Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tales and Tunes Storytime

Our guest blogger today is Amanda Moss Struckmeyer, a YSS member from the Middleton Public Library.
I am not a natural musician.  I play very basic banjo (just a few chords) and I like to sing, but I’m not great at it.  Mainly I like to make noise.  Recently, though, I’ve been bringing my banjo to the library to play for our new Tales and Tunes storytime.      
With music’s natural connection to early literacy in mind, we developed Tales and Tunes in hopes of offering our young patrons a chance to dance, sing, move, and explore music as a group.  We offered Tales and Tunes originally during a storytime break to find out whether patrons would enjoy a music-based program.  We had a very enthusiastic response; we advertised the program for ages 2 and up, and over 70 patrons attended.  We’re currently working Tales and Tunes in to our regular storytime rotation! 
Tips for starting out:
·         Kids love props for dancing and movement!  Scarves, egg shakers, rhythm sticks, and bean bags are fabulous, but lengths of crepe paper streamers or ribbons, plastic containers with a few tablespoons of dry beans inside, or even two hands (for clapping) work just as well. 
·         Select songs that appeal to you!  Chances are, if you’re excited about singing and dancing, the kids will be, too.  
·         Choose books that have an easy connection to music or chanting.  Look for short, rhyming refrains that can be chanted or sung as a group.
·         Encourage adults to participate!  Offer them bean bags, compliment them on their dance moves, and incorporate partner activities, such as a bean bag toss, to get adults on their feet and interacting with their children. 
·         If you play an instrument- even just a little bit- play a song or two!  A storytime audience is very forgiving, and you’ll likely feel like a rock star before the program is over. 
Sample Program Outline:
Welcome Song (with banjo accompaniment): “I’m in the Mood for Singing”
Old Favorite (with banjo accompaniment): “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”
Book: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
Bean Bag Songs (on CD, with bean bags): “Bean Bag Rock” from Kimbo’s Bean Bag Activities & Coordination Skills, “Beanie Bag Dance” by Greg & Steve
Book: Dr. Seuss’s ABC (sung to the tune of the alphabet song)
Egg Shaker Songs (on CD, with egg shakers): “I Know a Chicken” by Laurie Berkner, “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles
Song (on CD): “The Airplane Song” by Laurie Berkner (we had children “fly” past the egg shaker bag and drop their eggs off before beginning this song)
Book: Dancing Feet by Craig Lindsey
Rhythm Stick Song (on CD, with rhythm sticks): “Mahna Mahna” by Cake
Scarf Song (sung, with scarves): Wind, O Wind
Ending Song: “Goodbye” by Stacy Buehler
Hand stamps and good-byes



GrandmaGippy said...

I have seen similar "ideas" posted and think it would be great fun! I would wonder how to incorporate it into my current storytime schedule, since I am "the" Youth Service person and I have storytimes 4 days a week. I thought perhaps to make the 4th week of the month "movement and music day" with 1 book & mostly singing and moving. Still mulling it over.

Marge Loch-Wouters said...

I think that's a great solution. Incorporate these fun, out-of-the-storytime-box ideas into your regularly scheduled storytimes and add fun and refreshing ideas like Toddler Drive, Stuffed Animal Sleepovers; mini-Mad-Scientist hands on labs etc!

Megan said...

Could I find the tune and lyrics for "Wind, O Wind" somewhere online? Thanks!"