Storytime Online Resources

This is an evolving list of online storytime resources for families, preschools, and day cares. It includes videos, websites, and podcasts to support those who cannot make it to the library for any reason. The focus is on early literacy support online – songs, rhymes, movement, and stories. You can also follow the hashtag #kidlitquatantine on Twitter for updates on emerging resources specifically around children’s literature.

Please leave a comment with a recommended resource!

Livestreaming Storytimes

The following libraries are livestreaming storytimes while they are closed. They can be viewed by anyone. You can also check out this Google Calendar for online KidLit events hosted by authors and illustrators.

Songs, Rhymes, and Movement

Check out songs, rhymes, and fingerplays in many languages to sing with little ones.

Jbrary

I’ve created a list of all of our YouTube playlists so you can easily scan and find songs that work for you.

1, 2, 3 On Chante!

This French language educational resource is created by the Ottawa Public Library. The channel features our children staff’s favourite nursery rhymes, lullabies, and fingerplays. New videos are published every second Friday.

StoryBlocks

“Storyblocks is a collection of 30-60 second videos designed to model to parents, caregivers, and library staff some songs, rhymes, and fingerplays appropriate for early childhood.” Includes 9 languages.

Flannel Board Fun

Wendy has a YouTube station filled with flannel and felt songs and rhymes.

Emily Arrow Singalong

Emily Arrow writes original songs based on children’s books. Next week on Monday – Friday she will be hosting a special story and song each day at 1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST.

Tell Me a Story by KCLS

The King County Library System has a HUGE collection of songs and rhymes to sing with little ones.

Miss Nina – Children’s Sing & Move Along Songs

Miss Nina has a mix of original songs, old classics, and popular children’s books read aloud and paired with music.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

To help with panic and anxiety try this YouTube channel which is “yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. “

Books and Audiobooks

Please check this Let’s Keep Reading Google doc for an evolving list of authors and illustrators that are holding livestream events and webcasts over the course of the next month. There is also an excellent crowd-sourced list of ASL eBooks and resources.

Check Your Local Library

Many public libraries provide access to eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, and databases with animated books (i.e. TumbleBooks). You will most likely need a library card to access these options.

Brightly Storytime

From Read Brightly, this YouTube channel features a new weekly full-length picture book read out loud by storyteller Ms. Linda.

Storyline Online

Storyline Online is an award-winning, interactive children’s literacy site that features famous actors like Kevin Costner, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Eva Longoria, and others reading children’s books alongside minor animation elements. 

Story Time From Space

Astronauts from the International Space Station read children’s books in outer space for children on earth to listen to. They have science videos that compliment the books.

International Children’s Digital Library

ICDL is a nonprofit organization that provides access to the best children’s books of their culture, and cultures around the world regardless of where they live. There are over 4,000 titles in 59 languages to choose from, that you can read to your children. 

Dial-a-Story by Toronto Public Library

Available in 16 languages, there are stories for kids ages 0 – 12. “Kids and their families can listen to a story by phone any time of day for FREE by calling the library’s Dial-A-Story service at 416-395-5400. ” If you don’t want to call long distance they also have a collection of free stories read aloud called Hear-a-Story.

Phone-a-Story by Denver Public Library

Call 720-865-8500 and listen to stories, songs and rhymes in English, Spanish, Amharic and Vietnamese.

Podcasts

Storytime Seedlings

Provided by the Santa Clara County Library District, this podcast features “books, fingerplays, rhymes, stories and songs for a screen-free storytime experience, anytime.”

Sesame Street Podcast

“Featuring the furry and loveable Muppets of Sesame Street. Sing songs with Elmo, Abby, Cookie Monster and Grover. Learn about friendship, patience and sharing with Bert and Ernie.”

Circle Round

“Created and produced by parents of young children, WBUR’s Circle Round is a podcast that adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10.”

Story Pirates

“Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater.” Great for older kids too.

70 thoughts on “Storytime Online Resources

  1. Thank you for sharing so many awesome resources! We have a playlist on YouTube with our library staff sharing songs and rhymes alongside Kindergarten Readiness tips:

  2. Thank you all for sharing resources! Here is what I have to share. It is my first attempt at a “fully formed” online story time using many of the resources that have been mentioned by others in this community. (See the video description.) Feel free to repost it if it would be of use to you in the work you are doing to serve your patrons.

