I have loved my job as Empress of All Things Tween/Middle-Grade, but I have also loved the occasions I've had to work with younger children (Fancy Nancy Tea Party, Bubble Day, etc.). So, when my new boss encouraged us all to do whatever kind of programming we wanted, regardless of which age group, I happily obliged. I have seen talk of preschool dance parties in librarian circles and have longed to host one of my own. When we took our storytime break in December, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Our storytime attendees are always incredibly grateful when we schedule a few programs for little ones during the breaks in our storytime schedule: January, May, August, and December. So, I scheduled our inaugural preschool dance party for a Friday morning in December and started planning.
Our dance party was exactly what it sounded like: one hour of shaking our booties to the beat. We started with a warm-up and I led the attendees through some basic stretches and then we got down to business. I tried to keep a good ratio of free dancing songs (dance any way you like) to structured dancing (songs that tell you what moves to make). We also mixed it up with a few shaker songs and a few dances with scarves. I ended up having to skip quite a few songs as the time flew by, even though I'd programmed my CD to exactly one hour. I did have to stop and explain some dance moves to kids between songs, and, of course, pass out and collect props like the shakers and scarves. We also provided a table with bottled water at the back of the room to keep everyone hydrated.
How did it go? It was a lot of fun! The kids had so much energy and they really got into the dancing. They, of course, loved the shaker songs, and I think it was a nice change of pace during the hour. My biggest complaint is that the heating/cooling system in our program room does not function well, so I was a sweaty mess by the end of the program, but, as long as the kids are having a good time, that's fine by me. We got a lot of compliments as parents left the program, so I think it was a success. I'll be hosting another in the spring!