If your family is used to dropping by storytime at the library (or even if they're not), we've outlined a few easy steps to help you keep reading, singing, playing and talking every day.
⏰ Step One:
Young children respond to and are comforted by routine. Set aside one or two times a day, the same time every day (or close to it), to share a storytime.
Select naturally calm times of the day in a child‘s routine, such as upon waking up in the morning, before or after a nap, while sharing a meal, or before bedtime. Selecting the same time every day will give children the comfort and familiarity of routine.
📚 Step Two:
Storytime should last about 30 minutes and consist of three to four books alternating with fingerplays, songs, and stretches.
Try to start and end with a book. Share picture books, Mother Goose rhymes or poetry, or for elementary children, read a chapter of a children’s novel each day.
Find 43 great traditional songs and fingerplays in the playlist below.
Or you can try a few of our favorites with a little help from Ms. Heather.
💬 Step Three:
Your young children may wander off while you are reading. That’s OK. Don’t stop reading. They are still hearing the words and your voice.
Make a homemade storytime sign for a child to hold up announcing it is time to begin to help encourage your children to sit and engage with the stories.
If you have a small group of children in your home, you can gather them on a sofa beside you and or on your lap to read. Hold the book so that they can all see the pictures. Alternately, you can sit on a chair and have them sit on the floor in front of you which may encourage them to participate in a more formal feeling of a storytime. Whatever works for you and your family!
😊 Step Four:
If you approach this 30 minute activity with joy and lightheartedness, and your children see that you are enjoying yourself and the books, they will join right in.
Choose books you enjoy and read with expression and however feels most natural to you. Enjoy this special time with your children, no matter their age!
Ready to get started? Grab books from home or find recommendations for age appropriate books, ebooks and eaudiobooks, here.