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Preschool Storytime Template

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The Template

The following template includes some elements that are fun, useful, and developmentally appropriate. Please adapt for your own needs and preferences!

Greet participants as they enter

  • Consider having everyone make a nametag as a writing activity (you will have to read creatively to be able to tell what they say)
  • Learn everyone’s names–especially the children
  • It’s fun to play music as people are entering the room–it’s welcoming and friendly, and it’s a good cue that you are ready to start when the music stops  back to top

Quick reminder of expectations

  • Come up with 2-3 simple things and stick to them each week (unless you discover you need to add more!)
  • Don’t forget to remind parents that you want them to participate WITH their children for maximum benefit (rather than sit in back and do their own thing)
  • Some people come up with a song or have a puppet help them to make this more engaging. back to top

Hello Song

First Book and Activity

The book

  • How to choose a book 
  • Read the book yourself first!
  • It works well to have your first book be a little longer/more challenging

 Participatory activity

  • Finger play
  • Interactive flannel board (counting, or related to the story)
  • Participatory song back to top

Second Book and Activity

The second book in a different format:

  • You could consider doing this book as a unison read, giving each caregiver/child pair the same board book.  Check the out the IFLS Board Book Kits–20 copies of the same board book, available through Lend Items.
  • Unison reads are especially good for younger children and children who might have a hard time staying focused in storytime

Pick a large motor activity

  • Dancing to music
  • Using beanbags
  • Parachutes
  • Scarves
  • Balance beams
  • Playing with balls together
  • Look for suggestions on Storytime Resources  back to top

Storytelling and Fingerplay or Song

Pick a storytelling approach:

  • Flannel story
  • Puppets
  • Props

Pick a Fingerplay or Participatory Song

Go to the Storytime Resources page for some ideas. back to top

One More Book and Closing Song or Rhyme

Pick your last book.

Goodbye song or rhyme

  • Stays the same each week
  • Sources for goodbye rhymes and songs are on the Storytime Resources page

Other considerations

  • Art projects are a great way to engage kids and parents. Be sure to include some process-based art projects, particularly for younger children. You can do this every week, or just sometimes
  • STEM activities, like measuring, charting, or experimenting are great things to add in to regular storytimes.
  • Throw in one short, friendly literacy tip sometime during each storytime. This is most effective if you put it in context (talk about rhyming after reading a rhyming book or doing a rhyming fingerplay, for instance). 
  • Put out a display of books, including parenting books, and encourage families to look at and check them out. back to top

Need help answering specific questions or finding additional resources?

Click on the green HelpDesk button and we’ll make sure the right IFLS staff gets that message right away. Can’t find the green button? Use this email: helpdesk@ifls.lib.wi.us.

There’s no wrong door! You can contact these IFLS staff for support on this topic:

Leah Langby, Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator langby@ifls.lib.wi.us