What brings parents and children from all over the city to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. This month we're highlighting Talk.
We’ve all heard the frustrated cries from parents of teenagers everywhere, “my child just won’t listen to anything I say.” Well, lucky you - as the parent of a 0-5 year old, when you talk, your kiddo is always listening. And while they may not do exactly what you requested or might not appear to be fully engaged, they are hearing you and therefore, you are actively building their future vocabulary. So talk, and talk and talk. Talk about your day, all day, every day.
As you talk directly with your child throughout the day, you are helping to build their vocabulary and their language skills. As you narrate your day-to-day activities you are building your child’s background knowledge, which is what they take with them to school. Their background knowledge is what they rely on when beginning the process of learning to read.
Compare the following narratives spoken to a young child.
“We need to hurry.”
”I’m going to need you to step on the gas, buddy. That means we need to hurry up. Grandpa is waiting for us at the park so let’s get your shoes tied.”
Don’t skip words they may not understand, explain them.
“We also need to run to the grocery store to buy ingredients to make Daddy’s favorite dinner. It’s a spicy dish, which means it’s a little bit hot in your mouth.”
These are perfectly appropriate narratives for the parent of a child anywhere from 0-5 years old. This is because you are not looking for instant comprehension, you are building a history of words that your child will have already heard before they ever begin formal education. No, your child will not grasp every word, but image the impact such rich narratives will have on your pre-reader as the years build upon each other.
Storytimes come back in January - check our events calendar for dates and times at your library location. In the meantime, check out our Kids 0-5 page for High Five Reads and other suggestions, or try Tumblebooks for online animated picture books that read to your child.