I first started talking about storytime here on my blog, but I thought I would update, since my Lil Guy has turned 3 and we are now doing storytimes more than ever. In our area, storytimes are usually geared for the under 3, pre-school, and then multi-aged groups. That means that at age 3 we can attend both lapsits (where children and care-givers both sit on the floor to listen to stories) and more independent storytimes where kids sit in groups and care-givers get folding chairs in the back of the room. The pre-school storytimes feature more and more early literacy activities. I can see that Lil Guy is showing more interest in sitting with the big kids instead of me (gasp), participating in answering questions and repeating phrases from the reader, and recognizing connections between the books, songs, and activities.
We’ve been to story times with color themes, themes such as dogs, circus, weather, and holidays, and even one storytime that focuses on a letter of the alphabet. The alphabet letter is previewed by showing all of the books that we will be reading and talking about 3 or 4 words that start with this letter. There is even a alphabasket that has small pictures or items beginning with this letter. Finally, one lucky child gets to reach into a mystery box and pluck out the felt letter which remains on the felt board during storytime. Since we are at the beginning consonant sounds phase with Lil Guy, he likes this part! Overall, these storytimes are doing a great job of introducing early literacy activities to little listeners.
We also attend some story times that have activities built into them. Almost like a hybrid class to get toddlers moving, one class has the adults sweating as we do head shoulders knees and toes and other clapping, singing, dancing, and stretching moves. I sometimes count this particular class as my exercise for the day. I should also point out that sitting still during this class never feels like an option, since Lil Guy grabs my hand and forces me to participate, yelling my name and loudly shouting, “Come on Mommy, get up and dance!” :) I know these sessions help make reading an active (not passive) activity for children.
Most of all, storytime seems to be just about making reading fun, making it a shared experience, and giving children a chance to explore books. How about you? What do you think of storytime? What’s your best experience with your Lil One and storytime?