Youth Resources

Kids Story time and Early Literacy

What exactly is Storytime?

Each Storytime is a carefully planned “class” designed for your child’s delight.  You and your very young child will enjoy music, movement, preschool games and age appropriate stories together.   As your child becomes older, he/she will have their first opportunity to experience being in a small group setting with other children while you wait just outside the room.

Some storytime programs include a simple arts and craft project for you to enjoy exploring together.

By bringing your child regularly to storytime, you help her/him build important early skills

  • a love of words, stories, and musical play,
  • listening skills that lead to reading,
  • physical coordination through play,
  • very early social skills, and
  • the ability to participate in a group.

Take advantage of the Villa Park Public Library’s free programs for young children!  For specific dates and times, please refer to our calendar.

Programs offered:

Marvelous Mornings This program is for all members of the family.  It is offered the first and third Saturday of each month, 10:00 am 10:45 am.  Simple stories and songs are followed by exploring a craft project to take home.
Babies and Books This first introduction to library “class” is for babies who are not yet walking, accompanied by an adult.  You can choose Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 am-9:30 am.  Please register in advance.
Toddler Time We do a lot of movement in this program, since that is what toddlers are all about!  Along with short stories, we’ll enjoy simple songs, moving to music, and preschool games, followed by an optional 15 minutes of playtime with toys in the library’s play tubs.  Choose Mondays or Thursdays, from 10:00 am-10:30 am.  Please register in advance.
Family Storytime This program features a dynamic selection of stories and music-based movement for families with children of all ages.  Children under 3 years old must be accompanied by an adult.  Please register in advance. Tuesdays, from 9:30 – 10:00 am.
Story Circle for Preschoolers For children who are 3-5 years old, this program of stories, musical activities, preschool games is designed for children to enjoy on their own.  Wednesdays at 9:30 am-10:10 am.
Ready for Reading A storytime program for children age 4 and older.  Children will enjoy longer stories, fun with music, and a variety of simple early learning games.  Thursdays from 1:15 pm-2:00 pm.  Please register in advance for this program for children to enjoy on their own.

Advanced Registration

Please note: (If a program requires pre-registration and fails to meet a minimum, it may be cancelled 24 hours in advance).  You may register when you are visiting the library, or by calling (630) 834-1164.   We thank you for letting us know if you are coming, so we can be prepared for you!

Storytime Tips for Parents & Caregivers

  • Arrive early so that children have a chance to settle in.
  • Children love to be called by name. Please help them keep their name tags on.
  • Participate with your children and join in the songs and activities.
  • Everyone has good days and bad. If your little ones are crying or fussy, please take them out of story time. You can always rejoin us when they’re ready!
  • Be a model for your child – please save conversations until after the presentation.
  • Turn off cell phones, or set them to silent. If you must take a call, please step outside the room before answering.
  • Put books and toys away to minimize distractions for your child.
  • Supervise your child. Running and climbing on or under the furniture can be dangerous!
  • Storytime is food-free.  Any exceptions will be noted.
  • Have fun!

Early Literacy

Help your child get ready to read. Learning to read begins before children start school. From the time they are infants, children learn language and other important skills that will help them learn to read. Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read once they begin school. Learn how to help your child get ready to read with simple activities every day.

These are five of the best ways to help children get ready to read:


Talking with your child is one of the best ways to help develop language and other early literacy skills. Conversations help a child express thoughts, learn what words mean and gain new information about the world.

  • Make sure your children have lots of opportunities to talk with you – not just listen. Take turns.
  • Answer your child when they ask questions.
  • Rephrase what your child says and introduce new words to the conversation.
  • Speak to your child in the language you know best.


Singing slows down language and makes it easier for children to hear the distinct sounds that make up words. This helps when children begin to actually read. Songs also teach new vocabulary and introduce new ideas and concepts.

  • Sing with your children any chance you have – you don’t need a perfect voice, just some enthusiasm.
  • Move to the music. Children develop motor skills as they clap, jump, twirl and spin to music.
  • Clap along to the rhythm in songs to help the children hear the syllables in words.
  • Make up a simple tune for one of your child’s favorite books.


Shared reading – or reading books together – is the single best way to help children develop early literacy skills. Read together every day and talk about the books you read.

  • Shared reading is meant to be interactive – talk about the pictures, have your child turn the pages and predict what will happen next.
  • Create a special space for your children to look at books. Make sure that your child can reach books without needing help.
  • Show your child that reading is important by letting them see you read.


Writing activities help children learn letter names and sound out new words. Writing also helps children understand that written words represent ideas, places and events. As children scribble and draw, they practice eye-hand coordination and exercise the muscles they will need to write letters and words.

  • Keep crayons, markers, magnetic letters and paper within your child’s reach.
  • Encourage your child to add items to your shopping lists and write thank you notes.
  • Create your own picture books – let your child draw the illustrations and dictate captions to you.


Children learn how to express themselves, the meaning of words and other early literacy skills by playing.

  • Provide inexpensive props like large boxes, old clothes or costumes for dress up, empty food containers, shopping bags and empty paper towel rolls.
  • Encourage your child to create stories by imagining he or she is in another place or pretending to be someone else.
  • Act out a story based on the pictures in a book.
  • Ask your children to pretend to read you a book they have heard many times.

Art Jam

Art Jam – A magazine featuring kids’ writing and artwork produced by the Villa Park Public Library.

Museum Adventure Pass

The adventure begins at your local Illinois library! The Museum Adventure Pass program provides free admission or a special discount at participating, Chicago Area cultural destinations. This opportunity is made possible by the participating cultural organizations, and the participating Illinois public libraries. Learn more. Visit either of our Public Service Info Desks with your library card in hand and check out a Museum Pass. Museum Passes are limited, and available on a first come, first served basis. They cannot be reserved.

Early Literacy Resources

There are many ways to encourage early literacy. Here are some tips from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Public Library Association (PLA).

Web Resources

Looking for some awesome and unusual kid-friendly resources? Our Youth Services librarians look for the best of the web. Whether you need homework help or you just want to have fun, here are some great links to help you find what you need!

  • Resources
    • ALA/ALSC Great Websites for Kids

      Check out these awesome web resources for kids organized by the American Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children.

    • KidsReads

      Kidsreads is a place on the web for kids to find info about their favorite books, series and authors. Features include reviews of the newest titles, interviews with authors and special features on books, trivia games, word scrambles and contests.

    • NoveList

      Log in with your library card number and pin Electronic readers' advisory resource which assists fiction readers of all ages in finding new authors and titles.

    • NoveList K-8

      Log in with your library card number and pin NoveList K-8 contains materials for youth, including picture books, children's "chapter" books, juvenile and young adult titles.

    • YALSA book lists

      The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA) which gives a number of awards and produces several award and reading lists each year.