My storytimes have changed A LOT over the past five years and three library systems! Here’s what they generally look like these days:
My baby storytime lasts for 15-20 minutes and is followed by 15-20 minutes of play time. We read a short book or two, bounce around and sing lots of songs. I try to keep many elements consistent each week and gear my activities towards ages 0-24 months. Here’s a sample baby storytime outline with more information about how I plan.
My toddler storytime lasts for about 20-25 minutes and is followed by play time. We read two books and include lots of repetition and opportunities for movement! I select books, flannels and other activities based on what’s developmentally appropriate for 2 and 3 year-olds.
When I lead preschool storytime, I gear my content for ages 3 to 5. Our program lasts for about 25-30 minutes.
Come one, come all! All ages are welcome to family storytime, which lasts for 20-30 minutes (depending on the average age of the crowd).
Occasionally I present other storytimes, such as outreach to schools, summer reading visits, sensory storytimes, special program storytimes, etc.
Stay and Play vs. Learning Through Play
Each library system I’ve worked with has taken a different approach to play after storytime. When I refer to Stay and Play, I’m talking about unstructured free play time. When I refer to Learning Through Play, I’m talking about a more intentional approach. In Learning Through Play, staff interact with children and caregivers using an intentional assortment of toys designed to support various types of play.