When stories are a part of the daily hum of raising little ones, it can get a little repetitive as favorite books make repeat appearances in the storytelling line-up. So, whether you’re reading the same book for what seems like the millionth time or you’re just looking for ways to add a spark of magic to the bedtime routine, we have a couple of ideas to help keep storytime engaging for the kids (and for you.)

Help the characters of a new or favorite story leap out of the pages by creating a storyboard. Flannel and felt boards are a great way to act out a story, either while you’re telling it or afterward as little ones move the characters around and tell the story themselves. When children can participate in their own picture books, their interest and attention are laser-like!

Making your own felt board is about as simple as it gets. You can create something mega fancy or quick and cheap. Either version is full of fun and packed with early learning. If you work better from instructions, try Martha Stewart’s version. Or, it can be as simple as a sheet of felt material stapled to a piece of cardboard. Characters can be homemade from felt pieces or made with pictures you print out with felt or Velcro on the backside. The felt pieces stick together but are also easy for little hands to move and re-stick.

Now you’re ready to introduce your own flannel theater to the kids. Play memory games, practice shapes/letters/vocab, move the three little pigs as they run from the big bad wolf. You’re only limited by your imagination! And if you’re looking for inspiration, I recommend Flannel Friday on Pinterest.

Want more variety for your at-home storytime merriment? Be sure to check back for more ideas next month!