Especially in smaller towns, with no YMCA or other places for indoor gross-motor exploration by toddlers, adding in some time for playing to a toddler/preschool storytime makes a lot of sense. Two relatively new IFLS librarians are drawing on their early-childhood backgrounds to do just that.
In Balsam Lake, Michele, a retired kindergarten and first grade teacher, definitely sees the need for kids to have a chance to move their bodies, so her preschool storytimes start with some organized play time. She says with that addition, by the time the story part rolls around, kids are better able to pay attention.
Tunnel Explorer in Bloomer
In Bloomer, Kathy says:
"Toddler storytime is about half an hour, I sing and read short interactive books and songs for 10-20 minutes depending on the day and the rest of the time is playtime! Last spring we had a few boys who were rough and tumble so I wanted to add some large muscle to our storytime. I got the tunnel, sensory balls, foam blocks a group of board books, and we got a new rug that I also use for large motor! I asked the Friends for donation money to amp up our toddler storytime to keep social time more about social and less about behavior control."