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Storytime Resources

Storytime Building Blocks

New to Storytime?

These are resources that will help you get started

  • Jbrary’s blog series on choosing songs and rhymes, choosing storytime books, how to read books to a group, using felt stories, and using puppets is thorough and very useful for beginners!
  • Supercharged Storytimes is a FREE recorded course from WebJunction, taught by Early Literacy expert Saroj Ghoting.

Brain Development Basics

Fingerplays, Music, and Movement

Fingerplays, songs, and movement are all important elements of storytime.  Rhyming helps children develop their phonological awareness, using their bodies engages other parts of their brains, and often a well-placed fingerplay, song, or movement activity hleps keep children focused and able to participate.

If you are using themes, you don’t need to fit ALL of your songs and fingerplays into the theme.  It can be more effective to stick to really great ones, regardless of theme.  Remember that repetition is great for kids!

  • StoryBlocks from the Colorado State Library includes high quality videos of rhymes and songs in English and Spanish.  A great way to learn new material!
  • jbrary has youtube videos of two librarians demonstrating songs, many with American Sign Language.
  • So Tomorrow Blog has some excellent ideas for playing with parachutes and nursery rhymes
  • So Tomorrow Blog has a post about favorite recorded music–along with youtube clips of songs
  • Rhyme Database has 130 rhymes, put together by Storytiming blogger Cate Levinson

Arts and Crafts

  • Meri Cherry Art Studio:  50 Process Art Activities  Process art allows kids to explore mediums and is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers.  PLUS, it takes less preparation time.
  • Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit has lots of background on the kinds of projects and approaches that are great for developing a growth mindset, plus specific activity suggestions.
  • The Artful Parent has excellent ideas for process art.
  • No Time for Flashcards is a blog created by a mother and early childhood educator.  There are several projects and activities with explanations of some of the skills that are being developed.  Some of the projects are best for doing with smaller groups, but many could easily be adapted to larger groups.
  • MaryAnn Kohl’s Process Art Facebook Page–you have to join this to access content, but there are plenty of terrific ideas shared.
  • KinderArt is a website with art project ideas that can be sorted by age, medium, and more.


STEM Activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Inclusive story times

Sensory Storytime Resources

Sensory Storytimes include more sensory elements and are more accessible to children who with a variety of sensory issues, including kids on the autism spectrum.  Some libraries have a specific sensory storytime, but it is also a terrific idea to incorporate some of these elements into every storytime so that all of your storytimes are more accessible to kids with disabilities.