Fun with Learning Blog

Preparing for Storytime at the Library

Preparing for Storytime at the LibraryI’m about to do Storytime at my local library. Because I’ve been remiss in using my Fun with Learning blog regularly (partly on account of writing three posts a week for The Book Chook and other articles) I’ve decided to use it to document my adventures with Storytime. Hopefully, this may be useful to someone else charged with the delightful task of sharing stories with kids and enthusing them about reading and other literacy-related activities.

My preparation so far is to gather some books that I eagerly want to share with the kids, as well as search for rhymes, songs and finger plays I can use. I’ve been thinking about how I want to do the sessions, and will include my thinking below, even though I’m sure it will change as I go along.

Right now, I have no idea how many kids will arrive, nor what ages they will be, aside from under school age. I expect word will slowly get out to the local community that Storytime is on at the public library. I’ll be thrilled if any children arrive, enjoy the stories and participate. Luckily, I’ve been assured joyful noise isn’t a problem. Yippee!

Crafts are not my forte, but drama is. My general plan is to have around three books, a game or two, some kind of activity to do with at least one book e.g. acting out a part, innovating on the the text, singing a song, playing a game. I plan to plumb my inner goofiness and take advantage of any opportunities to link the stories to children’s everyday lives and sense of fun. I want to make the story chair special in some way.

I have set a trial period of one month doing Storytime. I think it’s important both for me, and for the Library staff and parents to evaluate how the sessions go.

So far, these are the books in my basket. I plan to add to the list soon. As well as my own books,  I will borrow more picture books from the library. The library has several big books, some instruments, puppets and toys available for Storytime sessions.


Hattie and the Fox: A retired librarian friend sent me an urgent text to make sure I included this wonderful story by Mem Fox in my plans for Storytime. It’s simple but allows many many opportunities for interaction and then re-telling with all our dramatic skills.

Baby Beats: Here’s my review at The Book Chook. I’m not sure of the exact age of my young audience, and probably will never know until they turn up. If there’s a week with mostly under 3’s, I think this would make a perfect choice.

Too Many Elephants in this House: Being chosen for National Simultaneous Storytime 2014 should be enough of a recommendation for anyone, but if you want to find out more, read my review at The Book Chook. I plan to read this book after kids have encountered it during NSS as I know the joy of revisiting a wonderful story!

The Swap: Here’s my review at The Book Chook. There’s lots of humour in this one and it’s perfect for children with younger siblings. I like the idea of the double pages with no words and must remember to give kids plenty of time to reflect and view.

King Pig: Here’s my review at The Book Chook. I’m hoping this won’t be too old for the pre-school set, because it’s such a great story. Is it okay to have a book for the reader???

Shh! We Have a Plan: I’m a Chris Haughton fan and hope to enthuse my young audience to join me. The text is minimal but the humour plentiful in this charming picture book for 3-5s. I’m hoping to have some kids eager to act each scene out. My review will be published July 2014 at The Book Chook.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: This is a classic and Michael Rosen turned it into a picture book. I anticipate younger children will love to join in with the sound words, while older pre-schoolers will help me tell the tale. It’s great for adding actions too.

Chooky-Doodle-Doo: I’ve chosen this one for the younger set as it has lots of counting and rhyming fun. It’s only just arrived Chez Chook and I’m eager to review it.

That is NOT a Good Idea! : I love books with humour and dramatic tension. Might need to sort out whether kids understand “key ingredient” before we read. My mini review at The Book Chook.

Jeremy: I need to remember that even pre-schoolers can prefer non-fiction in picture books! Jeremy is a lovely story about a kookaburra and perfect for including the song, Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. Expect my review soonish.

Little Owl: With lots of repetition and opportunities for joining in, I’m keen to see how a pre-school audience responds to this picture book.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson. Here’s my review. This is a classic and I hope to read it on or soon after Mother’s Day.

Chill by Carol Thompson. Here’s my review. Kids need to know coping strategies for when they feel like exploding. This is a fun book with helpful messages.

Birdsong by Ellie Sandall. Here’s my review. More birds? Absolutely!

These are just a few of the books I want to share with kids to help excite them about reading. I will add more when I have time. Do you have any recommendations for great read-alouds you’ve shared with kids? Any favourite resources to share?

Some Resources I Hope to Use

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Useful Resources for Library Storytime

Here is a list of resources I've found useful for story sessions in the library, from Susan @

Jan 24, 2017 - - 0
10 of the best movement and action songs!

Need a perfect solution to help children get their energy or wiggles out? These are my tried and true best movement and action songs for children!

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Storytime with Ms Kelly
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Brown Bear Printables

Fun children's learning activities, including printable templates, for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school kids.


Worms Go Up, Worms Go Down

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Worms Go Up, Worms Go Down

Chapter 1: Worms go up, worms go down; Worms go up, worms go down ... shh - they're hiding in the ground Chapter 2: Worms go down, worms go up; Worms go down...

Jan 09, 2016 - - 180
Free Back-to-School Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time

Free Back-to-School Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time I always loved circle time with preschoolers, and I've been having a wonderful time sharing fun songs with my now-9-month-old grandbaby. So this school year, I want to publish a series of free songs and rhymes for circle time.


