Hey, why don’t you… let caregivers introduce their babies and toddlers?

Hey why don't youLast month, Storytime Underground readers voted for their preferred new features for this website. These votes have resulted in two new monthly features: Free Training Resources, which debuted a few weeks ago, and “Hey, why don’t you…” which debuts today.

 

The “Hey, why don’t you…” feature is meant as an invitation to consider, or perhaps¬†try, something new in your storytimes. Are you looking for new storytime skills? New songs, fingerplays, early literacy asides, etc.?¬†The monthly “Hey, why don’t you…” feature poses a storytime practice or idea for your consideration–to use in your own storytimes, or not, as you see fit.

 

For your consideration this month, an idea for getting to know your baby and toddler storytime charges from Brooke Newberry. At the beginning of each new storytime session, Brooke invites caregivers to introduce their little ones by name, age, and (my favorite!) fun fact about them. As an example, if my cousin and her daughter were in Brooke’s storytime, the introduction might go something like this: “This is Emma. She’s two, and she likes to pretend that she is a puppy dog and have her sister take her on walks in the yard.”

 

I love this introduction idea for a few reasons. First, it gives caregivers an opportunity to brag on their little ones a bit, which can be a great way to ease adults unfamiliar with storytimes into a comfy state of mind. Second, it allows us as storytime providers to get to know our storytime kids in more complex ways than we might see in a 30 minute program. And last, it acknowledges that all these little people are fascinating personalities already–and we should recognize and celebrate that.

 

So hey, if you’re looking for a new baby/toddler storytime intro, or if you’re looking for a way to help caregivers feel more part of the storytime group, why don’t you try letting caregivers introduce their kids? If you try this idea at your library, feel free to report back in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Hey, why don’t you… let caregivers introduce their babies and toddlers?

  1. Profile photo of Lisa DengerinkLisa Dengerink

    I recently saw a storytime where the caregivers introduced their child and themselves. I thought this was a great way to break down the barriers between the adults. During playtime afterward, the caregivers were able to talk to each and already know each other’s names.

  2. Profile photo of ClaraClara

    I have always wanted to do this, but regularly get between 30 and 45 kids at my baby and toddler storytimes. I worry that doing introductions like this would take up nearly the whole time! (And limiting attendance is not an option at this point). Anyone have suggestions on how to create this same kind of welcoming environment with individual attention with a group this size?

    1. Profile photo of Kathleen Connelly-BrownKathleen Connelly-Brown

      Hi Clara – I get big groups like you do too. I am absolutely going to give Brooke’s idea a shot in my next session and see how much time it takes.

      In the meantime, what I’ve been doing for years is singing “Hello Jack, Hello Jill, Hello Sarah, we’re glad you’re here today!” all around my circle so that each baby is introduced by name. If they are new, or I don’t know their name, (or have forgotten), I pause so the parent/caregiver can provide the name and we all repeat it. This takes up to five minutes with a large group, so I am concerned about the extra bit of time Brooke’s idea will take. That might be a good idea for you to try if you’re worried about the time. After I give it a try, I will report back! Good luck :)

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