Take Your Child to the Library Day celebrations take place in February– a great opportunity to check out your local, public library with your child. Take your child to the library is also Raising Readers Resolution #4 for 2017!
Libraries are also, no longer a place of shushing.
Did you know that most local libraries offer free story hours for children and their caregivers? Many libraries have story hours that are geared for specific age groups as well. “This is not your parent’s library”. They are busy, active, community spaces!
If you’ve never attended a story hour, you are in for a treat. It’s not only a great opportunity for your child to hear someone (other than you) read aloud to them, but it is a chance for them to interact with other children and adults. Your child will enjoy 20 minutes or more of reading, which is the recommended daily dose! Parents can connect with other parents, who are dealing with many of the same things. For me, as a mom, it was great to realize I wasn’t the only one who was living on lack of sleep or dealing with tantrums, or wiggly kids. It was also an opportunity to be around other adults, not just my kids! I made a lot of new friends and realized it was a network for babysitters, too.
Benefits of Attending Story Hours at your Local Library
When you attend a library program with your child, they learn to share with others, take turns, they learn to listen, they begin learning songs, finger plays and rhymes and they might do a craft or play a game, related to the story or theme that week. They also make new friends, and begin the habit of life-long reading!
The librarian or volunteer leading story time is a resource for book recommendations and other children’s programs in your area. Encourage your child to talk to their librarian, and get help finding just the right book. When your child helps choose the books to borrow they are even more likely to sit and listen to a story read at home. It’s ok to read the same book over and over again. If they are enjoying it, it is one of the first steps to becoming readers on their own when they become familiar with what they are reading.
When you check out books to read together at home, it creates a community connection to your library. Keep a fresh supply, and make attending a story time with your child a part of their regular routine. Get you and your child out of the house and enjoying the company of great books alongside other kids and families and take advantage of this free service!
(Miss Amy) Hand is Head Children’s and Youth Services Librarian at Camden Public Library.
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