Learning Starts Early: Chapters 9 - 16

Jul 16, 2015 - - 176
Learning Starts Early: Chapters 9 - 16

CHAPTERS 9 - 16 - Rhymes and Songs to Share With Your Baby Featuring: A Smooth Road, Twinkle Twinkle, The Grand Old Duke of York, Pizza Pizza Pumpernickel, Five Little Kitten and It's Time to Say Goodbye Talking to your baby from early in pregnancy and from birth helps you bond with your baby and also prepares your baby to learn.


We Wiggle and Wiggle and Stop: Storytime Song

Jul 11, 2015 - - 136
We Wiggle and Wiggle and Stop: Storytime Song

A great song to use when your storytimers have the wiggles. Lyrics: We wiggle and wiggle and stop We wiggle and wiggle and stop We wiggle and wiggle and wiggle and wiggle and wiggle and wiggle and stop We twirl... We clap.. We wave... We jump... We bounce... Visit us!

May 10, 2015 - - 138
Children's iPad App, Felt Board - Mother Goose on the Loose

Felt Board - Mother Goose on the Loose is a flannel board app featuring lots of nursery rhyme characters and props for kids to arrange, and interactive songs and rhymes. Read more at The Book Chook.

May 01, 2015 - - 165
Three Jellyfish Printable Puppets! -

I've been getting lots of requests for another set of printable puppets, so I asked my kids what I should make and after a lot of crazy suggestions (does anyone know a Yoda song?) we finally settled on jellyfish, three of them! Here are our Three Jelly Fish Printable Puppets!

Apr 14, 2015 - - 167
Buckle My Shoe and More | Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose Club!

Buckle My Shoe and More Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose Club! Sing along with your favorite Mother Goose Club characters to the classic nursery rhyme "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe!" Watch...


IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Babies and Toddlers

Apr 02, 2015 - - 151

IFLA has guidelines for Storytime and other services to preschool age kids.

Mar 17, 2015 - - 184
Book to Boogie: "The Shape Song Swingalong"

Book to Boogie by Liz Vacco is a monthly series that pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time. The series is curated by Kerry Aradhya of Picture Books & Pirouettes and written by a different guest writer each month.

Mar 08, 2015 - - 138

Great playful literacy activities

Mar 02, 2015 - - 143
The Art of Reading Aloud

In countless studies to discover the critical elements that lead to successful reading, countless successful readers have replied that they were surrounded by books in the home and the bedtime read-aloud was a nightly ritual.

Jan 28, 2015 - - 176
Eye-Popping Fun with a Googly Eye Finger Puppet | Make and Takes
You probably already know by now that googly eyes and pipe cleaners are my 2 favorite kid craft supplies! Here they are together as a perfect pocket-sized puppet. All you need is a little glue and you've got a cute hand puppet ready for adventure.
Jan 03, 2015 - - 140
Put Your Puppet on Your Heart: Storytime Song with Puppets

Lyrics: Put your puppet on your heart, On your heart. Put your puppet on your heart, On your heart. Put your puppet on your heart, What a lovely way to start! Put your puppet on your heart, On your heart. Put your puppet on your knee... You'll both be filled with glee...


I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula: Storytime Song

Dec 20, 2014 - - 176
I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula: Storytime Song

Thank you Natalie for teaching us this song! Lyrics: I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula, cha cha cha I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula, cha cha cha I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, I'm a Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula, cha cha cha

Nov 25, 2014 - - 186
Literacy, families and learning - Using Imaginative Storytelling with Young Children

Trevor Cairney shares ideas for imaginative storytelling with kids according to different stages.

Nov 11, 2014 - - 168
CLEL StoryBlocks

Children get ready to read long before they start Kindergarten. You can help by singing, talking, and playing with the children in your care. Watch our videos to learn fun songs and rhymes, and how they help build readers!

Oct 17, 2014 - - 134
Develop Children's Literacy with Fingerplays

Fingerplays are a wonderful way to involve your baby in a game that will develop literacy. Not only will you find that a little one loves to have your undivided, loving attention, but you'll know that you're laying a foundation for reading, writing and communication skills when he's older.

Sep 25, 2014 - - 142
Learning with Elmer by David McKee - Story Snug

Age Range: 3 to 8 Elmer is celebrating his 25th birthday this year! We have read many of the Elmer stories which have been translated into over 40 languages. The first Elmer story is still my favourite and I have used it countless times to promote learning within a variety of topics.

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Fun Early Literacy Activities

Most of the activities below can be played as games, perhaps during shared reading or a family game time.

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Jbrary's channel

More school age songs and rhymes: Lyrics: Alice the camel has five humps. Alice the camel has five humps. Alice the...

Sep 09, 2014 - - 153
Storytime Movements and Music from Jen in the Library

"I like to have a combination of songs in my storytime - some that I sing a capella and songs from a variety of music cds. "

Sep 09, 2014 - - 176
YAACS Web Channel

Lots of videos with simple songs and finger plays, ideal for story time.


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