Virtual Storytime Spotlight: Out of This World

Rather than following the CSLP manual, my library creates its own summer reading theme. Our theme this year is “Books and Beyond.” I had the first virtual storytime of the SRP season, and thus this storytime plan was born!

Sing: Hello, Hello*


During my welcome and pre-storytime announcements, I asked the grown-ups to stay nearby throughout storytime to help type answers in the chat box. I also asked them to find some paper and something to write with.

Sing: If You’re Happy and You Know It…*

Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story…*

Read: Hey-Ho, To Mars We’ll Go! by Susan Lendroth

I love the everyday diversity in this singalong story! Plus, you can encourage families to extend the experience by watching astronaut Christina Koch read this book IN OUTER SPACE and checking out fun science experiments through NASA’s Storytime from Space website.

Talk: Hat Sort

Hat Sort
Screenshot: Jessica wears a straw sunhat.

“What if we wanted to ride a rocket into outer space? What kind of hat would we wear? …that’s right, we need an astronaut helmet! Can you help me find the right hat?”

Screenshot: Jessica wears an astronaut helmet and pretends to peer into outer space. Her Zoom Background features stars and planet Earth.

Sing: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom (with Extra Verses)

  • Turn/Talk/Type: What do you see?

My friends saw lots of things in outer space – the sun, other planets, some stars!

And speaking of other planets…

Vote: Saturn or Neptune by Kate Riggs

I set up a Zoom Poll and asked the caregivers to help their child choose which planet they wanted to read more about.

Lit Tip: Building Print Motivation by Giving Readers Choices

Grown-ups, learning to read is HARD WORK and takes A LOT of motivation! Letting your child choose their own books is one of the best things you can do to help them build that print motivation… even if that means reading the same Thomas or Paw Patrol book over and over and over! By giving them reading choices NOW, you help them build the love of books they need LATER on the Road to Reading.

Read: Saturn by Kate Riggs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Seedlings nonfiction books are your storytime friend!

Write: Names


“Saturn is an interesting planet, but my favorite planet of all is the one we call home. Do you know what our planet is called? That’s right, we live on the planet Earth!”

“Earth is a very important, special place. That’s why when we spell Earth, the first letter is a capital E. E-a-r-t-h. Important names and places start with capital letters.”

“YOUR names are very important and special, too. Grown-ups, can you help your little ones write their names using a capital letter first and then lowercase letters?”

I invited families to turn their cameras on and show me their names! We compared the letters in our names to the letters in EARTH. Then we sang…



There is a planet we call home

And EARTH is its name-o!




And Earth is its name-o!


As we sang, I replaced each letter with a sticky note star to help us keep track of the claps:


The sky was filled with stars after our EARTH song was done, reminding me of another song I know!

Sing: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / ¿Estrellita, Donde Estas?

And speaking of stars… Twinkle Twinkle set the stage perfectly for our last interactive book.

Lit Tip: Interactive Picture Books & Print Motivation

Grown-ups, we talked earlier about the importance of print motivation and loving books. Another way you can help your child build this important skill is by reading fun, interactive books – like the one we’re going to read next!

Read: Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson

Sing: Our Storytime is Over, Wave Goodbye*

*Please visit this page to learn more about my regular storytime songs and routines.

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