Moving Right Along: Transistions During Storytime

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how to improve my transistions between activities and books at storytime. I've been making a conscious effort to actually have some sort of transition and not just "Okay, now we're going to do __________." I don't write these down. They are things I kind of come up with on the fly but am sharing because it's always interesting (to me, anyway!) to see how other librarians handle this type of thing.

The pets storytime I did during the last week of July had some really great natural opportunites to move from one thing to another, so I thought I'd share how we did that. I'm still mastering this art, so if you have any suggestions or a favorite way to transition between activities, leave a comment!

Our last opening activity that we do every week is "Little Mouse, Little Mouse." So we talked about how mice are pets and then segued into picking out a pet for ourselves with "Goin' to The Pet Store". One of the pets in the activity was also a mouse! The last animal was a snake, so he gave snake kisses to the kids. They also got a chance to try and wear him around their necks. We talked about how you can love your pet and then read Dogs by Emily Gravett which starts with "I love dogs."

The surprise ending of Dogs is that it is being told by a cat! This was a good transition into Nesting Cats. After that we were supposed to sing "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" but Miss Anne forgot. Next we read What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas.That book ends with "what will fat cat have for lunch?" so I had the kids go on a bone hunt for our dog puppet, Oscar. The found bones were put into a dog bowl.

Since we were talking about dogs again, the kids got a little stuffed dog (like a mini-Beanie Baby) and we practiced singing "there's a puppy on my head" to the tune of "Spider on the Floor."  Then we talked about how that was a silly thing to do and read one of my favorite silly books Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? by Melanie Walsh.

Last we did a stretching activty of "Head, Whiskers, Knees, and Tail" and then cooled down with a little "Sleeping Bunnies" action from Kathy Reid-Naiman's Tickles and Tunes CD. We did that 2-3 times to practice and burn off some energy before the kids left the program room.

We had a lot of fun with this storytime! I'm beginning to get the hang of putting together programs for this younger crowd. They are so much fun to do storytime for and it always puts a smile on my face.


  1. Interesting. I always like to see how others do this.

  2. I love verbal transitions and usually think of something to say in between each element as I'm putting my storytime plan in order. I think a good transition looks back at what you just did and gives a little hint as to what's coming next. I think it helps to hold kids' attention in that in-between time, which ultimately helps with management issues because they know what to expect and what to do, and it also models some of that rambly, talk-to-your-kids conversation that we encourage parents and caregivers to engage in.

  3. I think transitions are a vital part of story time! It gives the kids a cue that we are moving on and pulls their focus back.
    I sing "If you wanna hear a story clap your hands" just before every book, changing "clap your hands" to something topical or funny.
    Whatever the transition, I think they help everyone (including me!) get back on track.


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