Author Archives: Soraya Silverman-Montano

Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Snacks in Storytime

Here’s our newest Lightning Round question! 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 this week which we’ve had a lot of responses for so this one’s a tid bit longer than most:

 

lighnting_round

 

The Question:

 

“What is your opinion on snacks as a regular part of storytime? I’ve seen mixed reviews/policy on this.”

 

The Answers: Nope! (And we had a lot of nos but we’ve limited it to four responses.)

 

From Sue J.:

 

As soon as a snack is opened, or opening, I have lost the crowd. All heads turn to the offending noisy wrapper. I say no to snacks….along the lines of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”….I think it opens far too many cans of worms with allergies, sharing, messes etc.

 

From Lisa M.:

 

No snacks! We don’t even let kids/parents bring their own snacks in for story time. Story time (and all library programs) should be for EVERYONE. There are a lot of allergies and different food lifestyles out there and we just can’t accommodate them. By allowing in or providing food, you are excluding these people. We do have a designated eating area in our library and if people need a snack, they are welcome to visit this area before or after our programs.

 

From Eve P.:

 

Regarding snacks as a regular part of storytime, I say no! There are so many children with food allergies – eggs, wheat, rice, gluten, nuts, milk – that it is very difficult to address everyone’s allergies safely. Also, mixing food with books sets a bad example. I don’t want my patrons to think it is OK to handle a book while eating. Books are food for the mind – that’s food enough for me!

 

From Katya S.:

 

In my large library system, we don’t allow food outside of designated areas, so food at storytime isn’t an option. We have so many different potential allergies and dietary needs that feeding kids is messy and impractical for us. I occasionally have food in programs but really only for children over 9. I also lavish the teens with candy.

 

The Answers: Sometimes! (And we had a few in-betweens but we’ve limited it to four responses.)

 

From Nancy M.:

 

Personally, I prefer a craft to snacks. I always worry about leaving a child without because of allergies or family food policies. The only time I have given snacks is when I did our “bedtime” storytime as their bedtime snack and then it was just a very small treat–a few pretzel sticks or a pack of fruit gummies. However, I work in a middle class suburb. If I worked in a library serving a less affluent community, I’d consider providing healthy snacks with grant monies or community donations.

 

From Tess P. (@tess1144, www.inclusiveearlyliteracy.wordpress.com):

 

First, let me say, I love food. But snacks as a regular part of storytime, no, I am not into that mess thanks! But…for special occasion programs, like for instance the Caldecott Picture Book Party or Shamrock Shenanigans or Winter Whimsy or Spring has Sprung Storytimes, I do like to include a cookie decorating station as one of the activities that take place after the stories and songs. We always have at least one craft or art activity going on concurrently so even kids who can’t do the cookie activity will have something fun to do at another station.

 

From Ann S.:

 

I don’t serve snacks on a regular basis during story time because we have a policy that only allows prepackaged foods to be served. We also have several children with food allergies that regularly attend our story times. If parents want to bring a snack for their child to eat that is fine as long as it doesn’t contain nuts, the child sits at one of our tables to eat it, the drink is in a lidded container and no food or drink is near our computers. We allow this because we don’t know if a child is diabetic and required to eat at regular intervals. I have also found that a hungry toddler is a cranky toddler so am more than willing to allow parents to give their little ones something to eat.

 

From Natalie K. (www.talesfromthenerdy.wordpress.com):

 

We don’t have snacks in our regular storytime programs. A traditional storytime for us includes books, flannel stories, songs, a movie, and a craft for them to take home. We have created a Lunch Buddies program for children ages 3-5. The children bring their lunch and we provide them with snacks and drinks. We run a program before they eat and then enjoy quiet time together as they have lunch.

 

The Answers: Yes!

 

From Karen H.:

 

We allow snacks during storytime but the parents provide it for their own kids. I do baby storytime so its not too much trouble. 🙂

 

From Angela R. (@annavalley):

 

We’ve had great success with our “Milk & Cookies” storytime. We offer a peanut-free cookie, milk, and juice (for the lactose intolerant children). This is after storytime has done, and it gives parents & kids a time to chat & play. We also put toys out at this time. When we stopped offering the milk & cookies, people stopped coming, so we re-instated it. Food is a big thing around here, and so we continue. What works best for your community is the way to go.

