Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 Active Story Time Ideas

Whether you're planning a library story time for 50 or just looking for a fun, active way to enjoy books with your youngster, these ideas will get your mind and your body moving!

YOGA:   (or if you prefer... STRETCHES!)  Namaste Kids is one of many good sites.  Pick a few stretches that relate to your story, or come up with a routine to include at the end of story time to refresh and calm the little one down. We love doing the Lion pose after reading Library Lion.
       AUTHOR WEBSITES:  Our #1 favorite author these days is Mo Willems, with little wonder why.   Elephant and Piggy's Dance Party has to be the best literary-themed jump-up-and-down activity ever.  I let the kids choose dances and have them divide up- half do Piggy's part, half do Elephant's at  Explore your favorite author's websites for other crafts and games.

      MOVEMENT GAMES:  Animal Statues:  use your body like the animal character in the book... now freeze!  You can also have kids use their body to show an emotion a character was feeling.  I've used trees growing, storms, and seasons as topics to get kids thinking about how to express ideas with their bodies, a kind of modern dance.  You can also have kids move like the characters do (think Tortoise and the Hare) to get them involved during or after a story.

       BOOKS THAT BEG FOR ACTION: Lots of books involve kids with more than just text.  Search for "tactile books" that might have raised ink: The Black Book of Color by Menena Cottin and The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.  Herve Tullet's Press Here has you manipulate the book to get to the end of the story; lift-the-flap books, and classics like Pat The Bunny involve hands as well as minds, too.  The books below involve lots of whole-body movement.
  •   The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams.  Shake like a scarecrow with a slightly spooky fall/Halloween theme.
  • Doreen Cronin's Bounce, Stretch, and Wiggle books do just that.
  • Blow A Kiss by Lorinda Bryan Cauley.

SINGING!:   Action Songs (Shake Your Sillies Out, Hokey Pokey, If You’re Happy and You Know It, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Henry Bangs With Hammers) are good ways to break up sitting-spells during story time.  The 782 section of your library has illustrated songs, which engage the voice and hands by page-turning.  Find lots of folk songs and some popular songs there.  The Rainbow Dance is a good one for a crowd, and once you make ribbons, they can be used for years.  (

Keep reading and keep active!

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