Date : August 19, 2020
If your library is closed or not currently holding events, your children are probably missing their weekly storytime session with their favourite librarian. So, could you hold a storytime session at home? Will your kids enjoy it just as much? Here are a few insider tips and tricks from a librarian to help make your at-home library storytime session a huge success!
Choose your books wisely
Any librarian will tell you that the books that you choose for your session will make or break it. If the kids are engaged with the books, it’ll make storytime that much easier and more enjoyable! You’ll also have a lot of fun yourself, which helps the kids to enjoy it, too.
Think about your children’s favourite books. What books do they love to read over and over? Why do you think this is? Do they love to laugh? Do they enjoy silly, nonsensical or rhyming words? Do they enjoy simple plots or colourful illustrations?
For my storytime sessions, I usually go for authors that I know most kids are going to love. Funny books that are not too long are good for a beginner session. Here are some of my favourites:
- Aaron Blabey’s Pig the Pug books are popular with all children, no matter where their interests lie – and you’ll get big grins or lots of chuckles.
- Julia Donaldson is also a pretty big hit, but you have to be choosey with her, as her books can sometimes be lengthy.
- Mem Fox is also a great place to start, as her books often use rhyming words or repetitive language that helps engage children in the story.
Choose two books to begin with, with one more as a backup if you feel it necessary. Make sure you ask the children plenty of questions throughout the storytelling process – refer to the illustrations, or ask them about things that might be happening in the story. What do they think is going to happen next? Do they like the food the character is eating? What noises do the animals in the pictures make? Anything that helps the children engage with the story is a winner!
Plan your session
Now that you have your books, you can begin to plan your session! You’ll want to think about whether you only want to read to your own children, or if you want to invite the neighbourhood kids together (at the correct social distance, of course!). Then, consider where you want to hold the storytime session. A park might be a good idea if you have more than four children, and if the weather holds. Otherwise, a backyard, patio, or even at the beach would be a nice idea.
Next, consider singing some songs. Generally, in library sessions, songs help to set the tone for the storytime session and tie the books together. At the start of the session, you could sing a hello song, or ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’, or anything that comes to mind. Librarians often include songs to get the children engaged with the session and participating. You could tie in the songs with the books if you like. For example, if you read the Mem Fox book, ‘Ducks Away’, you could also sing ‘5 Little Ducks’. It’s up to you and what you’re comfortable with. Also, try to break up the books with a song in between. Get the children to stand up to sing, and encourage them to dance. This will help control any wriggles or fidgets the kids might be showing. If you’re stuck for ideas, Jbary has some brilliant videos that could help!
Art and craft
Once you’ve read your stories, offer some art and craft for the kids to do. You could theme it based on the stories you’ve read, or just offer something simple that your kids have enjoyed making before. We have a huge range of arts and crafts we’ve made previously that are definitely worth a look!
For more brilliant examples of literacy-based fun for you and your children, visit May Gibbs’ informative site today!
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.