Are you looking for storytime activities for preschoolers? You are in the perfect place! Below you will find a series of storytime activities, picture books, and wonderful resources just for your preschooler. Let’s take a peek!
I love the preschool years. As this journey into early childhood takes place, a preschooler’s personality begins to bloom and their inquisitive minds prompt many questions. Preschoolers also love simplicity, laugh in abundance, and as their imaginations unfold, we discover that their natural curiosities blossom just the same. This tender age also brings an opportune time for bonding, finding awe in the littlest adventures, and creating lasting memories.
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The Value Of Storytime with Preschoolers
There are many ways to bond with our preschoolers. But an easy and simple way is during storytime. Storytime doesn’t need to be over complicated. It can happen naturally and anywhere. Reading at bed time, and snuggled up on the couch with a blanket, or outside on a fresh bed of green grass; all counts as story time.
“But I have a preschooler who doesn’t sit still and has a short attention span. Storytime poses a challenge most days, how can I make this special time more manageable?”
This is a common scenario for parents whose child is making the transition into the early childhood years. The most effective way I have found in calming those little ones who are full of energy and curiosity is to incorporate activities into storytime. Storytime activities for preschoolers help with keeping attention, learning retention, and fosters curiosity. Activities can range from interactive stories with a lot of movement, simple snacks, taking a walk in nature, drawing, to a multi-sensory craft filled with fun and big messes!
Storytime Activities Perfect For Preschoolers
“We can fill children’s baskets of memory with beautiful language and life experiences with the books we share with them. The memories will last a lifetime.” Bernice Cullilan
Movement with Interactive Picture Books
Preschoolers love to move. As you read, let the story guide you and make storytime interactive, by moving all around. You and your preschooler will make exciting memories and a lot of giggles! Below are a few of our favorite interactive picture books! Beware, you might find yourself in the middle of a dance party!
- Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton
- Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton
- From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
- Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? Handprint Activity
Simply download the handprint activity, cut out the bears, dip your preschooler’s hand in finger paint, and let the multi-sensory fun begin. We kept baby wipes on hand to keep the paint mess at a minimum.
Spider Play Dough Craft
Play dough is such a wonderful multi-sensory resource for preschoolers. It sparks creativity and promotes fine motor skills. It’s also an amazing soothing tool for those young ones who are full of wriggles!
Check out this spider play dough craft. Learn to make homemade play dough and let the fun begin!
All the different ages and stages in my household enjoyed this craft and making the play dough. My creative son who is in his tweens (not the terrible twenties as the Hobbits call it) added an abdomen to his spider inspiring all his younger comrades to do the same! Mom can even create her own play dough spider and use it as a visual for the story!
The Very Busy Spider Craft Activities
Paint a Spider with Nana
Nana sure understands the tender preschool age. Her gentleness and short, multi-sensory art lessons keep preschoolers engaged. Her budding artists leave her lessons feeling successful with a wonderful masterpiece in their hands. Draw a simple spider with Nana to add to your story time. This art lesson pairs well with the enduring story, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
C.S. Lewis once stated, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.”
Yes, indeed, Mr. Lewis is quite right, especially for those preschoolers! Many picture books invite a time of snacking and reading. Storytime snacks can be healthy or full of sugar.
As homeschool mothers, we have the freedom to choose which snacks suit our family best. Storytime snacks can follow the theme of the book or you can use any snack you have on hand to make story time engaging. We have a lot of memories of reading picture books while eating breakfast. Here are examples of storytime snacks that follow themes of books! We always have fun when we combine “eating and reading”.
Worm’s Wagon by Samantha Bergen
Smash Oreo cookies to create dirt. Grab a few mini clay pots and use gummi worms. Fill the clay pots with “dirt” place “worms” inside the pots, and practice counting. Use the gummi worms to count to five, finger trace five, create the number five and the letter Ww! Explore different shapes with the gummi worms, too!
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo
Famous for her popular chapter books, Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, author, Kate DiCamillo, has written a delightful children’s book series, Mercy Watson. Each book shares an adventure about a porcine wonder who loves toast with “a great deal of butter on it”. All of my children absolutely love every book in the series. My two and a half year old is intrigued by all of Mercy’s adventures. He thinks every pig he sees, is Mercy Watson. Since this porcine wonder loves toast, make toast (with a great deal of butter on it), and simply read the story. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s fun!
