Maybe you don’t need the time-saving convenience of IFLS Storytime Kits. Maybe your Storytimes are all planned months in advance. Maybe you’re a seasoned Storytime veteran, who knows all the good read-aloud books, songs, fingerplays and movement activities for more than 100 Storytime themes by heart.
Maybe, just maybe, you are missing out on some little-known, but amazing, advantages of using Storytime Kits.
I was one of those Storytime librarians - I only used Storytime Kits to save time, when I was overwhelmed by (choose all that apply) SLP, outreach, increased desk hours, new tasks and responsibilities, etc. and still had to plan and present Storytimes. I was unaware of the transformative power of Storytime Kits! Confession time - I’m also one of those rogue Storytime librarians who don’t do puppets. Not at all. Let’s save that discussion for another time, though.
Spring 2015: I realize I might be on leave during June and July. Panic ensues, “what will happen to SLP, to summer Storytimes?” After a fruitful and calming discussion with my Library Director, I ordered a Storytime Kit for each summer Storytime. If I was here, I’d do Storytime; if I wasn’t here, another staff member could do it.
Turns out, I did not go on leave after all, and it was convenient and time-saving to have a Storytime Kit arrive each week. But one week, magic happened. Inside the Families Storytime Kit was the Monkey Face Flannel story, a fun, engaging and heartwarming story. But, seriously, 5 puppets plus flannel board pieces!
You know the end of this story, don’t you? I practiced and practiced, presented the Monkey Face flannel story and it was fun and the kids loved it. I used puppets and flannel board pieces and read from a script - all at the same time! Were fireworks bursting and lightbulbs going on? Yes. Will I become the most awesome puppeteer in the kingdom? Probably not, but I will work on bringing puppets into my Storytimes. And, I definitely will order Storytime Kits, even when I don’t need the convenience, probably one or two each session. Because I know that Storytime Kits not only save time, but will help me expand skills, overcome timidity and create magic.