We all know that reading with children is important. But before toddlers or preschoolers even have the ability to identify letters; story time can play an influential role in their development. Here are a few reasons why stories, songs and rhymes in a group setting are valuable:
Story time introduces basic skills
If they haven’t had a lot of exposure to books at home, story time can help kids become familiar with letters, words and language. In addition to early literacy skills, other key lessons include how to pay attention, sit still (even for a short time!) and take turns. Plus watching and interacting with other children the same age is great for social development.
These simple abilities, developed through story time, can help kids get a jump start on the school years ahead.
It engages their imagination
Listening to different (and animated) adults read, rhyme or sing out loud is captivating for little ones. Princesses, warriors, caterpillars, talking cats… there are lots of amusing subjects. These interactive group experiences can open new worlds.
When children get involved in the storyline and absorbed in the pictures, it inspires curiosity, encourages conversations and even helps support brain development.
Story time can initiate a love of books
If they find delight in stories, they can grow to enjoy books. From classic nursery rhymes to brand new books, story time is great because it’s fun, not a lesson. Instilling an appreciation for reading, rhyming, singing or poetry at a young age is groundwork for learning and loving books for the rest of their lives.
Story time is more than reading a book, it’s an engaging and meaningful experience for all young children.
The City of North Vancouver Library offers a free story time every Thursday at John Braithwaite Community Centre until December 15 and then again in the New Year from Jan 5 – March 30. The times are 10:00-10:30am for 0 – 2 year olds and 10:30-11:00am for 2 – 5 year olds.