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Notes from Storytime


Pat-a-CakeSongs like “Pat-a-Cake” not only tell a story, they describe a sequence of events. Your baby hears the words and relates them to the actions. Like books, songs are a fun way to develop your little one’s expressive language and narrative skills.

–Tip by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

By eemerick on June 30, 2014 Categories: Narrative

The Order of Things

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and ToesActivities that follow a pattern or sequence help children to develop narrative skills because they must remember the order in which they happened. After doing a rhyme like “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” ask your child what body part we touched first, second, and so on. Try this with other activities you do throughout the day that have a sequence, such as the steps you take to get to the Library.

–Tip by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator


By eemerick on March 31, 2014 Categories: Narrative

Retelling With Props

A Hat for Minerva LouiseUsing things you have around the house as props can help children internalize and understand what is happening in the story. This will help them be able to remember the events and to retell it, which builds narrative skills. In the book A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke, Minerva Louise finds objects around the farm that she tries to use as winter clothing. After reading the book, try retelling the story with props you find around the house. There are many simple children’s books and rhymes that can be told with props and puppets—see if you can find another one!

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By eemerick on December 23, 2013 Categories: Narrative


The Best Pet EverReading and telling stories to your child is very important. But don’t just stop there! It is also important that children understand what is going on in the story. This is known as narrative skills, and it will help your children all throughout their lives as they read and learn. During a story, ask your child about what is going on in the story and/or the pictures. After reading, help your child retell the story. Using props from around the house can be a fun way to do that.

–Tip by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator


By eemerick on September 16, 2013 Categories: Narrative

Go on a Nature Walk

I See SummerDeveloping narrative skills will help children be ready to read. To get your children talking, read the book I See Summer by Charles Ghigna and then go on a nature walk with them. Have them point out all the things they are seeing while walking. Then, Before bedtime, have them recollect what they saw earlier. They can even draw a picture of their nature walk with you!

–Tip by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison


By eemerick on July 8, 2013 Categories: Narrative

Using Props

PuppyChoose a prop (picture, plush toy, empty cereal box) of something familiar that is pictured in a book. If there’s a puppy, help your child hold a plush puppy while you share additional information about a puppy. By giving your children more words, they will begin to learn more words to describe things in detail. This helps your child develop narrative skills important for learning to read later on.

–Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liaison

By eemerick on May 13, 2013 Categories: Narrative

Say Please

Say Please

Narrative skills are the abilities to describe things and to talk about events and tell stories. Using things you have around the house as props can help children remember a story and retell it. When you read the book Say Please by Virginia Austin, you can have your child use stuffed animals they have around the house to reenact the story.

–Tip by Julie D., Elementary School Liaison

By eemerick on February 8, 2013 Categories: Narrative

I Could Be, You Could Be

I Could Be, You Could BeI Could Be, You Could Be by Karen Owen will help spark your child’s imagination as it talks about becoming various people and things, from astronauts to elephants. This kind of role play helps your child develop the narrative skill. In the back of the book there are ideas about how to create masks and other items for make-believe play.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant

By eemerick on November 26, 2012 Categories: Narrative


Overboard!One way to teach your child narrative skill is to read a book, such as Overboard! by Sarah Weeks, that has a repetitive refrain. If your child is talking, you might even want to have him or her say the refrain “overboard” with you as you read.

–Tip by Mary S., Head of Youth Services

By eemerick on September 3, 2012 Categories: Narrative

Describe Things

All Sorts of ClothesPart of narrative skills is being able to describe things. For example, when you talk about the colors and shapes and textures of your child’s clothing, or what kinds of things your child’s toys do, it gives your child new words. Embellishing your descriptions of events of the day may help children recall an experience and the words associated with it. Researchers say participating in these activities will make it easier for your child when it comes time for formal reading instruction.

–Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Childcare Liaison

By eemerick on June 25, 2012 Categories: Narrative