Storytime at Home: Adventure!

Posted about 2 months ago by Sarah Fenninger
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Welcome to the Storytime at Home series! Every other week, we share a list of book options tied to a kid-approved theme, a craft you can set up to go along with the theme, songs/rhymes you can do during storytime, and additional enrichment activities. All books are available at Richmond Public Library, and crafts will involve items you likely have at home already! Our hope is that we can make it easy for you to share stories with your little ones and create a little bit of library magic at home. 

P.S. Love library storytimes? Take a look at all in-library storytime options here. There is a storytime for your child every morning at our various branches!

Okay, now to the fun stuff…

 This week at Richmond Public Library we’re kicking off of our 2024 Summer Reading Program. The theme is Find Your Next Adventure! Read for at least 15 minutes a day and track your progress on an adventure log. When you complete your adventure log you can collect your Adventure Pack filled with all sorts of items to get you prepped for a new outdoor adventure! To celebrate Summer Reading, we are sharing books with stories about adventures of all types – from forest frolics to pirate exploits to underwater antics and everything in between. Reading stories about adventures help teach children about bravery, courage, curiosity, imagination, and more. Moreover, going on adventures with your children gets you moving and promotes motor development in young ones.

The library has many wonderful books about myriad adventures, and we’ve included some of our favorites below. When you visit, you can also search ‘adventure’ in our catalog, or ask a librarian to help you find the perfect one for you and your child.

Reading to your kiddos turns them into confident thinkers. Making books a regular part of your daily routine is a great way to build children’s love of reading and learning. Storytimes also help build excitement around reading to support their literacy development. 

Here are a few book options you can choose from for your adventure-themed storytime.

There are many ways to make reading fun and engaging for your little one! Click the arrow below to see some of our favorite tips for bringing stories to life at home.

Click here to see some of our favorite reading tips
  • Point at the pictures and ask your child what they see. Help build their vocabulary by pointing to pictures and saying the word aloud. 
  • Ask your child questions about the story: What do you think will happen next? How do you think this character is feeling? This character is going to the park; do you remember when we went to the park? 
  • Read with expression and enthusiasm, and use different voices for different characters. 
  • Act out what’s happening in the story.
  • As your child gets older, count objects in a book, discuss the different colors they see, point out shapes in the story, etc. 
  • Snuggle up and be patient. Reading is great bonding time for you and your child. Take your time walking them through the story. If your child wants to turn the page or be finished with reading, that’s OK too. You don’t have to read every word or even every page for reading with your little one to be beneficial for their development. 

We love adding songs and rhymes to our storytimes. This is a great way to practice language with your child and support their physical (motor) development through movement. 

Here are two songs and rhymes you can use for this storytime.

Sing and Move: We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
This is a call and response song you can do with
your child. See here for full lyrics and accompanying movements.

We’re going on a bear hunt (We’re going on a bear hunt)
I’ve got my binoculars (I’ve got my binoculars)
I’m not scared (I’m not scared)
Oh, Look at that tall wavy grass! It’s so tall!
Can’t go over it (Can’t go over it)
Can’t go under it (Can’t go under it)
We’ll have to go through it
Swish swish swish swish swish swish

Repeat with squishy mud, fast river, big cave, etc.

Sing and Move: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

Repeat with:
Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream,
If you see a crocodile, Don’t forget to scream.

Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the Nile,
If you see a camel, Don’t forget to smile.

Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the river,
If you see a polar bear, Don’t forget to shiver.

Row, row, row your boat, Gently to the shore,
If you see a lion there, Don’t forget to roar!

Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the creek,
If you see a little mouse, Don’t forget to squeak.

Adding a craft along with a book is a great way to continue allowing your child to learn, explore, and grow. Crafts are a nice supplement as they encourage motor development, creativity, self-confidence, and more. 

In fact, art and craft activities:

  • Build fine motor skills. Actions such as painting, coloring, gluing, and cutting develop small muscles in small hands and improve coordination skills as children learn to use both hands at the same time. 
  • Support early literacy. When children make art, they learn vocabulary and how to follow directions when getting verbal instructions from parents and caregivers. They also boost their communication skills via talking about their work!
  • Teach early math concepts. Math skills are used frequently in arts and crafts. Kids learn about and recognize different shapes, count and sort art supplies, and even measure out materials. 
  • Encourage creativity. Art helps develop creativity, self-expression, problem-solving, and curiosity. 
  • Boost self-esteem. Doing arts and crafts can give children a sense of achievement and allow them to take pride in their work, which builds confidence. 
  • Offer bonding time. Kids love spending quality time with parents and caregivers, and arts and crafts are a great opportunity for this.

Here is a craft activity you can do along with the adventure theme. 

Materials Needed

  • (2) Toilet paper rolls
  • Construction paper or paint
  • Glue
  • String, twine or yarn
  • Pens, paint, brushes, crayons, markers, stickers
  • Hole punch

Source: Raritan Headwaters

Directions

  • Cut out a piece of construction paper to fit around each toilet paper roll
  • Put glue on the cut-out pieces of construction paper and wrap them around each paper roll
  • Glue or tape the rolls together
  • Have fun decorating your binoculars by wrapping them in yarn, painting, adding stickers, or drawing pictures!
  •  Punch holes in the sides of the rolls and attach yarn or string to become a strap.

The fun doesn’t have to end at books, songs, and a craft. There are many ways to enrich a storytime with additional activities and lessons. Here are a few ideas for you and your child: 

  • Go on your own adventures! Here are a few of our favorite (free!) places to explore in Richmond:
    • Maymont Farms and Gardens
    • James River Park System – Belle Isle, Brown’s Island, and the Potterfield Bridge (as well as many others) are all very kid-friendly!
    • Have you heard about the hidden waterfall in the city behind Patrick Henry School of Arts and Science? It’s amazing!
    • Bryan Park and Three Lakes Nature Center both offer playgrounds, paved walking trails, ponds, and more!
    • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is wonderful for both indoor and outdoor exploring
  • Check out one of the library’s Virginia State Park backpack kits – complete with nature guides, magnifying glasses, maps, parking passes for free parking/entrance to all VA state parks, and more
  • Go camping – whether in your backyard or in the woods, camping with kids can be so fun!
  • Enjoy a riverfront canal cruise while learning Richmond history

We share these Storytime at Home posts twice a month, so be sure to check back soon for more. You can also search “#storytimeathome” to see all past posts.

Have a suggestion for the next theme we cover? Email Sarah at sarah.fenninger@rva.gov and let us know!

Sarah Fenninger

Sarah Fenninger is a lifelong book worm and library lover, and an enthusiastic appreciator of puns, creative outlets, silliness, and FUN. She considers herself lucky to be able to combine all of these things into a role as a Library Associate in Youth Services and Outreach with Richmond Public Library. Sarah loves interactive children's books and singing songs that promote motor development and movement. When she's not at work preparing crafts or reading silly books about dinosaurs in underwear, Sarah can be found at one of Richmond's many local parks/trails and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter, cat, and two chickens.

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