Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime

"There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, So just give me a happy middle and a very happy start." -Shel Silverstein

All The New Things!

Hello there everyone!  It’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything new over here at NTOPS and I’m sorry about that. I think I was having a little library burnout for awhile and it was making it tough to want to blog (or do much of anything). I guess that’s bound to happen when you’ve been working in libraries as long as I have. But thanks to my awesome boss and amazing coworkers, I got through it and am feeling brand new!

During this “rut” I made a very hard decision.  I decided not to do preschool ST anymore. (I KNOW!) As much as I’ve loved it over the years, I felt it was time to try some new things and branch out a little. And can I just say that I’m so so happy that I did. Now our library has revamped our whole ST session and I get to do baby storytime! I just completed my 3rd one and it’s been growing every single week. Today we were completely full!  It feels so great to be able to offer this to families now because it’s been years since we had a baby ST. I will definitely post more about my individual baby times in the upcoming weeks so you can see what I’m doing 🙂

Another thing I’ve decided to do is help out our teen librarian with her Preteens.  She’s only PT which makes it hard for her to do all the things she wants and I’m more than happy to help out.  We came up with the idea to have a monthly program for tweens. Thus, Preteen Pizza Time was born! Basically we will have pizza (duh) and some kind of activity/craft/movie/games to do.  We’re really hoping it fills that gap where they don’t want a ST anymore, but can’t really go to teen programs.  These poor kids probably feel left out!  Our first one is tomorrow so I will post more about that later.

The last thing I’m SUPER excited about is incorporating STEAM into a program! Our awesome district got a massive STEAM grant and has been able to purchase so many great things to use. I’m going to start hosting a monthly preschool STEAM ST. Little Makers!  So luckily I will still see some prek faces.  This will consist of a story that goes along with our theme, maybe a song, then the rest will be hands on activities for them to do with their families.  I’m really hoping this one takes off!

So these are all the new things I’m working on and I’m really excited to start this new chapter in my library life. Oh, and thanks for still reading/using my blog while I was away. You are all the best!!!

-Nik

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Storytime Crafts-Do you or don’t you?

glue

I was recently chatting with a storytime mom and we were talking about the importance of doing a craft in storytime.  So it got me thinking, do you use crafts in your storytime?  I put a poll up on my blog, so be sure to answer it, I want to know!

I myself am a big advocate of using crafts in storytime.  For one, I feel like it brings the storytime together at the end and gives the parents and children a chance to talk about all the great things they learned that day.  Second, it gives the child something to bring home and remind them of the good time they had at the library.  I can’t even count the number of times a parent has come to me weeks after a ST and told me that their child STILL plays with the old craft.  And they still talk about the things we did!  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty cool.

I know that it may be hard for some to prepare crafts due to time, staffing, huge crowds etc. so I know it’s not for everyone.  I usually have my teen volunteers take care of most of the prep work, which is very helpful.  But I think even having a coloring sheet for them to take home is a great idea.  Again, something for them to TAKE so they will talk about it.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts about this, I am curious!  And be sure to answer the poll on my blog 🙂

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Top 10 Picture Books…

open book

After reading my good friend Kendra’s post about her top 10 picture books I decided to make a post myself!  Here they are in no particular order:

Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes By:  Eric Litwin

Dinosaur VS Bedtime By: Bob Shea

Winter Woes By: Marty Kelley

Dog’s Colorful Day By: Emma Dodd

Where is the Green Sheep? By: Mem Fox

Olivia By: Ian Falconer

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By: Mo Willems

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean By: Kevin Sherry

Where’s My Mom? By: Julia Donaldson

Can You Make a Scary face? By: Jan Thomas

It really was tough to do!  You should try coming up with a list, it’s not as easy as it seems 🙂

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Library Tours

Tomorrow I have to do a tour for a local daycare/school and I was trying to search the net for blogs or websites that talked about what others do during their tours.  Since I couldn’t find anything, I figured I would write a post myself!  Maybe it will inspire others to write ones about their libraries as well.  I don’t know about you, but library tours can get a little  monotonousness for me.  I’ll admit they definitely aren’t my favorite.  Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching kids about the library, it’s just different when they are only coming here because the school is making them.  I do have to say that by the time they leave, even if they weren’t excited at first, they usually had a good time and are excited to visit again ( so I guess I did my job 🙂 ).  Even so, I would love to hear if any of you have any fun ideas or activities to spice things up a bit.  Here is a quick rundown of what I do:

We all gather in front of the reference desk at the entrance to the children’s area and I begin to explain where the kids area and adult areas are.  I ask them if this is their first time here and if they have library cards.  I walk them through the department pointing out and explaining things as I go.  Reference desk, librarian, self check, catalog, different collections, computers, and then we go into the storyroom.  I do what I can to break things up a little so it’s not just me talking and asking questions.  In our storyroom we have ceiling tiles that have moons and stars on them, so I usually point that out.  This is where I generally read a few books to them.  It’s usually a mix of ages so I like to pick books that I know will go over well with most ages.

I always end with I Took My Frog to the Library so we can discuss proper library behavior afterwards.  It’s a nice transition.  Then I ask them if they have any questions, which usually turns into comments hahaha, you all know what I mean.  So that’s basically it! Simple!  I’d love to hear if any of you do anything different, games/songs/activities!

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