Many parents and caregivers are not aware of the planning and preparation it takes to present a 30 minute Story Time here at the Library. The planning process begins with choosing a theme for each week, particularly one that would be of interest to a Toddler or Preschool child. Examples of themes often used are Farm, Pond or Jungle Animals, Bedtime, Bath Time, Pets, Monsters, Dinosaurs and Transportation as well as concept themes such as Colors, Counting, Opposites and Shapes. Age appropriate books that are entertaining to small children are then selected, action rhymes are prepared to encourage enjoyment of the rhythm of language, a variety of visual aids are selected to keep a child’s interest during the sessions and songs for dancing or singing are added because very young children are not expected to sit still and listen for 30 minute intervals.
Dexter District Library also has a wide variety of programming materials for Story Times. There are over 300 interactive, pop-up and lift-the-flap books in our Professional Collection and our Story Time cupboards hold a huge collection of hand puppets, finger puppets, story telling kits, literacy bags, flannel board pieces, rhythm sticks and other materials that encourage the love of reading. The Friends of the Dexter District Library have also purchased several popular children’s books in big book format to add to the Professional Collection and an easel to hold the books, making it easier to read and show during Story Times. This collection has become very useful when children need to sit and listen to a book for a longer period of time.
Attendance at Story Times is often a child’s first introduction to the many services offered by the Dexter District Library. When the program is geared to their interests with the knowledge of what is developmentally appropriate for their age group, the Library has the opportunity to create life-long readers and Library users in the Dexter Community. It is with this knowledge in mind, that Story Times are carefully planned and implemented to introduce the entertaining side of literature to young children.