By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Storytime has never been anything but fun for kids visiting the Medfield Public Library. While COVID-19 has moved all of the Medfield Public Library’s programs to a virtual format, it hasn’t stopped kids and librarians from having fun during storytime sessions.
On Thursday, March 4, the Medfield Public Library hosted its weekly Rhyme Time Storytime over Zoom. After logging on with the help of their parents, kids were immediately greeted by Medfield Children’s Librarian Bernadette Foley. Each child joined the session with a smile on their face as they settled in for the program.
Foley launched to some familiar tunes and rhymes, including the “Hello Friends” and “If You're Happy and You Know It.” Foley used a stuffed horse to animate movements to go along with each of the songs. The kids in the audience giggled as they watched the stuffed horse stamping its hooves to the song. After finishing a few songs, Foley read "Maisy’s First Colors" by Lucy Cousins, the first book of the session. The book highlights the colors of popular picnic foods that Maisy and her friends eat.
Foley had attendees grab their favorite stuffed animals for a unique rendition of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Foley brought out a pig stuffed animal, perfectly fitting for the song. Before starting the tune, Foley took the time to identify all of the different animals in the audience and what sounds they would make on the farm. “We’re going to sing about your unicorn on the farm! We’re going to sing 'sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!'” exclaimed Foley. Other animals on the farm included a sheep, a pig, a dog, and an owl.
Following the animal theme, Foley then read "Moo, Baa, La La La" by Sandra Boynton. The story helped the kids review all of the sounds animals make - though there wasn’t a unicorn in this book. Foley had the kids say anunciate favorite animal sounds to add to the story. One child unmuted his microphone to add a “woof woof,” while another added “hoot hoot,” to the repertoire of animal noises.
To end Rhyme Time Storytime, the kids and Foley sang an exciting version of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Parents joined their children during the song, following the hand movements Foley did. “The people on the bus go bumpity, bumpity bump, bumpity, bumpity, bump,” sang Foley as parents moved their legs to simulate the movement of being jostled on the bus. Though they were muted on Zoom, the kids' delight was apparent in their joyous grins caught on camera.
While nothing can beat the excitement and energy of in-person storytime, Medfield’s Rhyme Time Storytime comes pretty close. With fun books and familiar songs, every kid left the session elated.
Virtual Rhyme Time Storytime, which is appropriate for children ages 0-3, will recur on Thursdays at 10 a.m. throughout the month of March.