Rolling Out a Storytime

I realize now that I’ve never shared my process for planning and setting-up a storytime. Not that it’s so fascinating. I just like to hear how other people think things through, so I thought maybe you do too.

My library system has a set curriculum for storytimes that includes a set of themes that last for six weeks each. While I’ve been here, I’ve gone through one of those and am now emerging into a second round. I am very liberal with my interpretation of the theme pack that’s created for us. Typically our theme pack has a list of books that go with the theme and ideas for fingerplays, rhymes, and songs, and possibly even a craft. I find that I just don’t feel excited about a storytime that someone else has planned. They’re never quite the way that I would do them, and as we all know, you need to be enthusiastic to do a good job.


So I start with the theme and I pick out a book and a song that go together and get me really excited. Then I find a craft to match. Then I find a few other books that may or may not be related and some little activities to make it all blend together. Since I’m now serving ages birth-5 in each storytime, I break down the parts of storytime something like this:

For the babies:

A board book or big book

A nursery rhyme to sing or a baby bounce

For toddlers:

A fingerplay

A couple songs that can be done with props and crowd engagement

A short, but cute, book

For preschoolers:

A song where they have to follow directions

A flannel story or game

A couple upbeat books


So all in all, I try to come away with 2-3 songs to be done with videos, a song to sing, a nursery rhyme or baby bounce, a fingerplay, a flannel activity, and 3-4 books.


When I outline my storytime, I also break it down into the 5 ECRR practices, kind of like so:

Open, Shut Them

Intro with Applesauce

Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story
Read: Bear Feels Scared
Play: Going on a bear hunt (video)
Read: Leonardo the Terrible Monster
Play/sing: Go Away, Big Green Monster with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Sing/play: Laurie Berkner video
Read: Can You Make a Scary Face? 
Play: Little Mouse, Little Mouse
Playtime and art

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s