Where to start?
The beginning is good. But perhaps the end is better. How will you wrap up your time with the littles? How will you wish them well and say, “Until next time!!”
Having an opening and closing routine truly signals the start and finish of your time together at storytime. When you sit at your spot and greet the crowd, they take the cue that something is about to begin. By what is it about a closing routine that makes it special?
After reading your books, counting your flannels, and doing your fingerplays together – having a closing routine with several steps signals that the special time is wrapping up. It is an opportunity to recap the fun from the day’s program and to reinforce any announcements from the start of storytime.
As an example, when my program starts to wind down, we all sing Ran Sam Sam together. The parents and the kids really get into it. I start it with, “Can you all do this?” and roll my hands. There are gasps and laughs because everyone knows what is coming. Then I ask, “What about this?” and wiggle my fingers under my chin. More laughing and lots of wiggling. And finally, I say, “Let me see you do this!” and I raise my hands in the air. Everyone does it and then we launch into the song and we clap for ourselves afterwards.
The next signal is the visit from my mascot puppet, Chick.
He greets the kids, talks about the weather or reminds folks of special announcements, and then throws kisses to the room. Everyone waves and says, “Bye, Chick!” when he leaves.
The final piece is to get everyone up so we can all do Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear together.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, show me your shoe,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, I love you.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, climb up the stairs,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, brush your hair.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, wave “good-bye!”
Not only does this rhyme end with waving “good-bye!” everyone is standing!! That makes for a quick exit for most families.
A closing routine that is gentle and fun allows for a smooth transition out of the program. No one wants to be unceremoniously dumped outside of the room – a waving, smiling, “See you next time!” exit is so much nicer.
So, pick your favorite song – the one you love to sing with kids, the one they have fun with, the one that makes everyone happy – choose that as your closing song and leave on a happy note!
Thank you! Good Night!