Preschool Storytime

Preschool Storytime can be a fun time or a frustrating time!   It is all in the way you present it!  

If you have often hear "I can't see!" and find that your children are not focused and more interested in pulling the string off their carpet squares, it's time to change up how you do things!  

And, you've come to the right place to learn some fun, interactive ways to engage your preschoolers and develop a love of reading in each of them!  Let's go!

Preschool Storytime Props

Using props during preschool storytime is very, very effective.

Look over your favorite books and think about how you can use props with the story.  

Can you add a stuffed animal, use a puppet or use finger puppets?

Here are a couple of examples:

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

This is a great story to read to your preschoolers.  Provide a stuffed owl and pass it around as you read the story.  When the owl baby says "I want my Mommy!", the children stop passing the stuffed owl and all say the line together.

Are You My Mother? (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

This is my all-time favorite book to read in preschool!  A great idea is to collect toys from your classroom to represent each of the characters in the book such as the boat, the plane, the "snort", etc.!

Give each child one prop/item.  They can say the line "I am not your mother.  I am a ________" when you get to each part in the book.  If you have more children than characters, double up!  Have 2 plans, boats, cows, etc.!

Preschool Storytime Action Play

Acting out preschool storytime is a so much fun!  Our favorties have been Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood.  You can begin by reading the story through once and then assign children parts to act out as you read it again.  

Most times this means you will read the story 3 times.  

  • Once to the entire group.
  • A second time while half the children act out the story and the other have act as the "audience".
  • A final time as the actors and audience trade places.

Think of ways to act out some of your children's favorite stories.  Some ideas for stories that are gun to act out in a preschool group are: 

Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Paul Galdone Classics) by Paul Galdone
The Mitten by Jan Brett Owl Babies by Martin Wadell
Stone Soup by Ann Mcgovern
The Three Bears by Paul Galdone
The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall

Big Books for Preschool Storytime

Big books are excellent for preschool storytime. Make sure you look for books that are short in length and high interest for the children.  Books with a repeating text or rhyming text work wonderfully as they are repetitive and children can memorize them and therefore be involved in them!

Big books are also great ways to learn about the parts of the books because they are so easy for all of the children to see.  Here are some ideas to help your children learn about book parts:

  • Point to punctuation marks and name them.
  • Point out and slowly read extra long words.
  • Count the number of letters in long words.
  • Point out the name of the author and describe what an author does.
  • Point out the name of the illustrator and describe what an illustrator does.

There are so many great Big Books to choose from!  Check out your local library to see what they have in stock.  Below are some of my favorites!  You can click on the link to read about the story line and read some Amazon reviews about each one!

Preschool Storytime Flannel Board Activities

A flannel board is a very valuable tool and super simple to make if you don't want to purchase one. Find a good stiff piece of cardboard the size you want your flannel board.
  • Go to a fabric store or Walmart and buy enough flannel to cover it.
  • Or cover the back of a piece of furniture that sits in a good location for a flannel board.
  • Pull the flannel tight around the cardboard and glue it around the back edges.
  • If you want the flannel board to stand up by itself, cover three sides of a box.
Next, you can buy flannel board pieces or make them.

To make them, trace the outline of a storybook character from the story or from a coloring book. You don't need detail. I have printed out color pictures, laminated them and placed dryer sheets to the back!  They work great!

The children can help tell the story using a flannel board.  

  • Begin by handing out enough characters so that each child has one.  
  • Have each child talk about the piece in their hand.  
  • Tell them to listen for their part while you read the story.  
  • As you read each part, pause for the child to place their piece on the board.  
  • If your children become distracted holding the pieces, have the place their piece on the floor in front of them rather than holding them.
  • Another option is to talk about the pieces before the story and YOU hold onto them.  When you get to each character that has a flannel piece, pause and hand the piece to a child to place on the board.
A magnetic board works just like a flannel board.

You may have a metal cabinet, side of a filing cabinet or a magnetic chalkboard or white board that you can use!  Cookie sheets also work great AND can be placed in your preschool library area for the children to use on their own througout the day.

The characters for a magnet board are pretty easy to make.

Cut the characters out of old books, find characters online, or trace coloring books characters.  

Laminate the pieces.  

Put a piece of magnetic stripping on the back of each character.

Fairy tales are good for this kind of activity: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rumplestitlskin etc.

Magnetic story pieces or flannel boards stories offer a wonderful opportunity for children to retell stories. Make them available for children to use after you are done telling the story. 

There are a variety of preschool storytime activities you can do to make a simple reading of a book much more fun for your children!

Here Are a Few Other Pages You Might Be Interested In:

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