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
GENERAL Toddler STORYTIME

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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