In a blog post, I wrote about how storytime is done at Naperville Public Library, 95th Street, where I work. Below you will find my storytime planning sheets. I’ll add more over time!

I’m certainly not re-inventing the wheel here – you’ll find links to all of my sources and inspiration. I’m paying it forward and sharing my plans in case they might be helpful to even one other person. My storytime planning includes book choices, songs, flannels, action rhymes, fingerplays, and games.

Rebecca with a squirrel hand puppet, getting ready for storytime
Getting ready for storytime with this adorable squirrel hand puppet!

Opening and Closing Songs

I like to maintain consistency with my opening and closing songs so my attendees know what to expect for storytime beginnings and endings. When I worked at Hinsdale Public Library, I often heard two of the Youth Services Librarians, Patty and Alice, using the “Bread and Butter Hello Song” to start their storytimes and I really enjoyed it because it gets the kids settled in and gets them exercising their voices, so I’ve begun using it in my storytimes, as well.

Family Storytime

Can’t Sit Still by Greg & Steve: I play this song over our sound system at the very beginning when I open the doors and folks are finding a seat. I have a hand puppet dancing along and waving at people while they get seated and there’s also a door greeter with a puppet who says “hi” to folks as they arrive.

Bread & Butter Hello Song: I sing this song a cappella and invite everyone to join in. It’s a great way to establish participation in storytime and get everyone exercising their voices.

It’s Time to Say Goodbye: I sing this song a cappella and invite everyone to join in. It’s got hand motions to go along with it and it’s a lovely way to end storytime.

If You Feel Like Rockin’ by Greg & Steve: After we sing our goodbye song, all the kids line up to get a stamp on their hands. I play this song over our sound system while I’m giving out stamps. Many families will dance along while getting stamps.

The Freeze by Greg & Steve : This song is queued up to play right after “If You Feel Like Rockin’“. By the time both songs play, my storytime room is cleared out and I’ve started putting things away.

Baby Storytime

Welcome, Everyone: I sing this song a cappella and invite everyone to join in. It goes to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” which many people are familiar with, so it’s a nice way to open up with something familiar.

Open, Shut Them: We do this song right after “Welcome, Everyone.” Many people already know it from singing nursery rhymes at home, but it’s also easy for everyone to learn. I sing it a cappella and invite folks to join in.

Planning Sheets for Individual Storytime Sessions

Family Storytime

Themed 30 minute programs with books, flannels, games, action rhymes, and songs for children of all ages with a caregiver.

Baby Storytime

Themed 20 minute programs with books, songs, and action rhymes for children ages birth-23 months with a caregiver.

Family Storytime Baskets Built for a Week’s Worth of Sessions

Rebecca wearing a pirate hate and holding a foam parrot - getting ready for storytime.