  3. Do you all have a list of authors whose books we may read for online story time – those who have given permission?

    1. I have seen so many things floating around and I’m not sure if any of them are definitive as the information is changing constantly. Here’s a few places to check:
      Author Permission Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14sKF93Q15buUUtJwrRvR8K8xAQdQSVss9Rzp69_oQRM/htmlview?usp=sharing&sle=true#
      A Roundup of Pandemic Resources for Librarians, Teachers and the Parents That We Serve: http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2020/03/a-roundup-of-pandemic-resources/
      Library Closed? Online Programming Content to Share with Your Families: https://yssevents.blogspot.com/2020/03/library-closed-online-programming.html

      1. The WI lib Assoc’s Youth Services Shout-out blog (written by Youth Services Section folks) has been pushing out quite a bit of content including permissions for music and books; tips on livestreaming storytimes; professional development, self-care and etc with links in each post to the other “COVID-19” series of resources. We just shared a music permissions one in case that helps: https://yssevents.blogspot.com/2020/03/music-permissions-look-no-further.html

  4. I’m trying to put together a mini story time online each day while schools and libraries are closed. My website is: http://paulaspreschoolandkindergarten.blogspot.com/ My aim is to retell a story, sing a song or rhyme, and suggest ways parents can follow up at home with materials they likely have on hand. If this is helpful to anyone, please share!

    There is also a great NEW podcast from Harvard Center on the Developing Child called Brain Architects. There are only 3 episodes so far, but they are awesome!

  5. Thank you for this list, ladies!

    I am a public children’s librarian, and was wondering if I can share some of your songs with my kids when I do some online storytimes next week? They will most likely be recorded videos and uploaded to YouTube. I will cite you or the original artists, of course!

    Thank you again 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kathy! I hadn’t hear about Audible yet. It’s so great to see the community pulling together right now.

  6. We’re doing a couple different storytimes each week on Facebook Live at Sun Prairie Public Library! You need to go the Youth Services page (SPPLYS) to find the livestream, not the main library page.

  7. Do you all know how copyright issues affect the songs etc you post on YouTube? I’d like to do a virtual storytime but I’m going to be darn sure I do it right. If we sing the same songs that you all have posted is that ok?

    1. We have tried our very best to track down any copyright information for the songs we shared on YouTube. 99% of them are in the public domain or have been passed down orally with no known author. For the few that do have copyright restrictions we asked the original artist and put a note in the description box below the video. Please check there for all songs you are considering sharing. If there is no note on copyright I’d say go for it. If an author pops up out of nowhere claiming it’s their song then you can blame me (and I can go back and ask for permission and credit).

      1. Sweet this is wildly helpful. I figured lots were traditional folk songs or similar. Thank you so much for replying. You all are a gift to the storytime world and such a huge asset. Lemme know if you’re ever in the Denver area and I will treat you to the beverage of your choice!

    1. Thank you, Kelsey! Do you know if it’s possible to sort the videos by language on Vimeo? I don’t have much practice with that platform. So cool to discover all those videos!

  8. Hi!
    The Athens Regional Library System in Northeast Georgia (covering Athens-Clarke, Oconee, Madison, Oglethorpe, and Franklin counties) is hosting virtual storytimes Monday-Friday at 10:30 am. Our individual branches are doing virtual events as well, but they’re all posted here to consolidate:
    https://www.facebook.com/athenschildrens/

    Thank you so much for these resources!

  9. Hi,
    Thank you soo much. I’m a fairly new Youth Services Librairan. You are my treasure for storytime planning. I love your presentations and resources. Due to the current situation, do you recomment flannel board storytime online? Take care. Stay healthy.

  10. Hi there, I’m a children’s librarian at the Takoma Park Maryland Library and I’m doing storytime with my kids at home, reading a book and singing some songs, a lot of which I learned from y’all! Thanks for doing this!
    Wish we could do it live, but I don’t think they can handle that!
    Channel is called Kati Knows Storytime
    https://youtu.be/mREF-zKA1DY

  11. Leslie, so much wonderful info and we all rely so much on jbrary! What about the little songs and rhymes that you regularly share…are those fair game to do fora recorded story time? Our library is looking to perhaps not include reading since it is so readily available, and just do some rhymes and songs. Can you help? Thank you!!

