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Large Group Storytime. Amanda Ellington Youth Services Supervisor Lexington Park Library Tess Goldwasser Early Childhood Community Liaison Lexington Park Library The Rules of Storytime. Story time is for Grown Ups too

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Large group storytime

Large Group Storytime

Amanda ellington youth services supervisor lexington park library aellington@stmalib org

Amanda Ellington

Youth Services Supervisor

Lexington Park Library

Tess Goldwasser

Early Childhood Community Liaison

Lexington Park Library

The rules of storytime

The Rules of Storytime

  • Story time is for Grown Ups too

  • It’s okay to take a break!

  • Have fun!

Storytime format

Storytime Format

  • Announcements

  • Opening song

  • Book (Long of the two books)

  • Song

  • Book (or flannel story or skit)

  • Song

  • Activity

  • Closing song (or rhyme, or ritual)

  • Handout (optional)

Opening song

Opening Song

  • Toddler-

    “Oh What a Miracle”

    by Hap Palmer

  • Pre-School-

    “Days of the Week”

    by Greg and Steve

Storytime themes

Storytime Themes

  • Dragon Tails

  • Monkey Business

  • Snowflake Dance

  • Make a Wish

  • Best Buds

  • The Shape of Things

  • Rainbow of Colors

  • Outer Space

  • Castle Tales/ Fairy Tales

  • Wet & Wacky Weather

  • Whoo’s That?

  • Dinosaur Stomp

  • Froggy Hop

  • Just Ducky

  • Spring Fling

  • We Love Our Earth

  • Zoo Escape!

  • Silly Storytime Favorites

  • Port Side Pirates

  • Dr. Seuss on the Loose

Dialogic questions

Dialogic Questions

  • What do you think this book will be about?

  • Can you help count the [blank] on this page?

  • What color is the [blank] on this page?

  • What do you think will happen next?

Which books work best with big groups

Which Books work best with Big Groups?

Reading with a lot of emotion, or using different voices, or props, like a puppet, can make books more engaging.

Try to use a big book with large, colorful illustrations, or a pop-up book!

Get them involved

Get them involved!

We try to choose that encourage audience participation.

Windows and mirrors

Windows and Mirrors

Books you can sing

Books You Can Sing!



  • In between the parts of the story time (from the book to the song, from the song to the activity etc.)

  • Example: Transition from reading Owl Babies by Martin Waddell to singing “Shakin’ Like a Leafy Tree” by the Wiggles --“We just read a story about some birds who live in a tree, so let’s sing a song about a tree.”

Types of action songs

Types of “Action” Songs

  • Instruction-song in which the singer gives obvious Example: “Jump Up, Turn Around” by Jim Gill

  • Prop- song in which it might be appropriate to hand the children something to manipulate during the song, like a streamer, or a flag, or a musical instrument, like a shakey egg. Example: “I Know a Chicken” by Laurie Berkner

  • Pretend- song that might not give instructions, but lends itself to “acting out” the words in a pretty simple way. Example: “The Goldfish” by Laurie Berkner

Stories on stage

Stories on Stage

Skits or “Readers Theatre” can be quite dramatic like…

Non fiction in storytime

Non Fiction in Storytime

This can be as simple as mentioning a few informative facts when introducing the day’s theme or it can be more involved.

Large group activities

Large Group Activities

  • Sorting

  • Matching

  • Simon Says

  • Parachute

Parachute play

Parachute Play!

Put something on the parachute to bounce around

Put something on the parachute to bounce around.

Make a bubble

Make a bubble

Activity in the bubble

Activity in the Bubble

Parents play too

Parents Play Too!

Magic trick

Magic Trick!



  • Toddler- “Put Your Hands Up in the Air” by Hap Palmer

  • Preschool- “Shake Your Sillies Out” by Raffi

Tips for a successful large group storytime

Tips for a Successful Large Group Storytime

  • Don’t be nervous

  • Focus on the kids

  • Keep it moving

  • Have Fun!

How to handle interruptions

How to Handle Interruptions

  • Ignore them

  • Don’t ignore them (address the disruption in a friendly, humorous, non-hostile way)

  • Stop! (Announce that story time will not continue until disruption is taken care of)

  • Ask the parent for assistance

  • Ask the family to leave

Kids book blog

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