Do you use props in storytime? I went from using none when I started years ago (my library didn’t own any) to using scarves, shakers, rhythm sticks or the parachute in almost every storytime I do. They are a lot of fun and just generally awesome, but if you need more convincing on why to incorporate props into your own programs, they:
- help kids develop phonemic awareness, i.e. the understanding that words are made up of smaller sounds
- are great for kinesthetic learners
- can help kids build their understanding of concepts (like colors, up/down, quiet/loud)
- can help kids work on self-regulation
- work really well with large crowds, if you have enough props. One year we unexpectedly had 150 people for a preschool Halloween program (we thought we’d have 50 or, at most, 80 people). At the last minute we had to scrap most of the plans we had and did a bunch of stuff with scarves. (Luckily we had a million scarves.)
I’m going to do a short series of posts on my favorite ways to use props in storytimes. (This series has been in my drafts for, oh, 18 months, so it seems like time to finally post them!)
First up: shakers!
Shakers are my favorite and I use them a lot. These are some of the songs and rhymes I use them with, although you can really shake along to any song with a good beat.
- Mama’s Sleeping – This is a HUGE hit and I do it almost every time I use shakers.
- 1, 2 Shake It On Your Shoe – I sometimes use this right after I hand the shakers out as a warm up.
- Shake It Baby, Shake It by Rainbow Songs (album: Oh Baby!) – This is my favorite version of this song.
- Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi – A classic!
- I Know a Chicken, Fruit Salad Salsa and Wimoweh by Laurie Bernker
- Milkshake Song by Anne-Marie Akin (album: Songs for Wiggleworms)
- Stop and Go and Freeze by Greg and Steve
- Shake Your Maraca by Little Groove
For more shaker ideas, check out this Jbrary blog post!