Mixed Age Story Time

Mixed Age Story Time

Location: indoor or outdoor, story time can happen anywhere of your choosing

Materials: picture book of your choice, optional: puppets, felt pieces, music

If you have a wide range of ages in your program, story time can feel like a new challenge. What's appropriate for your 4-year-olds is not necessarily what's appropriate for your 2-year-olds. Is it possible to reach everyone?Here are some tips for setting yourself up for success:

  1. Make it optional. Encourage your little ones to join, but don't force them. Keep a few other play options open during story time so that your toddlers can walk away when they're done.
  2. Let it grow. This builds on the previous tip, and encourages further flexibility in how you think about story time. You don't need to start an "official" story time every time. Some story times start organically, just by a child requesting a book to be read. If you sit down with one or two eager children, that can attract others to join in.
  3. Make it interactive. Incorporate movement, singing, and call and response, so your kids stay engaged in the story you're sharing.
  4. Rethink the set up. Story time doesn't have to be seated, you can invite children to stand up, lie down, sit in a chair, etc. based on your environment, time of day, and how everyone is feeling. If everyone is sitting in a circle you might consider making it a really big circle to give everyone enough room for their bodies to move and wiggle without bothering each other.
  5. Try a story and meal time combo. Snack can provide the perfect opportunity for story time, especially with your toddlers. Once everyone is settled into their chairs you can read aloud and show pictures. This is a great way to prime your kids for post-snack activities.

What We're Learning:

  • early literacy skills
  • self-regulation and attention skills
  • vocabulary development