Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Family Storytime Presentation

This is my presentation as part of a panel, "Storytime Shake-Up," for the 2014 New Jersey Youth Services Forum held on October 1, 2014. A copy will also be available on the New Jersey State Library's Youth Services site.

Linda Meuse
1.  Engage all ages
     Humorous stories and folktales have a wide appeal.
     Book illustrations should be clear and colorful to keep the interest of the little ones.
     Pop-up books and lift-the-flap books will appeal to all ages.
     Don't forget the grown-ups! Draw them in with humor.
2.  Mix it up
      Use different types of storytelling.
      There are many options:
          draw and tell stories
          paper cutting stories
          flannel board stories
          prop stories
          puppet stories
       Keep props simple. Spend time on those that will be used frequently.
       Flannel Friday's Pinterest Pages provides a wealth of storytelling ideas.
3. Make them guess
     Guessing games appeal to all ages - patterns, hidden object, memory, what am I?
     The level of difficulty can be adjusted for various ages.
     Stories and books that involve guessing appeal to all ages.
4. Be flexible
     Have a variety of books suitable for both preschool children and toddlers.
     Ages will vary from program to program.
     Drop or add stories depending on the dynamics of the group.
     Finger puppets work well when the group is young.
     Using visuals when telling a story helps young children to focus.
     Sing songs or play games when the group gets restless.
     Don't worry if you lose little ones while doing a story for older children.
          Follow the longer story with something for the little ones.
          Often the little ones like to emulate the older children and will listen.
5. Make it yours
     Sing if you like to sing.
     Do a craft if you like crafts.
     Pick stories that you enjoy, not because they fit a theme.
     You will learn what works with your group over time.
     Tweak your program to fit your group using formats that work for you.
     Allow for family and sibling dynamics but control the chaos.

Examples of my family storytime programs and of the storytelling materials that I used can be found on this blog. If you have questions please leave a comment. I will reply to your comment. You can also contact me via Twitter - @LMeuse.

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