Virtual Bedtime Stories

Storytime is a sacred time. It’s a time to bond with your kids whether they climb into your bed or you wrangle your way into theirs. Nothing beats that feeling of being close to them and enjoying an intimate moment that they will remember for years. But as all parents know, one story is never enough. Your voice and reading style will always be their favorite but sometimes it can be fun to mix it up and maybe even get some pointers from librarians who are trained in teaching early literacy skills or your favorite celebrity.

With the recent Coronavirus pandemic, many celebrities and public figures have stepped up to bring free entertainment to you and your little ones. Below is a roundup of some that I found particularly entertaining and useful. They vary in terms of professional presentation and while there is no substitute for being in the room, they are all great ways for children to experience a new book or even a familiar book in a new voice and style.

If you want to experience a live storytime, check your local library website. More and more libraries are now conducting age-appropriate storytimes online via their Facebook pages.

My Top Celebrity Bedtime Stories

Michelle Obama has recently partnered with PBS Kids to read some of the more popular children’s books like the Hungry Caterpillar and the Gruffalo. The easiest way to access these is through the PBS Kids Read-Along channel.

There are Read-Alongs with the author/illustrators themselves which is fun for adults to as it gives you some insights into their creative process. Check out author-illustrator, Victoria Kann read Silverlicious.

A Youtube search of, “Celebrity Storytimes” will yield all sorts of results. These go back years and some are professionally filmed. Here’s one from Kristen Bell reading Quackenstein Hatches a Family. 

If mom does most of the reading, it may be fun to have a book read with a male voice. Here’s Clark the Shark read by Chris Pine

Jon Scieszka is a great choice for kids that love cars trucks and all things messy. Here he is reading Truckery Rhymes

 Live Storytimes

Sometimes knowing that someone is sharing the moment with you, even remote, feels more genuine and intimate than a pre-recorded storytime. That’s where your local library comes into play. While the quality isn’t as professional, the staff are. This is their full-time job and their enthusiasm and passion won’t be lost on your kids. Here are a few examples I found but chances are your local library has one too.

Here’s one from L.A. County Public Library. Library storytimes are much more interactive and solicit feedback and thinking from your kids.

I follow the Dakota County Public Libray page and get access to their storytimes. It is nice that even in quarantine your kids can still watch their favorite librarian read to them.

Nothing will replace reading a book to your children and in-person interactions are always best, but sometimes this isn’t always possible and having a growing number of choices from celebrities, to authors to your local librarian will expose you to a wider variety of styles and voices. Happy reading and good night!

Have a favorite virtual storytime that can be found online? Post it in the comments below!

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