Using Instruments in Storytime

It’s been a goal of mine to start using instruments and other manipulatives on a regular basis at my storytimes. For some reason, I’ve always gotten a panicked feeling when thinking about what could go wrong: “What if I don’t have enough instruments for everyone in the group?” “What if a child cries when it’s time to give back the instrument?” “What if a child hits someone else with a rhythm stick?” What if… what if… WHAT IF!?!”.

And then I decided to simply try it out; I would adjust my routine if any of those worries actually happened. It was time to stop letting these instruments gather dust on the shelf, and get them in the hands of children. Here are some of my favorite songs to play while using the following instruments:

Egg Shakers:
Shakin’ Egg Blues – MaryLee (Baby-O!)
I Know a Chicken – Laurie Berkner (The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band)
Shake Your Shakers Slowly – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Goin’ to Kentucky – Carole Peterson (Baloney!)
Milkshake Song – Wiggleworms (Songs for Wiggleworms)
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg – Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael (Rockin’ Red)

Make sure to check out Jbrary’s YouTube channel for songs (and examples!) using egg shakers. Lisa from Libraryland shares an awesome post on the how’s and why’s of using shakers in storytime.

Scarves:
Shake Your Scarves – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)
Scarves Up and Down and Around – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)
Scarves On Your Laps – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)
Circus Parade – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)

Check out Jbrary’s YouTube collection of scarf songs for storytimes. Future Librarian Superhero shares ideas for using scarves in storytimes. Library Quine has a great post on how to use scarves in storytime.

Bells:
Shake Those Bells – Lynn Kleiner (Kids Make Music, Babies Make Music Too!)
Oh Children Ring Your Bells – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Ring Them on the Floor – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Ring Those Bells – Carole Peterson (H.U.M. All Year Long)

Rhythm Sticks:
Tapping on My Sticks – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
I Have a Little Hammer – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Tap Your Sticks – Hap Palmer (Rhythms on Parade)
Stick Dance – Hap Palmer (Rhythms on Parade)

Laptime and Storytime explains how to make your own rhythm sticks if your library doesn’t own any.

Bean Bags:
Bean Bag Shake – Hap Palmer (Rhythms on Parade)
Beanie Bag Dance – Greg and Steve (Kids in Action)
Bean Bag Rock – Georgiana Stewart (Bean Bag Activities & Coordination Skills)
Bean Bag Boogie – Learning Station (Me and My Bean Bag)

Storytime Stuff has a lot of creative ideas for ways to use bean bags in storytime.

Fat Girl Reading has a tons of suggestions on ways to use instruments and interactive movement songs to get your group up and moving. And here’s an awesome handout, called Storytimes that Sizzle, from the Upper Hudson Library System that lists a million song options to try. The ideas are endless! My next goal is to begin using the parachute in storytimes; stay tuned for a post about that!

Police Officer Storytime

 

Officer Buckle and GloriaOnce a year, we are fortunate to have a police officer come to our library and host a storytime. The officer comes dressed in his police uniform and greets the children as they enter the room. His favorite book to read is Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. It’s a little long for the younger audience that we receive, but it’s a book that he feels comfortable with and enjoys, and for the most part the children can stay still for the entire book. Touch a Truck

Once the officer is finished reading his book, we ask the kids to gather outside so that they can see the officer’s police car. It’s important to plan this storytime for a time of year when you’re likely to get nicer weather. You can never be guaranteed good weather, but it’s best to plan this event during warmer months to allow for children to see the police car outdoors.

Here’s a brief overview of the storytime books & activities that we share with the children. We like to plan for 15 minutes of reading and other activities before we hand the mic over to the officer for his book. The kids would love it if the Officer did the entire storytime, but that can be a lot to ask of someone who’s main job doesn’t deal with entertaining children. The other important thing to mention is that our police force is always upfront in saying that they cannot guarantee a police car will be available for the storytime. If there is a need for the squad car, they would be unable to display it for the storytime finale. We avoid any possible issues by not advertising that a police car will be at the storytimes – though, we’ve never been in the position that the car didn’t show up.

Book: Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten HamiltonOfficer

Song: I’m a Police Officer (tune of: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a police officer, here is my star (point to chest)
I help people near and far. (point close, and then point far away)
If you have a problem, call on me. (hold hand up to ear imitating a phone)
And I will be there, one, two, three! (count to three on fingers)

Book: The Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann

Make sure to check out So Tomorrow’s post on having a police officer or firefighter storytime. Falling Flannelboards has information on hosting Celebrity Storytime, which can include community helpers and other popular people around town. The Show Me Librarian had the wonderful and unconventional idea to do a Ballet Storytime, complete with a ballerina! She also shared an adorable Soccer Storytime with a guest appearance by soccer players, cleats and all. You can get more ideas for other stories on community helpers on my Pinterest page. Thanks for stopping by!

Once a year, we are fortunate to have a police officer come to our library and host a storytime. The officer comes dressed in his police uniform and greets the children as they enter the room. His favorite book to read is Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. It’s a little long for the younger audience that we receive, but it’s a book that he feels comfortable with and enjoys, and for the most part the children can stay still for the entire book. Touch a Truck

Once the officer is finished reading his book, we ask the kids to gather outside so that they can see the officer’s police car. It’s important to plan this storytime for a time of year when you’re likely to get nicer weather. You can never be guaranteed good weather, but it’s best to plan this event during warmer months to allow for children to see the police car outdoors.

Here’s a brief overview of the storytime books & activities that we share with the children. We like to plan for 15 minutes of reading and other activities before we hand the mic over to the officer for his book. The kids would love it if the Officer did the entire storytime, but that can be a lot to ask of someone who’s main job doesn’t deal with entertaining children. The other important thing to mention is that our police force is always upfront in saying that they cannot guarantee a police car will be available for the storytime. If there is a need for the squad car, they would be unable to display it for the storytime finale. We avoid any possible issues by not advertising that a police car will be at the storytimes – though, we’ve never been in the position that the car didn’t show up.

Book: Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten HamiltonOfficer

Song: I’m a Police Officer (tune of: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a police officer, here is my star (point to chest)
I help people near and far. (point close, and then point far away)
If you have a problem, call on me. (hold hand up to ear imitating a phone)
And I will be there, one, two, three! (count to three on fingers)

Book: The Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann

Make sure to check out So Tomorrow’s post on having a police officer or firefighter storytime. Falling Flannelboards has information on hosting Celebrity Storytime, which can include community helpers and other popular people around town. The Show Me Librarian had the wonderful and unconventional idea to do a Ballet Storytime, complete with a ballerina! She also shared an adorable Soccer Storytime with a guest appearance by soccer players, cleats and all. You can get more ideas for other stories on community helpers on my Pinterest page. Thanks for stopping by!