    1. Oh that’s awesome, Stephanie! I’m adding you near the top because of Surrey’s close connection to Vancouver. Hope everyone at Surrey Libraries is doing well and staying safe!

  12. We also have posts, M, W and Friday on YouTube, IGTV and Facebook.
    El Segundo Public Library. We also have resources for adults as well.

  13. Thank you so much for all of the amazing resources you provide us! We do an adapted Sensory Storytime on Monday’s and a Toddler Storytime on Fridays at Bridgeville Public Library and South Fayette Township Library among many other types of programs, too! 🙂 We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. 🙂
    Here’s Bridgevilles: https://www.facebook.com/bridgevillepubliclibrary
    Here’s South Fayette’s: https://www.facebook.com/SouthFayetteLibrary

  14. The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library in BC that I work for is doing daily live storytimes on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tnrl.ca/), and I’m also doing some bigger themed storytimes on my personal YouTube channel Neverland’s Librarian (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzTHCr6lT7NmEtdoiKszWig) with public domain stories including the first one I just posted today, Mad Hatter Tea Party storytime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8fQG43BX1I.

  15. I am an author/illustrator and I wanted to share with you my latest story The Day the Lines Changed, a bestselling picture book about the pandemic and an analogy for our current situation under Covid-19. I am currently offering all libraries permission to use my story during live streaming or pre-recorded story-time.

    There is also a free a story-time video, lesson plans and a picture board for children’s drawings representing their life during lockdown on my webpage at https://www.kelleydonner.com/the-day-the-lines-changed.

    100% of all profits from The Day the Lines Changed in April have gone to Covid19 charities that support children’s mental health.

  16. Thank you so much for always putting out great material. Your songs and dances are very popular at my small library in Little Rock and we are doing pre-recorded story times. We have started a special set for our summer that includes songs, stories, and a craft every other week. The songs and fingerplays are all from your youtube page. I couldn’t have done the job without you guys. I’d be honored if you ever had time to check it out and see what you think!

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=557169581855190

    Either way, keep up the amazing work, and thank you for sharing your skills will all of us out here trying to have the best story times ever!

    1. Mr. Marcus, well done! Your pacing is perfect for little ones, and I love how you went outside and demonstrated the theme of the storytime. I *died* when I saw Travis holding the fishing pole. What a brilliant way to bring a puppet to life. This looked professionally done and you truly shined. I totally dig the bandanna collection 🙂

  17. I just checked in with this blog for the first time since March and wanted to add our own storytimes at the Tompkins County Public Library! I do a Family style storytime on Tuesdays, available anytime for tuning in though,) and my colleague Cassie does a Baby storytime on Fridays, also available to view whenever. Check here for lists:

    https://www.tcpl.org/node/18963

    Now, that’s not to say I haven’t been checking in with your wonderful Youtube lists! I have, a LOT! Thank you so very much for the excellent services you provide to all of us storytimers. I always give a shout out to Jbrary on my online storytimes. Where would we be without you?

    1. Hi Kelly, thanks so much for sharing your storytimes! I’ll add a link to the list above. There is a feature in the sidebar where you can subscribe to the blog by email. That way you don’t have to remember to visit here to see the latest posts. Totally optional, but thought I’d mention it 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words – they mean so much in these tough times!

  18. Thank you so very much for this wonderful resource. Check out the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s Saturday Morning Storytimes and Children’s Programs. We’re doing our best to support early literacy in our community and this virtual storytime, Will You Be My Friend, was greatly influenced by
    Saroj Ghoting and the wonderful webinar, Supercharged Storytimes for All, on WebJunction.

    https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/supercharged-storytimes.html

    https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/supercharged-storytimes.html

    1. Thanks for sharing your library’s work, Jan! I absolutely love the Supercharged Storytimes course and pretty much everything Saroj Ghoting writes about early literacy. It’s great to see people putting research into practice. I’ll add the link to your library’s YouTube channel 🙂

  19. At the East Hartford Public Library in Connecticut, we are doing “Stories and More!” via Zoom on Wednesdays at 10:00am EST. Registration is required to get the link via email. Recommended for ages 2-6 years old.

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