Last week Wednesday was our first session of Toddler Time! In the past, toddlers either came to my baby storytime or my preschool storytime. It sort of worked, but it was clear that neither of those storytimes were meant for toddlers, and I started to get a lot of demand for a storytime designed specifically for this age group. So I decided to do away with our repeated preschool storytime on Wednesdays and offer a Toddler Time in its place!
This is just a trial run for the moment. I’ll be offering a Toddler Time every Wednesday for six weeks, then take a break to analyze how it went and if I need to make any changes, then bring it back again in the spring. So, here’s what we did:
OPEN, SHUT THEM
DINOSAUR VS. THE LIBRARY BY BOB SHEA
DINOSAURS, DINOSAURS BY BYRON BARTON
TEN LITTLE DINOSAURS (TO THE TUNE OF MICHAEL FINNEGAN)
Credit: Collaborative Summer Reading Early Literacy Manual
Credit: Slightly changed from Kindergarten Magic by Kathy MacMillan & Christine Kirker
I’M A T-REX (TO THE TUNE OF I’M A LITTLE TEAPOT)
Credit: Kindergarten Magic by Kathy Macmillan & Christine Kirker
DINOSAUR EGG SHAKERS
We shook our egg shakers up high, down low and all around as we listened to Music, Music, Music from the Simplified Rhythm Stick Activities CD.
CHILDREN, CHILDREN, TURN AROUND
HOW IT WENT
I was so nervous and excited for this storytime! It was the first time that I offered something specifically for toddlers, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. But I was very excited about my storytime plan. I thought planning a storytime for a younger crowd would be difficult, but I actually really enjoyed the challenge of finding books and rhymes/activities that are suitable to the toddler age group.
As for how the actual program went, it was a huge success! I’ve been promoting it for the past month, so I figured we’d have a decent sized crowd. We ended up getting more people than I expected; it was by far the biggest size storytime I have done outside of summer reading that didn’t consist of a daycare of preschool group! I started out by introducing myself and going over a few rules, then we got started.
The caregivers were great about participating with their toddlers, and the little ones loved roaring, stretching, stomping and clapping. The movement activity was also a big hit with caregivers and toddlers swaying with the music, lifting their egg shakers up and down and to the side. The books were short enough to keep the toddlers’ attention, and I only had a few wigglers.
At the end of the program, I had several caregivers tell me that they really enjoyed it, and one even thanked me on our Facebook page and mentioned that she and her toddler can’t wait until next week when they get to come to Toddler Time again!
So overall, my first Toddler Time was a huge success! I am very interested to see how the attendance/participation holds up over the course of six weeks. And I’m going to try to be more perceptive about whether there’s anything I need to tweak or change about the program.