Seven Stories share their top tips on how to make the most of storytelling time

Action for Children's Early Year's Arts Initiative is delivered in partnership with Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books. The aim of the initiative is to support our services to run workshops with children and families, where they explore picture books and use them as a starting point for creative activity.

1. Snuggle up together

Make it cosy! Make sure your little one can see the book the right way up, and that they can see you too. They will learn so much from your face as you read.

2. Chat about the book

Explore the pictures together and talk about anything you can see - animals, colours, patterns, places. Make links to familiar things: "There's a slide like the one in our park."

3. Make lots of noises

Make animal noises, weather noises, traffic noises. Watch out for anything in the story which makes a sound.

4. Use your voice!

Make stories exciting by changing the way you speak. Give a giant a deep, loud voice, and a mouse a tiny, squeaky one.

5. Move about

Make stories for babies and young children active. Copy the movements in a book - bounce when the horse gallops or wiggle like a caterpillar in the garden.

6. Get your little ones to help

Children love to join in. Get them making sounds and doing actions with you, and, as they get older, encourage them to remember some of the words or rhymes.

7. Sing at story time

Sing a song you already know which fits in with something in the pictures or story. Or use a tune you know well and make up your own songs about something in the story.

8. Play with the books

Go on a bear hunt in the park or munch like The Very Hungry Caterpillar at tea time!

9. Keep talking

Tell them how much you love the book and they will love it too! Ask your child what they liked best in the story and tell them about your favourite bits.

10. Take books everywhere

Put them into toy boxes and always keep some in your bag for emergencies.


Seven Stories

Seven Stories is the National Centre For Children’s Books in Newcastle upon Tyne. We save the creative, cultural heritage of children’s books for the nation and bring original artwork, manuscripts and books to life through our museum and nation wide programme of exhibitions, events and Learning. Seven Stories Learning & Participation programme approaches reading as a creative and cultural experience and aims for every participant to have a story they love and a shared experience they will treasure because we believe books change lives. It’s these early, creative experiences of sharing picture books and talking about the pictures that lay the foundations for confident readers for pleasure in the future.