Just because you can use an iPad in storytime doesn’t always mean you should
I was asked to fill in for some preschool visits last Friday morning (right before hopping on a plane to Midwinter!) As with any storytime, I used the best tools at my disposal for the job at hand. What was the job at hand? Visiting 2 preschools (4 classrooms total), sharing the love of reading with children aged 2-5, and modeling storytelling skills for the teachers.
Take a look at this list of storytelling tools that I used:
- My voice (for singing and talking)
- My hands (for clapping and finergplays)
- My body (for dancing)
- 4 books
- A drum
You may notice that an iPad is not on that list. Why? Because it was not a tool I needed for this particular set of storytimes. You may also notice that shakers, puppets, felt boards, CDs, draw and tell stories, scarves and teddy bears were also not on the list. Why? Because they were not tools that I needed for this particular set of storytimes.
Here are some of the reasons I didn’t use an iPad:
- I knew there weren’t going to be any parents present. Two of the most important reasons to use tablets in storyime are A) to show parents high quality book-based apps (appvisory!) and B) to model how to read WITH their child on the tablet or smart phone and not use it as a babysitter;
- The schools were both Montessori schools, which generally avoid screen time altogether (which I TOTALLY respect; you may recall that my son goes to a Waldorf school, which has a very strong philosophy about screen time for children);
- None of the classrooms had a TV with an HDMI input and I didn’t feel that any of the apps I had would both that fit into my theme (food) and work well hand-held (I usually mirror the apps through a TV or projector);
- Most the groups were so small there wasn’t much point projecting onto a big screen even if they had had a TV;
- I didn’t feel like it.
Here’s what I did:
Settle down song: Wiggle my fingers
- Itsy Bitsy Spider (whole body)
- Farmer Brown had five green apples
- Blow up your balloon, fall down
Book: What’s for lunch?
Book: Pots and Pans
Marching to the drum
Settle down rhyme:
Here’s a little bunny
Book: Very hungry caterpillar
Blow a Kiss