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. But there's more to say about Early Literacy! Read on to learn tips for getting the most from your storytime experience.
Engage. Sit with your child and share the experience as much as possible. Make eye contact during stories and songs, noticing which ones they especially connect with and truly enjoy. If the opportunity arises to plop your little one in your lap for an action rhyme or two, take it. These are great bonding moments that serve to strengthen the overall idea that books and reading are fun.
Enjoy. Of course you enjoy being with your little one at the library, but you’re probably sick to death of hearing Go Away Big Green Monster or singing about Five Little Monkeys doing, well, anything. This is where fake-it-until-you-make-it comes in handy, only now you need to fake it until your child makes it. Pretending everything happening in storytime is gobs of fun and super exciting to you will increase your child’s interest in participating. And the more your child participates, the greater the benefits they reap from attending the program. If you think participating in storytime is really fun and worth the effort, they will too!
Extend. Once you’ve left storytime, ask your child questions about the books that were read. Be sure to ask open-ended questions; avoid yes or no answers. Instead of asking, “did you like the story about the dog?” ask, “Why did Harry hide the scrubbing brush at the beginning of the story?” Asking questions that help your child retell the story chronologically emphasizes that books have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Encourage your child to practice at home any fingerplays learned in storytime. Fingerplays give children a chance to develop their fine motor skills and to become familiar with words they may not hear in everyday conversation.
So the next time you and your kiddo roll up to a library storytime, just remember the three “Es.” Engage, enjoy, and extend.
We hope to see you soon at one of Chandler’s many storytimes!