What makes a successful story time? Is it when children pay attention to the stories I read? Is it when they laugh at all the right places? Is it when they stand up and sing and clap along with me? It’s all of the above and more!!
I take great care when I plan story times. Most of the time I present preschool story time for the 3-5 year olds. I choose three or more picture books plus flannel stories, finger plays, and songs. I usually have a theme for each story time. I practice reading each book several times and try to memorize the flannel stories beforehand.
I can tell right away if the “mood” in the story time room feels right. The kids are looking at me and smiling. They are expecting a good time and they are ready to “play” along with me. The magic happens when they repeat the refrain from a picture book and when they all stand up and shake their sillies out with me. Parents even get in on the act. Many times they are dancing with egg shakers and they seem to be having even more fun than their kids.
When all of these elements come together, I can feel “happy endorphins” coursing through my body. The tone of the whole day is set when story time goes well. I wave goodbye to smiling children. They pet my story time puppet Daisy and give her hugs. I close up the story time door and anxiously await my next opportunity to feel the magic of story time. I love my job!!