If this is your first time visiting, you might want to subscribe so you'll be notified when there's something new to read! See the sidebar below to subscribe. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TODDLER Storytime!

My awesome Mom is in town visiting. She leaves today though. I think I'm going to cry. There is something so comforting about having your mom around, isn't there?

Anyhow, we wanted to get out and do something today, so we took Isaac to the local Toddler Storytime together. I must confess, I haven't been to storytime with Isaac in months! Life has just been too busy. ... And I haven't been ambitious enough to make extra excursions out of the house with him. Especially ones that require getting up and out of the house by 9:30 in the morning (storytime starts at 10 a.m.).

This was our first time visiting our local Toddler Storytime. We have been to the "Snuggle Bug Club" in the past, which is for newborns up to 18 months. And we have been to the Toddler Storytime at my sister's library up in the Chicago area.

I had heard good things about the Toddler Storytime, and I was quite pleased with it today. Though, of course, I had my critiques as well.

What I liked:

  • The librarian leading the storytime had lots of energy. Especially for the cold, dreary, winter day that today was. Liked her! And so did the kids.
  • She chose very age appropriate stories, and I loved that the illustrations in several included children of varying race and color (something my brain recently has tuned into a little more when exploring picture books).
  • Music was incorporated. There was a mom there that played a couple interactive songs on her guitar (Isaac was very interested in her guitar). We all sang and did motions along with the songs.
  • The librarian let the children and the parents get involved in reading the stories. We helped read along at parts, we got to make animal noises, do hand motions, and answer brief questions that made us giggle, and helped keep us focused on the story.
  • The storytime was brief (about 20 minutes, maybe). The perfect amount of storytime for this age group.
  • There was a craft afterward.

My Critiques:

  • The set-up in the room wasn't the greatest in my opinion. We were in a different room than the big, wide-open room they use for "Snuggle Bug Club" (which I LOVE). There were lots of tables set-up for the craft and then some chairs arranged around a small rug for storytime. It seemed difficult to be able to sit with your child in a spot where you could both see and participate. I was lucky enough to get a chair in the first row right next to the rug, but I'm guessing there were other parents that had to let their toddler go sit on the rug by themselves while they sat in a chair a few rows back (this is what my mom ended up doing). Not really an ideal set-up for parent and child to experience the story and interact together.
  • There wasn't really any discussion of the story after reading them. We jumped quickly from one book right into the next. I suppose it was a good pace for little ones, but a question or two afterward might have been fun. There were kids in the group that were definitely capable of commenting on the story and such.
  • The craft afterward had absolutely nothing to do with any of the stories we read. It seemed like more of an afterthought. It was a snowman craft that involved taping cotton balls to a paper snowman. But there were only enough cotton balls on the table for each child to tape on one or two (times are tight for libraries, I suppose). Boo! I like a craft or activity that relates to what was read and can be used to further discuss the story, or at least as something to remember the story by and discuss it further at home. How hard would it have been to read a story about snowmen during the storytime?
I'm an certainly no storytime expert. I'm sure the librarians whose storytimes I critique would have a thing or two to say about my storytimes that I lead. Hee. But those are just a few thoughts I had about the experience today. We'll be going back, for sure! We enjoyed it. And I think these storytimes (even the ones for toddlers) will be great to attend with my Ethiopian children when they come home. Can't hurt with the whole English-learning thing, right?

My mom and I giggled a little afterwards at the Dad's that were at the storytime. They didn't know quite what to do with themselves during the singing and the hand motion parts. They all seemed to be pondering the same thing: "Hmmm... Do I participate, or do I just sit here awkwardly?"

When storytime was over we chose a few of the Carl books (by Alexandra Day) to check out. Isaac loves them! And he also chose a book about brothers that he loves (Big Brother, Little Brother). What's funny is that at the end of the book it talks about the brothers being adopted. What a crazy coincidence! Perfect for My Little Reader to read and enjoy as he prepares for his new brother and sister to come home.

No comments: