Most public libraries have a special story time for preschool aged children. Having been in charge of a story time program for over a year, I have discovered many benefits children get by attending a story time. However, only a few are listed below!
1. Instills A Love For Reading
Story time shows kids that reading can be fun, interactive, and magical. Because younger kids are not able to read by themselves it’s up to an adult to get them reading. Going to a story time program does just that.
Many of our kids that attend, check out stacks of children’s books weekly because they love reading. I love seeing children so excited about checking out their books.
2. They Can Use Their Imaginations
During my story times, I try to incorporate different activities to inspire the kid’s imaginations. Last fall, I made three different types of leaves and hid them throughout the library. I took the kids on a little leaf hunt to gather the leaves. A few weeks ago, I did a safari theme and the kids used their imaginations to hunt for a “lion.” This upcoming week, I’m having a dinosaur theme and the kids will be looking for “fossils.”
It’s important for kids to know how to use their imagination and to know that it’s okay to do so.
3. They’re Able To Express Their Creativity
At the end of each story time, the kids partake in some sort of craft related to that day’s theme or a book that I read. My crafts range from a simple coloring page to cut and paste crafts. I make an example craft to show the kids the gist of what the end result should look like, but I always tell the kids to do whatever they like and to make it their own.
4. They Gain Interaction With Other Kids
A story time program is a great way for younger kids to meet and make friends their same age. Story Time is a perfect opportunity for an only child or a child with older siblings.
5. Story Time Can Enhance A Child’s Attention Span
We all know that children have short attention spans. By attending an interactive story time, it can help lengthen that span. While reading a story, I tend to ask the kids questions such as “what do you think is going to happen next?” If I’m reading a book with pictures of animals, I’ll ask them what animals they are or I’ll ask what color something is. Asking questions helps keep the kids focused on the story.
Another way I keep the children focused is by doing some sort of “get the wiggles out” activity. We’ll do little songs or dances that gets the kids up and moving.
6. They’re Able To Practice Or Learn Listening Skills
Story time is a great opportunity for kids to learn how to use their listening skills. This is great preparation for once they are able to attend school. The kids will learn how to sit down quietly, while listening to a grown up reading a book. They’ll learn when it’s a good time to be quiet and when to be not-so-quiet.
7. Story Time Starts A Routine Trip To The Library
Story time allows the child to get into a weekly routine of getting books at the library. This is important because they will more than likely keep up with it as they get older. Libraries have so much to offer and it’s great that kids will learn that at a young age.
Do you attend a story time program with your child? If not and you would like to, contact your local library for more information. If your local library does not have a story time, perhaps you could suggest that they do so!
Check out a visual example of what a story time could look like below!
Youtube Channel: The New York Public Library