Early Literacy: Storytime

Storytime and Early Literacy at Lake Oswego Public Library


Welcome babies, toddlers, and preschoolers! Storytimes are brain builders for babies and young children. Each of Lake Oswego Public Library’s four storytimes are designed to promote early literacy at every stage of your child’s primary development.  Have fun at storytime and get great ideas for building literacy skills at home.


Chirp Musical Laptime
For Baby (birth-18 mos)
Mondays at 3:00 p.m.

Singing with guitar accompaniment and creative movement make this the perfect fit for the youngest child.  Here's how Chirp Musical Laptime promotes early literacy:

  • Singing slows down language, allowing babies to hear the smaller parts of words.
  • Instrument play accentuates the rhythm of words.
  • Babies in laps feel the gentle rhythms of adult movement that coincide with word beats.
  • Babies hold and shake a “baby-sized” percussion instrument.
  • Babies hear new words in songs.
  • Find out more about Chirp


Baby Storytime (birth-18 months)
Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Baby storytime is an introduction to books with plenty of songs and movement. Learning to love books starts here!


  • Babies see how books “work” as board books and other short, simple picture books are read. Babies are given board books to investigate.
  • Songs, finger plays, and action rhymes/songs are shared, reinforcing the connection of rhythm and language.
  • Scarves are passed around for rhyming games, reinforcing rhythm/language connections.
  • A variety of manipulatives and toys are dispersed for babies to encourage manual dexterity and language interaction between baby and caregiver.
  • Babies in laps feel the gentle rhythms of adult movement that coincide with word beats.
  • Nametags allow baby to hear his/her name in opening song and throughout program.


Toddler Storytime (18 months-3 years)
Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Toddler storytime presents songs and movement with an increased emphasis on reading and storytelling.


  • Big books, board books and regular picture books with simple texts are shared. Librarians engage toddlers with questions about stories and pictures and highlight relationship between words and the items and concepts they represent.
  • Puppets and flannel board pieces allow toddlers to see and hear different forms of storytelling . Both methods showcase the components of the narrative form.
  • Songs enrich vocabulary and make it easier for toddlers to hear the small sounds in words.
  • Movement activities help children connect rhythm, sound and language.
  • Nametags allow toddlers to see the letters of their names and let caregivers model writing.
  • Alphabet-based songs and activities provide early introduction to letter knowledge.
  • Storytime activities at the end of toddler time include drawing, playing with blocks, using peek-a-boo scarves, and parachute fun. Play stimulates discussion and word building. Drawing and scribbling are natural pathways to writing.


Preschool Storytime/Own That Word (3-5 years old)
Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Preschool storytime offers longer picture books and flannel board stories with a greater emphasis on vocabulary and letter knowledge.

  • Books with more complex storylines are introduced.  Librarians engage preschoolers with questions about stories, pictures.
  • Librarian highlights one word from each storytime session, underscoring that books and stories offer children a rich and varied vocabulary not often present in everyday conversation. Find out more about the Own That Word initiative.


  • Book covers and pictures in books are looked at in greater depth.  Children are encouraged to “read” the pictures for information about the story.
  • Flannel stories and puppets offer alternative ways of storytelling, promoting narrative skills.
  • Alphabet pieces are used to encourage letter knowledge and the idea that words represent items and concepts.
  • Songs offer new vocabulary and let preschoolers hear the smaller sounds in words.
  • Rhymes, action activities and music further enhance understanding between rhythm and language.
  • Nametags help preschoolers connect letters and sounds with the sounds in their names.