Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – School Age Programming!

Time for round two of our Ask a Storytime Ninja Lightning Round! These questions are posed to all of our ninjas instead of just our featured monthly ones and are meant to be quick and efficient responses to some interesting inquiries. Here’s our question for the week:




The Question:


“I am a new youth services librarian who trained to be an academic librarian. We just started a school age story time at our libraries and I am really struggling to find songs or transition activities that the kids don’t think is babyish. Does anyone have any suggestions or maybe a link to a blog you’ve done on how you conduct school age story times?”


The Answers:


From Jennie R. (@kidsilkhaze,


Here’s where I use all the songs I learned at summer camp. In general, Button Factory, Boom Chicka Boom, The Other Day I Saw a Bear, and Little Bunny Foo Foo always go over well! Camp Songs ( is a great site to look up all the words.


From Angela R. (@annavalley,


Naomi Baltuck’s “Crazy Gibberish” has some great stuff for school-age kids. Songs & chants and storytelling activities that are fun to do & easy to learn.


From Anita V.:


The School Age Story Time is a good time to build companion themes with fiction and nonfiction pairings, such as Amelia Bedelia and books from the jokes and riddles section of the library. Beginning readers are a great bridge into chapter books, if you are building a weekly audience, so that you could work a few chapters from one of the Magic Tree house series and match a nonfiction for the time period for details. Time to create a short story, draw an illustration of the story or write a poem could now be used in place of a craft, with time to share via a media projector, (or other media with parental permissions). Working with the Dewey Rap from is a great way to gain some comfort with the nonfiction arrangement of your library. Bring out the maracas, rewing and play along.


From Soraya S. (@vivalosbooks):


If I’m doing a school visit to a specific age group, I tend to do a storytime with a little more plot involved for K-2nd. Fractured fairytales are a must (Leah Wilcox, Corey Schwartz) and some more challenging songs (Knuckles Knees, Boom Chicka Boom) and I’ll try to find an illustrative non-fiction book to tie into the theme. For 3rd-5th I do non-fiction book talks: Egyptology, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Oceanography and then find a simple activity or craft to do if time allows.


For our school age program in the branch though, we pick one non-fiction theme to learn about and a more detailed hands on activity instead of a storytime. Mad Science is my absolute favorite where I pick an experiment for the week, we learn the science behind the project in simple terms, I conduct a large scale version of the experiment and then the kids get to do their own mini version. It’s a blast, sometimes literally! We also do Super Duper Craft Club, Lego Club, Jedi Academy, Inventors Club, all sorts of great subjects.

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