Tech and Toddlers with Maria

The joint chiefs are jumping up and down because we’re going to be sharing some diverse content from guest bloggers each month! We believe in using our platform to boost and raise up voices from a variety of library professionals and we’re so happy to have found guests to take that journey with us. Community, meet Maria!

Maria

I am a Youth Services Librarian in southern Wisconsin where I collaborate with two fabulous co-workers to create a storytime rich in early literacy activities for two and three year olds and their caregivers. When I’m not sharing stories, dancing, or singing in storytime, I enjoy reading (of course!), knitting, swimming, and playing board games. I am so thrilled to share with you my new guest blog series called Tech and Toddlers.

Tech and Toddlers

In the Tech and Toddlers series, I plan to share with you my thoughts on media mentorship in the library and how to put it into practice. I do hope that you will be able to gather ideas and find a way to incorporate media into your own library in a way that fit the needs of your patrons. With more and more parents in our community acquiring tablets and using them with their kids, we felt like there was a need to provide app recommendations and guidance for our patrons. In March of this year, I attended the Growing Wisconsin Readers-New Media Training to learn more about why and how to use apps in a storytime setting.

 
This summer we began to share a new app and tip each week in addition to our traditional storytime books, songs, puppets, fingerplays, and flannels. Following storytime, kids and their caregivers are welcome to try out the app together and/or play with other early literacy activities. For my last storytime of the summer I shared the app Nighty Night! by Fox and Sheep GmbH, which fit in well with my bedtime theme. In this app, a child clicks on a room with the light on to see which animal is still awake. When the child turns off the light, the animal will go to sleep. My tip for parents was to talk with their children about each animal they see and what sound they make, which helps to build vocabulary and phonological awareness.

 


Introducing new media into storytime doesn’t mean you need to abandon traditions. So to conclude my storytime, I decided to bring out the disco ball.

 

discoball

Flickr-Ewan Topping

 

That’s right…a disco ball.

 

The disco ball has been at my library for a long time and my co-workers were happy to share their time-honored technique with me. We hang the disco ball from the ceiling and then turn on our overhead projector.

 

Yes…an overhead projector.

 

They have created a perfect paper template that goes over the projector and lets out just the right amount of light to create an amazing starry scene. I think this is a perfect example of mixing something new with something traditional to create an incredible final storytime of the semester. I had the kids find their grown-ups before we dimmed the lights and sang “Twinkle, Twinkle” under the stars.

 
This fall we are planning to be even more intentional with apps and the play session that follows storytime. I can’t wait to share it with you!

 

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