We offer one toddler storytime at our library which lasts about 30 minutes and includes songs, rhymes, a story (either a book or a feltboard story), and lots of action. After the storytime program, I bring out manipulatives that families can share while they socialize, an important part of our toddler storytime experience, or some sort of open-ended art, play, or exploration project. I rotate the toys to provide variety.
For the most part, I keep the core toddler storytime songs and rhymes the same each week (welcome and goodbye songs) and then shift the books and other songs, rhymes, and fingerplays to go along with the weekly theme. Most weeks I use the same theme for my preschool and toddler storytimes to reduce planning time, but some weeks that just doesn’t work which is fine, too. In either case, I focus the songs, rhymes, and activities around the book I choose to help extend the concepts or vocabulary beyond the story. I print out the songs, music, and book details on a take home sheet so families can follow along if they don’t know the lyrics or if they want to refer to the information at home.
I send families home with an early literacy tip which is printed on the “cheat sheet” I pass out that includes the songs and rhymes, as well as the book we shared. May of the tips I use I take from the handy cards found in the The Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards by Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting.
Toddler Storytime Themes:
10 Little Caterpillars
Patterns, The Red Hen, and Drumming
Rhyming Words and Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?
Sharks, Halibut, and the Zen of Toddler Storytime
Things That Go
Under the Deep Blue Sea