Hello! I’m Wally, the Children’s Librarian here at the Medford Library. It is so great to find you here, reading about all the great services we have to offer through the Jackson County Library Services webpage! We will be sharing with you all sorts of wonderful things you can do with your kids, friends and family in the comfort of your own home and beyond as we work out way towards full service in the library again!

What I love about storytime are all the elements that go into it that make it a fun, exciting, and memorable weekly destination. Until we can get together again here at the library, I want to share with you a few tips, tricks,and ideas that you can use at home to help you to put together a super wonderful storytime all on your own!

A good storytime revolves around telling great tales. There are two easy ways to bring books into your home. One option is placing books on hold and picking them up at your local branch library! Explore our online catalog and pick out some old favorites and grab some new titles, too. Need ideas on what to choose? We provide authors and titles we think you might like in our Staff Picks section. Plus, you can share stories electronically on your favorite device via Hoopla. One great source of picture book fun is the Weston Woods Collection. They certainly know how to bring books to life. So many picture book possibilities, a super big win for everybody!

Another great part of storytime is sharing new music. I love using world music for movement activities, messing about with instruments and dance. I also love singing popular and traditional children’s songs with you. I found that Hoopla is a great source of downloadable world and children’s music of all kinds. From Raffi to Disney, from the Chieftains to Ladysmith Black Mambazo and beyond. Download a few albums, gather together simple percussion instruments, print off some lyrics from your favorite website, and then get ready to sing and dance! It’s fun and magical, sharing storytime songs with your kids everywhere and anywhere you go!

Bubbles! A storytime favorite! Just put together a dollop of dish soap, a bit of corn syrup or glycerin, and water into a large shallow bowl. You can use six-pack rings, twisted floral wire, cans with tops and bottoms removed, almost anything to blow bubbles with! No special bubble machine needed!

Lastly, arts and crafts are so much fun when our stories are done. An easy and inexpensive option for you might be open ended art. Many of the materials needed you’ll find around the house. Gather up everyday art supplies like crayons, paper, and paint, then pull together recycled goods like scrap fabric, oatmeal containers, cardboard, lids, and cans to make interesting shapes, surfaces, or platforms to work off of. You can use vegetables for brushes, beans, pasta and food dyes for texture and color, and in the end concoct beautiful artistic creations without paying for expensive kits. Take a look online for ideas and explore the many ways you and the kids can play and make art with household materials and supplies.

Sharing storytime together at the library is a lot of fun, but in the meantime enjoy your storytime experiences together at home with ideas and materials made available to you through Jackson County Library Services.