Storytime at Home: Springtime!

Posted about 2 weeks 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…

Spring has sprung here in Richmond! What better way to usher in a new season than with stories about springtime, flowers, animals, and more? Spring is a great topic to share with your kiddos, and one you can really immerse them in. The library has many wonderful Springtime book options, and we’ve included some of our favorites below. When you visit, you can also search ‘spring’ 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 Spring-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. For example, if you’re reading about Spring animals, make their sounds as you go. 
  • 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 themed storytime.

Sing and Move: Spring Song 
(Sung to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
Do the motions in italics as you are singing

(Hold arms above head in a circle like the sun)
The sun is shining bright,
The sun is shining bright,
Oh how I love the warmth,
The sun is shining bright! 

(Brings hands down and wiggle fingers to mimic rain)
The rain is falling down,
The rain is falling down,
Oh how I love the sound
The rain is falling down!

(Raise arms into the sky and bloom like a flower!)
The flowers start to bloom,
The flowers start to bloom,
Oh how I love the sight
The flowers start to bloom!

Sing: Flutter, Flutter Butterfly
(Sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Tip: Make butterflies with your hands and flutter them around as you sing!

Flutter, flutter, butterfly
Floating in the spring sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky

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 Springtime theme. 

Materials Needed

  • Paper plate OR Cardstock paper
  • Paint
  • Buttons, pom poms, or something similar
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Popsicle stick

Directions

  • Have your child make the petals of the flower with their fingerprints
  • Glue the button or pom pom into the center of the flowers
  • Help your child draw the stems for each flower
  • Optional: Add a butterfly!
    • Fold a piece of cardstock in half and cut out the shape of a butterfly.
    • Have your child decorate the butterfly.
    • Glue or tape a craft stick on one side of the butterfly.
    • Make a cut in the paper plate so that the butterfly and stick moves comfortably through it.
  • If you don’t want to make a butterfly, you could add butterfly or bug stickers to your plate!

Source: The Joy of Sharing

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: 

  • Support your child’s literacy via Springtime activities. Check out our blog post on 5 great ways to practice early literacy this season.
  • Join us in the library for a caterpillar art project, making bird feeders, or a nature walk!
  • Visit Maymont to see trees in bloom, as well as animals. There are new baby goats as of March 2024.
  • Visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens to see a million (yes, really!) flowers in bloom. (They participate in the Museums for All initiative, if applicable.)
  • Garden with your child. Playing in the dirt is a great sensory experience for children, and also supports motor development and curiosity. We have lots of great children’s gardening books available for checkout as well.
    • Did you know: Some of our branches have seed libraries where you can pick up seeds (for free!) to plant at home. You can visit Main Library or the West End branch to pick up your seeds.
  • Go for a walk and collect flowers, rocks, sticks, seed pods, and more. Talk with your child about all the Spring things you see!
  • Make bubble-painted flower art.
  • Do more Spring crafts! Here is a great list with 50 fun ideas.
  • Make Spring treats for your child like the ones below.

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.

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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