So today, let’s visit my current specialty (in that it’s the program I do most often at this job), story time for two year olds. We call it Tales for Twos, and you can too (it’s not like we invented it)!
The main thing I notice about two year olds (as opposed to their younger or older selves), is that they have discovered shyness in a big way. And quietness. So sometimes story time with twos is very quiet at first (not necessarily, and usually not for the whole time, but they often take some warming up to get participatory). So let the parents know that they really have to participate, or even more than usual, you may be singing all by yourself, which is a little lonely!
As always, good opening and closing songs or rhymes that you repeat every week are necessary items on your program, my regular song is something I learned at my last library, and I’m not familiar with it anywhere online, but you can find lots of other good ones on youtube, or you can make one up! A colleague of mine at my first library made this opening rhyme up:
Touch the sky,
Touch the ground,
Very simple and you can do actions as big or as small as you like!
As to a story time format, my twos ones usually go like this:
Name tag song (where we hand out name tags, since our program is pre-registered)
Short, interesting book
Noisy, active song
Quieter song or rhyme
Sometimes another book here
Then a very simple craft, usually colouring with stickers or something
Then some parachute time, or sometimes a simple obstacle course
Then our goodbye song.
It is, of course, open to change and sometimes we only read one book because they’re so crazy, and sometimes we read four, or have two or three and a flannel board (because I’m kind of a flannel board diva–not making them, but telling stories with them).
A couple of good themes (with books and some songs or rhymes):
Things that Go
Byron Barton, My Car and My Bus
Babs Bell, Sputter, Sputter, Sput
Jane Cabrera, The Wheels on the Bus
Songs/rhymes: there are various I’m a Little Pickup Truck, I’m a Train, etc. songs and rhymes out there, but I’ve never found any that work really well with my Twos. The best I’ve used is “This Little Train” from SurLaLune Storytime’s Train theme, but even it didn’t work too well. My favourite for this theme, other than the Wheels on the Bus, is to sing “If you’re a car/truck/train and you know it” (honk, stop, go, get a wash, etc.)–all my Twos seem to know If You’re Happy and You Know It, so we sing variations on that a lot.
Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Denise Fleming, In the Tall, Tall Grass
Petr Horacek, Butterfly, Butterfly: a Book of Colors
Songs and rhymes: Eeensy, Weensey Spider, the Ants Go Marching, Little Miss Muffet