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.
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.
Entering the storytime room: I play a 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.
- The Muffin Man by Ella Fitzgerald (This has become my favorite song to play as folks enter the room for storytime!)
- Can’t Sit Still by Greg & Steve
- One, Two, Three, Whee! by Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael
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. Here’s a recording of me singing it with clapping and without clapping!
Exiting the storytime room: After we sing our goodbye song, all the kids line up to get a stamp on their hands or a sticker. I play this song over our sound system while I’m giving out stamps/stickers. Many families will dance along while we close the room. I usually play two songs and the time both songs play, people have cleared out and I’ve started putting things away.
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
Themed 30 minute programs with books, flannels, games, action rhymes, and songs for children of all ages with a caregiver.
- Five Senses
- Food 2
- Pirates / Oceans
- Wild Things
Family Storytime Baskets Built for a Week’s Worth of Sessions
Themed 20 minute programs with books, songs, and action rhymes for children ages birth-23 months with a caregiver.
Songs, Rhymes, and Fingerplays from Me!
The following are various storytime activities that I have written/created. I will add to this list as I create new activities.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
- Little Foxes (storytime flannel song)
- The Shark in the Park (storytime song)
- At the Park (storytime song)
- Five Tiny Dragons (storytime fingerplay)
Videos of Storytime Songs, Rhymes, Fingerplays, and Other Activities!
These videos were recorded during the months we were in lockdown in 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t typically record songs and activities.