Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Storytelling

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris

Back in the pre-COVID-19 days, we used to get small kids coming up to the desk and proudly reading a book to us. Their caregiver would laugh and say they had it memorized or were describing the pictures. And guess what? That is also reading! 

The articles about Picture Walks and Whole Book Reading offer ways to let kids practice reading pictures and explain why it’s important.

There are so many ways to share stories and books, and the more families explore these different ways, the better prepared their kids will be to read when they are ready. When kids understand how stories work (beginning, middle, end), they can focus more on decoding words when they start reading.

Practice sharing stories together with these videos and activities.

Watch these videos

There are lots of spooky and scary stories and images popular in October, but not everyone likes to be scared, and that’s okay! Jenny has tips on letting kids lead the way to keep everyone feeling comfortable. 

Jenny and Ruthie have a fun game to play: roll dice and use this game board (pdf) to tell a story about a new friend, their pronouns, and their adventures. Big kids can tell more stories about the story situation they rolled. You can also find more roll a story games online or make your own.

Try these activities

  • Does your child have a favorite book, TV, or movie character? Grab a picture or doll and start acting out stories. Caregivers can write down what kids say and have the stories to tell over and over.
  • Retell your favorite stories! Kids can use their imagination to see the pictures inside their head. This also will help them when they begin reading books with fewer or no pictures.
  • Anna has 12 fun ways to combine stories with sensory play at The Imagination Tree.
  • Mother Goose Time has a few ways to invite kids to be authors, as well.
  • Borrow a wordless picture book and take turns telling stories based on the pictures. Every reading can be a new adventure!  
Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.