Great Ideas for Engaging Families this National Simultaneous Storytime

Need some creative ideas for building participation in your National Simultaneous Storytime event on 24 May? Read on for some simple ideas – and share yours with us too! You can comment on the blog or head to the Facebook networking group to join the conversation.

  • Start by asking families if they remember the traditional rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle. Sing the rhyme together before introducing the book.
  • Ask children what they think is happening on the front cover and what they think the book will be about.
  • This book has great vocabulary to explore – choose which words you want to talk about or explain in advance. A couple of ideas to draw out include:
    • “Wow, perseverance is a big word, what does it mean?”
    • The little dog laughed, he laughed till he barfed – what does that mean? What is he doing in the picture?”
  • Rhyme is used heavily throughout the book. Point out rhyming words. As the children become familiar, you can ask them to try and guess the next rhyming word.
  • As you progress through the book, ask the children what words they think the page will start with. Hey diddle diddle is repeated on every page. Ask the children if they can help by letting you know each time they hear or see these words.
  • You could ask if they can think of some other ways a cow could jump over the moon.
  • Sing the rhyme again at the end.
  • Add a parent message. Encourage families to sing the rhyme and play with the words at home. Suggest new ways the cow could get over the moon like “the cow fell asleep on the moon”, “the cow hit his head on the moon”.
  • See more ideas on activities including how to design a cow catapulting machine.
  • Promote your event via local media and download and adapt the media release template (check with your Council communications team for approval).