So you may have been to a story hour with your kids at the library, community center, church or school. You think it is just someone getting up there in front of the kids and reading books. Well it has become more than that. There are stories, crafts, puppets, songs, dances, and sometimes even snacks. It is a big time. You went. Your kids had fun. You appreciated it.
Then your kids go to school and you are asked to volunteer for stuff. Lots of stuff. Everything from the drop off line and cafeteria, to Spanish and music class. But the one that parents seem to be the most afraid of is “Story Hour”. Perhaps because the “big time” story hours you have attended in the past suddenly seem scary to plan and execute.
Have no fear! It really isn’t that bad. Dare I say it can even be fun. It does take a bit of planning but with a little help from your local librarian, Pinterest and the Dollar Store and you can own that Story Hour! Like a pro!
- Pick a theme
- Go to children’s section of your local library and ask for help finding age appropriate books related to said theme
- Search Pinterest for craft ideas, songs, activities
- Head to the Dollar Store for supplies
- Perform on the big day
It really is that simple. The hardest part is keeping the kids engaged so you have to be animated and keep them involved. Having the help of another adult, librarian, teacher when kids get rowdy is key too. When they start to squirm too much or get out of control, that is your que to get them up and moving or to stop the story hour. I learned the hard way that kids 3-4 yrs old can only hold attention for a max of 15 minutes. As they get older they can sit for longer quietly.
Today I lead Story Hour for my daughters PreK 3yr old Class. 20 three year old kids. Oh my. If you haven’t hugged your teacher you need to EVERY DAY. It is hard but so rewarding. I love connecting with my daughter and meeting her friends.
Here is my October Story Time Plan:
Books: The Busy Little Squirrel, There Once Was a Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, Five Little Pumpkins
Puppets: Sammie the Squirrel and Thomas the Tree. Borrowed from library/teachers resource room.
Songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. A lullabye we sang to Sammie Squirrel to help him sleep for winter.
Dances: “Tree Dances” Stretching our branches out wide, swaying in the wind, shaking the acorns out of the trees, playing in imaginary leaf piles, etc.
Craft: Cheerio Acorn. Printable and Cheerios. Kids put Cheerios on the acorn outline and ate the Cheerios as a reward! CLICK HERE FOR FREE ACORN PRINTABLE
Activity: Gave each kid a real live acorn that they would take outside at play time and leave for the squirrels to eat. “Feeding the Squirrels”.
Story Hour is scheduled for 30 mins but 3yo’s can’t last that long so some of these things were things we did during the Story Hour and some of them were things they did with their teachers later in the day. I even sent them home with an activity in their backpacks. Don’t over think it. Just have fun with it! If you are having fun – they will too!
Even if you decide leading a story hour is not for you, you can certainly do these things at home with your kids just for fun. Remember that your young children learn the most from PLAY.