Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Make Some Noise and Move Those Feet

Our library has story times for all ages, beginning with our Baby Steps (up to 18 months or so–parents “age” them out into the next story time when they are ready) all the way to our Preschool program.  When I am approached by parents of toddlers about our Half Pints (18-30 months) or Toddler story times (2-3 year olds), I occasionally encounter a parent who thinks that his/her child must sit still for the entire 30-45 minute program.  I am quick to reassure them that our story times for our very young patrons incorporate a good amount of movement (this depends on the “mood” and age of the overall crowd).  If you have a very young group, or are looking for a story time with audience participation, try out these books for your next story time session:

As Quiet as a Mouse is a very simple story with audience participation moments on every page.  Featuring a toddler boy who meets a variety of animals, the book encourages listeners to tiptoe, sneeze, clap, and roar like dinosaurs. 


Here Are My Hands is perfect for young patrons who are learning the names of their body parts.  Each page showcases a part and describes an activity that the narrator can do with his/her hands, feet, ears, etc.

Will You Carry Me? is the longest story in this bunch, and doesn’t offer much in the way of audience participation.  I include it in this story time for several reasons: in order to get the children ready for the next appropriate age level story time, I increase the length of the stories as the semester goes on (we don’t register, but we do get a regular group with each program), and it’s such a fun and creative story about a tired boy and a mama who needs to get him home. 

Finally–I know I don’t have to tell any of you about Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, but I included it in yesterday’s story time (on this theme) after not having used it in some time.  It was an experience that reminded me (yet again) that familiarity is fun at this age.  Oh, the squeals and ooohs that erupted when I showed the cover! I had several parents “reading” the book with me, which pleased me to no end.  While I love introducing new and “new to you” books to my story time groups, reading a book together that we all love and know is just as joyous.


Do you have any favorites that offer opportunities for clapping, singing, chanting, etc? Let us know in the comments!




  1. Mary

    Great ideas! I might need to steal some for my next storytime. 🙂

    One book I’d add is David Carter’s If You’re Happy and You Know It. It’s always a winner!

  2. Abby Johnson

    One of my favorites for baby/toddler storytime is Jump! by Scott M. Fischer. I let everyone know that they can lift up their children or help them jump up on the word “Jump!” (which happens every other spread).

    And our preschoolers LOVE to do the actions along with Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas.

  3. Lisa

    Will you Carry Me?, is actually a favorite of mine, and I always use it as a participatory story. I tell it while standing up, and have the kids act out all of the ways that the boy and his mother travel home – swimming, flying, etc.

  4. Jennifer Schultz

    Thank you for the additional suggestions! Lisa, I will “steal” that idea the next time I read Will You Carry Me? 🙂 I forgot to mention another favorite… Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. Everyone shouts “Go away” at the appropriate time. Lots of fun.

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