Friday, April 9, 2010

Using Props in Storytime

Bringing in props is a great way to spice up your storytime. After a while the most enthusiastic blend of puppets, songs, and new fingerplays may seem stale – either to you as the presenter, or the caregiver’s parents. Simple things you take for granted in your household fascinate children (and sometimes parents). Start bringing these into the storytime arena.

Here are some examples of some simple props and what to do with them.

Apples – You can do a storytime about apples, or if you need a broader topic fruit or food. Bring in a variety of colors. You can play games sequencing the apples; placing them in a row thusly – red, red green, red, red, green, red, red… and asking which one comes next. Use other sequences too! Big to small. You can also talk about how some apples are the same and some are diffeent. You can slice them in half and talk about the seeds, and how they make a tree. At the end of storytime, every child can take home one apple. Remember to remind them to wash it before eating!

Records / Record Player – I have a big record collection, and in my kitchen at home I have an old record player. I listen to music when I’m cooking and eating breakfast in the morning. Well the morning before my “Shapes” storytime was happening I was eating breakfast and DUH - “records are circles!” And perfect for musical storytimes. I brought in the record player and a kids record I had. We did the “Hokey Pokey” from it, and talked about how records and CDs are different and the same.

Musical Instruments – I play a few different instruments- and they always make good props (even if you can’t play them well). Whatever you play well can be used with songs you sing. Anything else can be used for comparing and contrasting. Remember to talk about the different sounds! I’ve brought in acoustic guitars, electric guitars and a banjo. Next week I’m bringing in my drum set for my advanced guitar class. I’ll keep them at the library an extra day and then use them for my Toddler Power Hour. We’ll be talking comparing them, talking about the sounds of big drums and small drums (and cymbals!) and every child will get to play them.

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