Earlier this week, I was Rockin’ and Readin’ at the Carroll Valley Library branch in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

The library invited me to lead a session during toddler and preschool story time, and we had a blast!

Today, I’m sharing a few ways I turned a typical holiday sing-a-long into an interactive, goal-oriented session for the children and their family members.

See which ones would work for your clients and students!

Sign Language – Prompt children to sign along with the songs. We did the signs for “antlers,” “nose” and “glows” while we sang “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” And, the sign for “snow” as we sang “Let It Snow.”

Props/Manipulatives – I always love to bring in hand held items for sensory stimulation and to give children something to hold onto. Encourage children to move the parachute while singing “Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah.” During the upbeat rhythmic part of the song, bounce the parachute quickly; during the slower part, move it up and down slowly to match the tempo.

Instruments…with directions – Children can choose an instrument and are given instructions to follow during the songs. For example, I added a freeze portion to the song “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.” And for “Frosty the Snowman,” children were instructed to listen closely and raise their instrument high in the air every time we sang “Frosty.”

Add a Book – It wouldn’t be Rockin’ and Readin’ at the Library if we didn’t have a singable story added to the mix. For this session, I brought in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by Jane Cabrera (she’s got other great singable story books as well). Her adaptation of this familiar song is adorable, and lends itself to a music session perfectly. For example, there are drumming dogs and a party in a pear tree!

These few additions turned a regular ol’ sing-a-long into an interactive session that gave the children the chance to practice developmental skills (i.e. moving the parachute with the group to practice social skills; and listening for cues and following direction to work on impulse control and attention skills.)

I love Rockin’ and Readin’ at the Library and will be back at the Carroll Valley Library in Fairfield, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, January 4th from 10:00-10:30am for Baby Story Time!