I have been working on planning my first 6 weeks of storytimes for 2023 and I want to do something different. I have 2 baby storytimes, 2 toddler ones, and 2 preschool ones every week. We always start with the same hello and goodbye song, but I want to do more. Baby storytime can repeat itself for the most part and the preschool themes and flows have been going great. The toddlers are a tricky bunch.
The toddlers need much simpler books than what I was reading before and I think I need more repetition. I am going to try something super new for me. I am going to repeat Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle every single week of the first session in a different way. I got this idea from my friend Brooke Newberry, the writer of Reading with Red. Every week, the kids will have their own board book copy with them and I will have a larger picture book version up front. We are going to read it in the first session normally and then I’ll end with a flannel retelling. The next session we will focus on colors, then we’ll sing it to Twinkle Twinkle, and so on. The last week, they can use their book or the flannels to tell the story to their adult(s). This will hopefully be good for their confidence in reading a book, create a stronger storytime routine, and help develop their vocabularies with all of the repetition. The rest of the books will be books I like and think would be good for toddlers. I will either find a theme that connects them somehow or I will figure out a simple way to make them flow with songs.
I am going to try to do more interactive flannel board activities. Having them come up and grab a bumblebee when it flies away in the rhyme, helping me make patterns, and coming up to the board and making things out of felt shapes. I’m hoping this will make them more involved and enhance their learning and hopefully it will be more fun for them too!
Of course we will do crafts a few times too! They always love using glue sticks.
What do you do at your toddler storytimes?