One of the ways I tried to involve the children in our story time was by using an interactive board and characters from the story. I would pass out the characters, and as I read the story, the children would place the characters on the story board. The story boards could be large like a poster board, a flannel board or they could be as small as an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of cardstock paper. Many times I would prefer the smaller one, depending on how many characters were in the story.
Above is my flannel board. On the right is a portrait version of a 8 1/2 x 11 card stock story board. I also use a landscape version of the card stock.
One of our favorite stories to read in the Winter was The Mitten, by Jan Brett. On the internet there are dozens of free printables to use with this story. Here are the ones I used.
I literally found hundreds of free printables online to fit any story you may read.
An all-time favorite book was Bony Legs, by Joanna Cole. The children loved to get the shivers when we read it at Halloween time! I just typed Bony Legs into the search engine and voila! Tons of pictures to download!
Another fun way to involve the children is to use craft stick puppets. Most of our theme books include a set of puppets to go with the songs and poems in that book. Illustrations from the internet could be used as stick puppets as well.