Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hot Tip: Storytimes Are Not Just for Children

Do you sometimes wonder why the children's librarian asks parents and caregivers to participate fully with their child in storytime? It's not just to see grownups do silly things.

When you participate fully, you can extend the storytime experience with your child after you leave the library.
  •  By learning the songs and rhymes, you can help your child enjoy these activities and successfully learn them.  Next time you go to storytime, your child will be able to say "I know that song!"

  • You can also reinforce "narrative skills", an important component of early literacy. Have your child retell a story,  song, or rhyme that was presented during storytime  in his or her own words.  These activities help your child learn about story structure (beginning, middle and end) and learn to organize what they have observed.

  • Your participation models appropriate group behavior for your child--how to interact with other participants, how to be a good listener, how to participate, and how to respond when called upon. These skills are part of kindergarten readiness.

  • As your child's primary role model, your full participation in storytime signals the value you place on it.  A parent or caregiver who acts interested by participating in the program shows your child that this activity is important.  In turn, the activity will be more important to your child.
To get the most out of storytime, participate fully with your child.  You'll support important learning skills and have a good time acting a bit silly.