Story time is an ancient concept that predates libraries, bookstores, and even the printing press. Humans have passed down stories, tales, and histories from generation to generation. Not only is it fun, but this study proves that story time at libraries positively affects early childhood literacy.
Whether you have one child or lots, having your own story time at home regularly will benefit children from tiny babies through early readers. Here’s how to have your own story time at home:
Intentionally choose books.
Take into account ages and attention spans. But don’t limit yourself. Books that rhyme, strong dialogue, silly words, and sing-song tempos all captivate the audience in different ways. Consider books with beautiful illustrations, and point out specific parts of the pictures or ask what your child notices on each page. Illustrations are key. But don’t discount The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak, which is sure to be a crowd favorite.
This is your own story time. Think about what you would love for your child to understand and appreciate: historical figures, another culture, a social movement, etc. Choose across genres and even languages. Include time for discussion before you start reading to explain why this book is important. Ask questions to keep the audience engaged and make sure they understand any new concepts. And summarize the book when it’s done, welcoming feedback and thoughts, which are especially entertaining when coming from the youngest listeners!
Play the part.
Have fun with costumes. If you have a theme – like medieval books – dress like a queen and have your attendees dress up as well. Or have a special costume for every time you host story time – like a big fancy hat that you call your listening hat to help remind your kiddos to listen.
Consider sitting on a magic carpet for story time or in an enchanted forest under your favorite tree outside. Too many props can be a distraction, but one special teddy bear or doll might be disappointed if they missed out on the story time fun!
The more the merrier for story time. Make a morning of it with snacks and a craft. Work out a rotation with other parents who will each host though out the month, which will expose children to different books in others’ homes, consistently giving them a new and positive experience.
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