If your preschooler gets antsy right before your daily read aloud time, then you are probably in the majority. Preschoolers tend to get the wiggles and the need for water or a snack pretty much every time they sit down to listen. Here are 5 ways to make story time more fun for all of you and keep your preschooler engaged!
Boundaries for moving during read aloud time
In our school room, we have a designated area for sitting. It’s the cars rug you see above. Having an established boundary of how far my preschooler can move has helped a lot. And having some of the distractions he is allowed to play with right there are also good. Giving your preschooler a well defined boundary will help them to understand that this is a time for paying attention.
A preschooler is going to last well for 10-15 minutes during a read aloud. Don’t try to read too much at one time. Reading aloud twice a day is a great way to get in a full 20-30 minutes of reading depending on your preschooler and how much attention they have to give at one time. As they grow, so will their attention span and ability to sit still and listen.
Finger puppets and sock puppets are great. Your preschooler can busy their hands and help with the story telling. We found some great inexpensive animal finger puppets at IKEA. Sometimes they are in the dollar bins at Target. You can find adorable printable templates online and make popsicle stick or origami puppets. Having a physical engaging activity your preschooler enjoys will completely change the dynamic of your read aloud time.
A Comfort Item
There are several stuffed animals in our school room. If the boys want one to hold on to during storytime, then that’s OK. Sometimes just having something to snuggle will help keep your preschooler from getting too wiggly. Bonus points if it happens to be a character from the book you are reading! We have Cat in the Hat and Pete the Cat as regular visitors.
Read aloud time for us usually hits mid morning or mid afternoon. A point where most preschoolers (they all have hollow legs, you know) are hungry. So having a small, non-sugary snack before your read aloud time can really help to ward off the cranky kids that sometimes erupt from hungry tots and preschoolers.
Some of our favorite Storytime books right now are:
- Raggedy Andy
- A Child’s Garden of Verse
- Pete the Cat (any of his adventures!)
- Goodnight, Gorilla
- Night Night Blessings
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
- Anything by Dr. Seuss
What books do your preschoolers love to hear you read? What tips would you like to share that help make storytime more fun in your homeschool?
I’m Lara, a sinner saved by grace, wife and help-meet to my best friend, John, and homeschooling mama to two bouncing (literally) boys, Teddy and Frederick. Hot tea, good conversations and dark chocolate are some of my favorite things. Grab your favorite mug and join us on our adventures at Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace!