I’ve started doing Family Storytimes at Naperville Public Library, 95th Street, so I’ll be sharing my planning sheets here on my website for each storytime that I do.

At NPL, our storytimes have weekly themes. Each Children’s Services Librarian and Associate signs up to plan the theme for 1-2 weeks each storytime season. When we plan a theme, everyone doing storytimes that week will draw from the planned theme. The planner will pick out board books and picture books, flannel stories, songs and rhymes, and puppets and then put them in our storytime baskets so everyone has access to the materials. We also have a “Letter of the Week” that usually goes along with the week’s theme (ie, F or S for a Five Senses theme).

We use an overhead visualizer in our big community room to show books and rhyme sheets via a projector. My storytime planning documents include an outline of my planned books, games, songs, flannels, and puppets, as well as a rhyme sheet for each flannel and rhyme I plan to do so everyone can follow along. (I’ll add some photos here later!)

My “hello” and “goodbye” songs will be the same for every storytime. When I worked at Hinsdale Public Library, I often heard two of the Youth Services Librarians, Patty and Alice, using the “Bread and Butter Hello Song” to start their storytimes and I really enjoyed it because it gets the kids settled in and gets them exercising their voices, so I’ve begun using it in my storytimes, as well. My “goodbye” song, “It’s Time to Say Goodbye,” goes to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” so it makes it easy for everyone to jump right in.

You can see a list of my themed storytimes and access my planning sheets here. I started with a planning sheet from my coworker, Nicole, and changed the design and modded it to fit my needs.

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