “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” or with a song from a CD that we dance to, either with scarves or by following the music. It’s a good way to get the last wiggles out and end on a fun musical note.
So that’s my toddler storytime! Tomorrow I’m posting about what I’d wish I’d known when I started doing toddler storytime. And here are some of my favorite resources for getting great rhymes, books, and ideas for toddler storytime:
This Library Noise post talks about the basics of toddler storytime.
Jbrary always has great ideas for toddler times. I get many song ideas from them! The post I linked to talks about how to plan a great toddler time.
Sunflower Storytime has some great themed ideas for toddler storytime. Although I don’t do themed toddler times, there are great book and rhyme ideas here that I pull from all the time!
Silly Librarian has a ton of awesome toddler storytime rhymes to peruse.