Have you been skipping out on taking your children to the local story time? Are you so busy at night, with dinner, baths, and then rushing for bedtime, that you’re skipping reading a bedtime book? I get it. Really I do. When A was little, we were at story time multiple days a week and almost every night I was reading one of his many books to him. Then he got older. He got a little brother. We got busier. Story time got pushed aside. We were never attending local story times and I found that we rarely were doing bedtime stories.
But story time is really so important and you don’t want to skip it! I really can’t stress enough how important it is. Children learn so many life and social skills by participating in story time. Story time also broadens their vocabulary and their horizons. Remember an open mind is a learning mind.
I decided we had to make a change in our house. We now have story time almost every night. E loves to pick out books for us to read to him. A usually reads a book from his school app and then practices answering the comprehension questions. We also started having A read to E during the car rides to school. They both love that! The last change we made was taking advantage of local free story time events in the area. The local bookstore offers story time every Saturday morning. Both boys enjoy going and listening to the stories. However, my favorite part is that we are introduced to new authors every week!
So let’s talk about those benefits of story time. What are they exactly? Why is it so important that children do not miss out?
Benefits of Story Time
There are numerous benefits of story time. Some of the benefits are related to social skills learned. Whereas some of the benefits of listening to stories help more with verbal skills and academia.
Skills Learned at Story Time
The opportunity to learn and practice social skills is a benefit of story time. These are “real world” skills. Skills that are not only necessary for school readiness; but will continue to be helpful for children as they navigate through life.
Skills such as how to sit still for an extended period of time are learned at story time. As the reader is reading the book the child is sitting and listening. This skill will follow your children into adulthood. I’m sure you’ve met the person who has trouble sitting during a meeting or fidgets constantly throughout an interview. It’s in almost everyone’s DNA to want to move around. Sitting still and listening can be a learned skill. Now I understand not every child (or adult) can learn to sit still, some children have sensory and processing disorders that affect it. But nevertheless, story time provides an excellent opportunity to practice that skill.
When attending story time at the library or bookstore children are able to observe the other children and adults attending. This gives children the opportunity to examine behaviors in a social situation. They are able to see the adults modeling behaviors of sitting still and listening. They may see a child, that is roaming, be brought into a parent’s lap to sit still. Older children may raise their hand to ask questions at storytime, and the younger children will see this behavior and learn. If story time is held at home, the opportunity to learn social behaviors can be learned from the characters in the story.
Story time, especially if being held in a library, is a time for children to learn about “inside” or “quiet” voices. When story time is held at public spaces, such as a library or bookstore, children are placed in a situation where they need to refrain from being loud and rambunctious. Though children require physical activity and opportunities to be loud and playful, there is a time and place for that behavior. When attending storytime, children learn about this important skill that will take them through their school years and into adulthood.
Going hand in hand with sitting still and using quiet voices, storytime also improves children’s listening skills. When listening to stories there are various inflections and tones in the readers’ voice. These different sounds help improve children’s listening skills.
More Benefits of Story Time
Listening to stories provides children a chance to be introduced to new words. Children will listen to a story, hear the words, and process them. As they learn new words their vocabulary will build. When the same story is read at home, multiple times, children will learn to associate the spoken word with the written word. As children are continually exposed to the same stories they will learn to recognize written words.
One of our favorite parts of going to story time at the bookstore is being introduced to new authors each week. This gives us a chance to hear different writing styles and find books that our family can enjoy. Through storytime at the library or bookstore, we are able to enjoy stories from author’s we may have never heard. Sometimes we even go home with a book from the very same author.
Story time provides an excellent opportunity for the family to unplug and practice their social skills. While practicing social skills children can also work on language development and listening skills. If you are able to find a local storytime you will also get a chance to be introduced to new authors weekly! If you cannot go to a local story time, you can always tell your own stories or build your own in-home library made up of an assortment of children’s authors.
What was your favorite story as a child?
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Till next time…