5 Magical Tips for Storytime

  1. Find a book you love!

    Where possible choose a story that you enjoy, if you are enthusiastic about the story it will show through and encourage the children also to build up confidence. Also to run a good storytime you will need to read the books a number of times so you need not to get bored too easily. This is not too difficult as the are so many wonderful picture books out there.

    Go with the flow!

  2. Read the books before hand! take a minimum of 4 to 6 books depending on how long your storytime is, how many children are attending and a gazillion other factors. Make sure you have a range of stories including books with sounds or touchy feely or pop up books, storybooks with longish stories (eg Gruffalo), storybooks with repetition and stories with counting. Make sure you have really prepared at least three titles.

  3. Read the books before hand!

    Very few people can really get away with not preparing a storytime, this depends on how familiar you are with the books but even really seasoned storytellers will spend 5 mins familiarising themselves with the books. Make sure you know what happens in the middle and the end- is it a sad ending, is there something inappropriate, what is your audience like, is it appropriate for the setting?

    Is the book too long, or not long enough? Will you need to cut down the story, is the story well written. TV and film tie ins are great to get children listening to a story but tend to be a real pain to read aloud.- dialogue tends to be very difficult to read aloud without saying lots of he said, she said. A case in point is Charlie and Lola, super stories, very popular but tricky to read to a group of children or to young children.

  1. Not all picture books are for storytime!

    Make sure that the book you are reading is suitable for storytime and not for instance an issue book dealing with bereavement for example. Also make sure you have not inadvertently picked up a graphic novel or another book for older age group

  2. Tell, don’t read

    You are going to be telling not reading the story, this means you need to hold the book with the pages facing the children. Read by looking down or across. Don’t feel you need to read every word or even every page. There are times when a story is too long and needs to be cut down. However be aware that some older children will know the story so well that they will tell you something has been missed out!

  3. Have fun! Finally make sure you have fun, sharing stories with children is such a rewarding and fun activity so make sure you enjoy the experience and use your imagination to bring the story alive.
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