Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Checking out storytime at your local library…and then checking out a few books

Kayla looking through a book at the library after storytime.

I’ve been taking my daughter around to some of the storytimes at local libraries.  They’re all slightly different, but have the same foundation.  They sing toddler friendly songs, and the librarian will read a few books.  Some may do other activities like craft projects, dancing, letting kids look at books, and free play.

So far, Kayla loves going to storytime.  She laughs, looks at the other kids, claps her hands, and tries to do a few of the hand movements with the songs.  She’ll be 22 months old this week, so I think she’s doing pretty good for a kid who just started going.  She’s used to mostly being around kids in our family.  She has one young cousin on my side of a family, and a bunch of young cousins on my husband’s side of the family.  This is the first time she’s been to programs with other little kids around her age.

After storytime, we tend to hang out at the library for awhile.  I let her pick out books and investigate the kid’s area.  The first time we went to storytime, she only wanted to look at books.  She didn’t want to play with the toys or play with the other kids.  Her main focus was sitting down and looking at books.  (Have I mentioned that she loves books?)  The next time, she was a little more open to interacting with the other kids and playing with the toys.  Whew!  I was happy to see her take some time to play with the other kids before focusing on all the books.  I know she’s excited to see the massive amount of books, but I also want her to socialize with other kids around her age.

We attended storytime today, and we left the library with 11 books.  That was pretty good since if it was up to her, we probably would have taken all of them home.  We currently have a stack of books from two different libraries.  And we may end up with a third stack if we attend another storytime this week at a different library.  I am a book lover myself, so I completely understand my daughter’s obsession with books.  What’s not to love?

If you haven’t taken your child to storytime, this is definitely something you should put on your list of things to do.  It is a great way to introduce your child to the library, and a great bonding experience for parent and child.  But make sure you are prepared to join in.  You must have a willingness to sing songs with the storytime group.  Don’t worry though…no one seems to be great singers.  We’re all just there to have fun with our kids.

Do you take your kids to storytime at your local library?  What’s your favorite storytime activity?  What types of things do you think could be added to storytime to make it more fun for young kids? 

How do you feel about storytime play groups set up by parents?  A storytime play group would be arranged by parents, where they can get their kids together one day each week/month to read books, sing songs, do crafts, and play together.  The storytime play group can be at a different house each time, or hosted at a local meeting room.  This is something I have considered starting in my area with other moms with young kids.  Tell me what you think of this type of play group?  Is it something you’d consider doing?


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Fingerplays for Young Kids

A good way to get kids involved in activities is by singing short songs or rhymes that have easy hand movements.  Start out by doing the movements slowly so that the kids can watch to see what you are doing.  Try to get them to copy a few of your movements while all of you sing together.  Some of my favorite songs for fingerplays are:

  • Five Little Monkeys
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Where is Thumbkin

The more excited you are about doing the fingerplay, the more the kids will get excited.  Smile, laugh, and be energetic.  And most of all, have some fun.  There are some variations to these songs, but this is the way I sing them with my daughter and nephew.  If you do a search for these songs on the internet, or listen to them on a CD, they may be slightly different.

Five Little Monkeys

Five little monkeys

(hold up 5 fingers)

Jumping on the bed,

(jump fingers from one hand on the palm of other hand; or hold up 5 fingers and move them around)

One fell off

(hold up one finger)

And bumped his head

(rub head)

The mommy called the doctor

(hold hand to ear like a phone)

And the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

(point and shake finger)

(Continue with four, three, two, and one little monkey jumping on the bed.  End song with the wording below. )

So five little monkeys

(hold up 5 fingers)

Fell fast asleep

(put hands near head and tilt head to side like you’re sleeping)

Thank goodness said mama

Now I can sleep.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout

(put fingertips together and move your hands upward, moving them as if a spider is climbing up)

Down came the rain and washed the spider out

(let your fingers trickle down as though raining)

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

(hold your hands together over your head to make a circle like the sun)

And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

(put fingertips together and move your hands upward, moving them as if a spider is climbing up again)

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

(hold up one finger on each hand)

One named Jake and one named Jill

(wiggle one finger, then wiggle the other finger)

Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill

(put one finger behind your back, then the other finger behind your back)

Come back Jack, Come back Jill

(bring one finger back in front, bring the other finger back in front)

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

(hold up one finger on each hand)

Goodbye Jack, Goodby Jill

(wave one finger side to side, then wave the other finger side to side)

Where is Thumbkin

Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin?

(hold hands behind your back)

Here I am, here I am.

(bring out one hand with thumb up, then the other hand with thumb up)

How are you today, sir?

(bend one thumb as though it is talking to the other thumb)

Very well, okay, sir.

(bend the other thumb as though it is replying to the first thumb)

Run away, run away.

(put one hand behind your back, then put the other hand behind your back)

These fingerplays are super easy for young kids and gets them involved.  If you want to see how the songs are supposed to look, there are videos on youtube.  I will be trying to add videos of how the songs are supposed to be done.  Please be patient while I get this site up and running.  If you host play groups, this is a great way to keep the kids entertained for awhile.  I also do fingerplays with my daughter before bed, before we read books.  I will be adding more fingerplays in the future, so please check back.

What is your favorite fingerplay for young kids?  Please feel free to share your favorite fingerplays with me.

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