Keeping young kids entertained is difficult enough without a stay-at-home order. Fortunately, bookworms from across the city are offering a solution in the form of free virtual story times. Children can sing songs, participate in fun activities, and enjoy stories read by local librarians, authors, and even drag queens. Here are five of our favorite virtual story times, all accessible on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram Live, so you and your little ones don’t have to leave home to find entertainment.
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Every week, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County uploads videos to its new YouTube channel, Storytime at Home. Librarians from around the city share a favorite book or two and accompany each story time with silly songs and activities based from the reading.
StoryTime with Sparkle!
Popular Cincinnati drag queen Sparkle Leigh is hosting story time now through May 2 on Facebook Live, with the help of Know Theatre of Cincinnati. Every Saturday from noon to 1 p.m., tune in to hear Sparkle read two to three stories and do fun giveaways.
Blue Manatee Literacy Project Bookstore
Watch Blue Manatee’s Instagram Live every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. for an interactive story time hosted by local illustrator and part-time employee Erin Lorraine Barker. With Barker, toddlers can sing and dance while listening to new stories.
Joseph Beth Bookstore
In addition to redesigning its website, Joseph Beth Bookstore is helping book lovers stay connected with other community members while staying at home. On Facebook, the bookstore offers a virtual book club every Wednesday at 6 p.m. for adults and virtual story times every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m. for children.
Story Tree Time by the Cincinnati Museum Center
The Cincinnati Museum Center hosts Story Tree Time, an interactive story time that typically takes place in the children’s play area in the museum. Families can watch the recorded story times on the museum’s YouTube channel as well as on the Story Tree Time page.