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Storytime Resources

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Leah Langby, Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator langby@ifls.lib.wi.us

Fingerplays, Songs, and Movement

Fingerplays, songs, and movement are all important elements of storytime. Rhyming helps children develop their phonological awareness, using their bodies engages other parts of their brains, and often a well-placed fingerplay, song, or movement activity helps keep children focused and able to participate.

If you are using themes, you don’t need to fit ALL of your songs and fingerplays into the theme. It can be more effective to stick to really great ones, regardless of theme. Remember that repetition is great for kids!

  • StoryBlocks from the Colorado State Library includes high quality videos of rhymes and songs in English and Spanish. A great way to learn new material!
  • Jbrary has youtube playlist that includes videos of two librarians demonstrating songs, many with American Sign Language.
  • So Tomorrow Blog has some excellent ideas for playing with parachutes and nursery rhymes
  • Song Catchers Library is created by children’s librarians who use recorded music regularly in programming for young children. Their database is searchable by topic.
  • Rhyme Database has 130 rhymes, put together by Storytiming blogger Cate Levinson

Arts and Crafts

  • Meri Cherry Art Studio: 50 Process Art Activities. Process art allows kids to explore mediums and is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers. PLUS, it takes less preparation time.
  • Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit has lots of background on the kinds of projects and approaches that are great for developing a growth mindset, plus specific activity suggestions.
  • The Artful Parent has excellent ideas for process art.
  • No Time for Flashcards is a blog created by a mother and early childhood educator. There are several projects and activities with explanations of some of the skills that are being developed. Some of the projects are best for doing with smaller groups, but many could easily be adapted to larger groups.
  • MaryAnn Kohl’s Process Art Facebook Page. You have to join this to access content, but there are plenty of terrific ideas shared.
  • KinderArt is a website with art project ideas that can be sorted by age, medium, and more.

STEM Activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Child and Brain Development

Making Storytimes and Youth Programming More Inclusive

  • Check out the Resources on Accessibility and Inclusion IFLS article.
  • Sensory Storytimes include more sensory elements and are more accessible to children with a variety of sensory issues, including kids on the autism spectrum. Consider incorporating these some or all of these elements into your storytime to ensure that your storytimes are more accessible to kids with disabilities!