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I hear it all the time… naps, chews books, can’t sit still, parking, weather, germs, I can barely get a shower….
No more excuses! Kids should go to Story Time!
And here’s why…
10. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
This is especially important for new parents. Even infants get bored. Swap the scenery, try something new. As the saying goes, ‘sometime a change is as good as a break.’ (I know we all really need a vacation, or at the very least a nap, but let’s take what we can get.)
9. Meet other grown-ups with young kids.
My son and I have both made friends through Story Time. It’s win-win! He gets to hang with kids and I get to talk to grown-ups.
8. Library Literacy.
Many older kids have no idea how to navigate a library, find resources, ask for help, or even check out books. Budget cuts have meant that many schools have no library staff or curriculum. Early library exposure ensures kids will learn how to use the library – a great FREE resource they can use throughout their lives.
7. Language Development.
From the minute they are born, babies are learning to connect meaning not only to sound, but also to symbols. In other words, they are learning to talk and also how to read! The more language they are exposed to, the greater their chances of developing these skills. Story Time is a great place to hear and see LOTS of fun, engaging language!
6. Phonological Awareness.
Ideally we all learn that words are made up of sounds. According to Mirian Trehearne, author of Comprehensive Literacy Resources for Kindergarten Teachers “A student’s level of phonological awareness at the end of kindergarden is one of the strongest predictors of future reading success” (ERA Cuisenaire, 2003). Playing with language through songs and rhymes from Story Time is a fun way introduce this skill.
5. Phonetic Awareness.
Hopefully, kids learn that letters correspond to sounds and have meaning. Making learning fun makes learning easier! (See #1).
4. Literacy and Pre-reading Skills.
When we are exposed to language in books we begin to learn that words rhyme, pictures have clues and word sounds can add meaning and richness to a story. These skills are essential to learning how to read and are all reinforced at Story Time.
3. Your kids will learn how to handle books and you can avoid overdue fines!
I constantly hear that grownups are reluctant to check out children’s books for two reasons: they are worried the books will be damaged, and, they are worried they will forget to return the books.
Teaching babies and toddlers how to care for books, turn pages and focus on the book can be taught if you take the time to share the library book together, just like we model at Story Time. Make reading library books a supervised activity until your youngster learns to stop chewing and tearing books. Leave independent book exploration for age-appropriate books from your home collection.
A regular Story Time schedule can help busy grownups stay on top of library returns! In our house we have a basket where we keep our library books when we aren’t reading them. We take the basket to the library for Story Time so we remember to return our books. Put the due date on your calendar or ask if your library offers email return reminders!
2. Instill a love of books and reading early on.
Kids have a better chance of becoming life-long readers when reading is associated with positive experiences from an early age. Trust me, one day you will be thrilled your teenager enjoys reading.
This September, The University of London’s Institute of Education released a study showing that students ages 10-16 who read regularly for pleasure scored significantly higher on standardized tests than their peers who did not read for pleasure. Children with caregivers who read to them regularly at the age of five, also did better on standardized tests when they turned 16, as compared to peers who had not had this experience at a young age.
1. Story time is FUN!!
Singing silly songs, playing games and dancing is much more fun (and much less intimidating) when you are surrounded by other families enjoying literature with you. Story Time can help you establish good daily reading habits, give you ideas for books, songs, rhymes and games. Most importantly, Story Time lets your kids see that YOU value books, libraries and reading!
Looking for some Story Time fun? Check out my blog.