Dress Up with Karma Wilson’s Bear Books
Preschoolers love to dress up! We simply put on these bear masks and read the story together! You can also create your own bear masks.
Christmas Tree Craft with Bear Stays Up For Christmas
Many children who are in their early childhood years enjoy activities that are messy. As a mom, I have to prepare my mind for those messes before we begin. I try to have baby wipes on hand, vacuum near, trash cans close by, and a big bowl of sudsy warm water near the sink to place any utensils we use to soak in. This activity calls for all of those items listed. This activity pairs well with Karma Wilson’s, Bear Stays Up for Christmas. Items you will need:
- Waffle cones-I use the ones with an even top (it ends up being the bottom) so the tree can stand evenly
- Small plate or paper plate
In the story, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, Bear and his friends collect a tree and decorate it with “popped corn”. Take the waffle cone and smear it with frosting. We used green and white frosting. Use the sprinkles and popcorn to decorate the tree! Turn your waffle cone upside down and it looks like a Christmas tree!
You can also use this activity with Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry.
Sign Language, Nature Study, Watercolor, and Nature Journaling with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Beloved author, Eric Carle is one of our family favorites. We have many years of memories intertwined in his cherished picture books. Packed in The Very Hungry Caterpillar are many storytime activities perfect for preschoolers.
Learn the days of the week in sign language. Yes! Preschoolers can learn American Sign Language! As you read the book, sign the days of the week! Watch as you notice your preschooler signing right along with you!
Eric Carle interweaves nature into all of his stories. All of his picture books make for wonderful nature studies as his artwork and facts are sprinkled across the pages. Nature has a way of holding our young ones’ attention.
Make The Very Hungry Caterpillar come alive with Insect Lore’s butterfly kits! The kits arrive with live caterpillars. Your preschooler will have the opportunity to observe the butterfly life cycle. This is an absolute favorite in our family. You can also have the live caterpillars available to observe while you read the story!
Watercolor Fun and Nature Journaling
Watercolor is another fun activity for storytime. Provide a simple nature journal and let your preschooler’s creativity bloom.
Using watercolor, paint each stage of the butterfly life cycle. Check out Homeschool Nature Study’s tips on preschool nature study.
Puppets with Winnie The Pooh
Who doesn’t love the beloved Pooh bear? Preschoolers love Pooh bear and visuals during a story. Fill your storytime with puppets. My children were glued to the adorable characters and it kept their attention!
Preschoolers love a lot of adventures and your time. At this affectionate age, perfection and mastery is not required. A lot of encouragement and love is all they need during activities. They may need your guiding hands too as they are exploring this whole new world of the early childhood years.
Helpful Resources For Preschool Learning
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Preschool Choices
- The Crafty Classroom
- ABC See, Hear, Do
- 123 Kids Fun
- Preschool Alphabet Activities
- Gratitude Activities for Preschoolers
- Foundation Phonics Makes Learning to Read Easy
- Short Lessons Work Well
- 12 Musical Activities for Preschoolers
- 30 Online Preschool Art Lessons for Your Big Kid Homeschool
- Preschool Art and Music Curriculum for Your Homeschool
- How to Make Time for Preschool Art
- Preschool Snow Activities
- Nature Study Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers
- Easy Preschool Science Nature Journals
- Delightful Preschool Nature Study Plans for Your Homeschool
Our household contains teens, tweens, ages in between, preschoolers, and toddlers. Many of the authors and picture books listed come with over a decade of affectionate memories. One being that many of the books truly brought a time of bonding and connecting between my once nonverbal son and I. My teens still remember and talk about those books we read together while they were toddlers and preschoolers. From time to time, they ask if we can read certain books just for the memories. I hope the storytime activities for preschoolers and picture books bring an abundance of beautiful memories and bonding to your household.
“Let children have tales of the imagination, scenes laid in other lands and other times; heroic adventures, hairbreadth escapes, delicious fairy tales, even where it is all impossible, and they know it, and yet they believe.”– Charlotte Mason
Jamie is the author of A Brown Bear’s Language Arts Study, a literature-inspired homeschool mom of eight, and a former educator. She enjoys a bookshelf bursting with colorful picture books and children’s stories of all genres.
Indulging in a read aloud with all of her children around her is one of Jamie’s favorite moments of her days.
Be sure to find Jamie on Instagram.
Visit her blog, Treasuring the Tiny Moments Homeschool, to be encouraged by all her learning adventures with her wonderful family.