 

Thanks for all the great responses everyone! Do you have any of your own? We’d love to hear about them in the comments and I’ll post some of the other awesome answers we got that we couldn’t feature on the post!

Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Child Development Literature

Here’s our newest Lightning Round question! 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 this week:

 

lighnting_round

 

The Question:

 

“Can you recommend any books on child development that youth services librarians should put on their ‘to read’ lists? Thank you for being such an awesome group!”

 

The Answers:

 

From Ingrid A. (https://magpielibrarian.wordpress.com/):

 

I like Young at Art: Teaching Toddlers Self-Expression, Problem-Solving Skills, and an Appreciation for Art Paperback by Susan Striker. Her tone is a little harsh sometimes, but I learned everything I know about process-oriented art in this book.

 

From Danielle Z. (@LibrarianDani):

 

“A Moving Child is a Learning Child: How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think by Gill Connell. I name drop this book all the time! I have learned so much about how children learn through movement and play and what they’re actually doing when they’re trying to jump up and hang from the light fixtures (no, not ruin storytime…learn!)

 

From Mary K. (@daisycakes):

 

My favorites:
Bright from the Start by Dr. Jill Stamm
Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina
Reading Magic by Mem Fox (the book that ignited my passion for early literacy)

 

Thanks for all the great responses everyone! Do you have any of your own? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Opening Songs for Baby, Toddler and PreK Storytime

Here’s our newest Lightning Round question! 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 this week:

 

lighnting_round

 

The Question:

 

“”What are good songs or chants for hello and goodbye songs for the following age groups:
Lapsit – 2 months to 18 months
Toddler Time – 18 months to 3 years
Story Hour – 3 years to 5 years”

 

The Answers:

 

From Michelle M. (@mmlibrarian):

 

My song choices are for Lapsit and Toddler Time: Hello Everyone
 
Hello Everyone, and how are you? How are you? How are you? (wave baby’s hand)
Hello everyone and how are you? How are you today?
I am fine, I am fine and I hope that you are too (point to self and then point to child).

 

From Soraya S. (@vivalosbooks):

 
I mostly do all age, family storytimes but I think these would work for 3-5 for sure and probably toddler as well:
 
Hello Song in Sign Language
I learned this from Jbrary and love it! Here’s the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLcw3Y8sV0xpuV8woqMSnY2MpjuYfPERja&v=tKCGF2hvq3I
Hello Song
 
And then we do a wake up song with Jim Gill’s Can’t Wait to Celebrate

 

From Jaime C.:

 

For babytime I use three songs, all from Mother Goose on the Loose by Besty Cohent Diamond:
 
Hello Everybody:
Hello everybody yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed (wave baby’s hands)
Hello everybody yes indeed, yes indeed my darling (wave baby’s hands)
 
Clap Clap Clap Your Hands:
Clap, clap, clap your hands, clap your hands together (clap baby’s hands x2)
Stomp, stomp, stomp your feet, stomp your feet together (stomp baby’s feet x2)
Wave, wave, wave your arms, wave your arms together (wave baby’s hands x2)
Nod, nod, nod your head, nod your head together (I normally recommend kind of bobbing with baby x2)
Sway, sway, sway and sway together (sway with baby x2)
 
See My Fingers Dance and Play:
See my fingers dance and play, fingers dance for me today (wiggle baby’s fingers)
See my ten toes dance and play, ten toes dance for me today (wiggle baby’s toes)
 
For toddler time I use two songs and one fingerplay:
 
Shake Your Sillies Out by Jim Gill
These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner
I Wiggle My Fingers Fingerplay:
I wiggle my fingers,
I wiggle my toes,
I wiggle my shoulders,
I wiggle my nose.
Now no more wiggles
Are left in me,
So I can sit as still as can be.
 
Have any songs you use that weren’t listed? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Endangered Animals & Tigers Storytime

This is our first Lightning Round of the month! 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 this week:

 

lighnting_round

 

The Question:

 

“Do you have any book recommendations for an endangered animals storytime for 3 – 6 year olds? Especially ones featuring tigers?”

