How to Perform Storytimes for the Very Young

meI am a children’s librarian in the Memphis Public Library system and have been hosting a Baby Storytime for about 3 years. I also do Toddler Storytime. I have a 3 year old daughter. I created this site to help my collegues both at Memphis Public and others who perform Baby and Toddler Storytimes.

In Memphis, there is little opportunity for children under age 3 to experience storytime, unless you attend a storytime from the city’s or municipality’s libraries. Preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, can hear storytime at bookstores and other kid friendly venues in the city. I concentrate on a storytime for the very young, because I feel that the earlier you start listening to literature the better.

I do both my baby and toddler storytime sitting on the floor.  I place receiving blankets (or carpet squares) on the floor for the caregiver and child to sit on.  In order for the parents to participate, I have a 3 ring binder that I have put the rhymes for the day.  I have the paper in a sheet protector so I can just change out the paper before each storytime.  However, I start and end every storytime the same way, in this order:

Opening: Hello song
               Open, shut them

Closing:  More we get together
               Goodbye song

These are the handouts that I give the parents:

Baby_Repeating Songs and Rhymes

Beyond the opening and closing, not much about baby and toddler storytime is the same. Click on the links below (or above) to read how I perform each:
Baby Storytime                 Toddler Storytime

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