Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Toddler and Preschool Storytime Structure and Planning

Looking back on previous blog posts I realized that while I've shared information on planning and structure for Baby Storytime I haven't done so for my Toddler and Preschool Storytimes. Storytime is one of my favorite parts of my job, and I am always excited to share my ideas.

A little background information:
  • Toddler Storytime is for two year olds (accompanied by a caregiver.)
  • Preschool Storytime is for three to five year olds (no caregiver required)
  • I always try to be flexible with the age range, especially with sibling pairs.
  • I do not require registration.
  • Both storytimes last about a half hour.
  • I use the same theme for both storytimes. 
  • All storytimes take place in my storytime room.

My storytime room

Here is my basic storytime structure:

We always start storytime with the same opening song. Following the song, I introduce our theme for the week. I also teach the children an ASL sign related to the week's theme. We then move on to our story.

The middle portion of the storytime involves active movement songs. I have many favorite storytime resources. The resources I am using the most currently are Jbrary and Storytime Katie. When I first started doing storytime, many of my themes and songs came from Step by Step Childcare.

After several movement songs we move on to our craft. My storytime crafts are typically pretty simple, and often involve torn paper, magazine picture collages, or stickers.

At this week's truck themed storytime we made stoplights:

Once the majority of children have finished their crafts I gather them back together for our closing song.

Some of the differences between Toddler Storytime and Preschool Storytime:
  • Toddler Storytime gets a shorter book.
  • Preschool Storytime gets the chance to play more complicated games, such as "Duck, Duck, Goose".
  • Preschool Storytime includes more songs and activities that focus directly on teaching colors, shapes and numbers.

This format has worked fairly well for me, although I am always looking for ways to improve it. I recently added a parachute, which has been a great addition for our movement period. I have also decided that this summer I will be swapping our craft time for time at science based centers. I will definitely update you all with how that goes!
For more information on my storytimes (including storytime plans and literacy tips) see my storytime blog.

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