 

The Answers:

 

From Natasha F.C. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natasha-Forrester-Librarian/201079469997932):

 

Two of my favorite tiger books are It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle and Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner. It’s a Tiger would be great for talking about how people are scared of tigers which can make them more likely to not worry about them, and Augustus and His Smile revels in the natural world, including Augustus taking a swim.

 

It could also be fun to use a book like Actual Size and pick out animals that are endangered (some gorillas, some crocodiles, etc.).

 

From Michelle M. (@mmlibrarian):

 

I like It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle.

 

From Bridget W. (@bridgetrwilson, http://whatisbridgetreading.blogspot.com/):

 

Moon Bear by Barbara Guiberson
Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals by Steve Jenkins
The race to save the Lord God Bird by Phillip Hoose
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins
Roly Poly Pangolin by Anna Dewdney
Little Mist by Angela McAllister (features red pandas, snow leopards, & moon bears)

 

Once a Mouse by Marcia Brown
It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle
Read to Tiger by S. J. Fore
Conejito by Margaret Read MacDonald

 

From Sue J.:

 

Eric Carle’s Panda Bear, Panda Bear, what do you see?

 

Thanks for all the great responses everyone! Do you have any of your own? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Ask a Storytime Ninja: Lightning Round – Mother’s Day/Father’s Day Storytime?

Here’s our next Ask a Storytime Ninja Lightning Round for the month of May! 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 this week:

 

lighnting_round

 

The Question:

 

“Do you do Mother’s Day/Father’s Day storytime themes or is it better to avoid since so many kids may be from single-parent families, raised by grandparents, or have 2 moms/dads? My library serves an urban population so we see more single parents & grandparents raising kids than in suburban branches.”

 

The Answers:

 

From Tess P. (@tess1144, www.inclusiveearlyliteracy.wordpress.com):

 

Great question! My answer: it depends. For holidays like this Mother’s Day, I tend to not make a big deal out of it. If I feel like it, I might read, Mother, Mother I Want Another, Llama, Llama, Red Pajama or Hooray for Fish but that would be it I think and I don’t think I would ever advertise or announce it as a special Mother’s Day storytime. That being said, I read those stories at different times throughout the year too because I like them, not because they feature moms. Also, a whole lot of kids who come to my storytime are with their (wonderful) nannies, and I have several dads and grandparents and one aunt too so I honestly don’t see the need to give the moms any special recognition on this day more than any other day. They should all be commended for getting out the door and down to the library right? Of course we do have a display for people who want to take out the books about Mother’s Day (same goes for Valentines and all the other holidays, religious and secular).

 

From Abby J. (@abbylibrarian, http://www.abbythelibrarian.com):

 

We do not do Mother’s Day/Father’s Day themes, but it may be because we take a programming break in May, so we’d only be able to do Father’s Day and that’s kind of one-sided. Maybe instead of Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, those weeks might be good times to do “Family” or “Love” or similar storytime themes.

 

From Meg S. (@theemegnificent, missmegsstorytime.com):

 

I think you really have to gauge your community–if you see a lot of single parents or grandparents as main caregivers than maybe it is best to avoid it. I typically don’t do Mothers or Father’s Day stuff but was once asked to do a Mother’s Day theme at storytime. In that case (and because I knew most of my regulars) I decided to focus more on families than specifically moms or dads.

 

From Natalie K.:

 

We have programs for both holidays, but I make sure to talk about grandparents, aunts, and uncles in my storytimes. This way, no one feels too left out.

 

From Tabin C.:

 

I do both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and not simply because it’s two less themes I have to make up (yay!). It’s because I have no biological children, but I am a part-time parent. When something happens to a child’s parents, other people step up and step in. I’ve seen Shrek a gazillion times, have watched the most boring children’s sporting events ever, received calls asking, “Can I come over?” (translation: “Mom is making me do chores.”), figured out mission projects, state projects, and even famously enacted a whole house time out in which I screamed, “Everyone is going to their rooms, including me!!!”
 
In other words, I deserve acknowledgement. Matter of fact, I deserve more than that, which is why for Mother’s Day I asked for, and received, a 55 inch Samsung plasma TV. So, I figure a few nice stories like “Little Miss Spider” and “Froggy’s Day with Daddy” is not too much to ask out of the library. (Unless you want to send me a 3-D TV…)

 

Thanks for the responses everyone! Have any of your own? Comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts!