There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Story Time!
Children love story time, and rightly so! Books build imaginations while teaching children important literacy skills and vocabulary. Every child should be read to aloud for at least 15 minutes every day beginning at birth. As a child’s attention span lengthens, the amount of reading times should be increased.
Parents should carve out cuddle and reading time each day with your children, and make it part of a routine. The more you read the better so don’t save story time only for bedtime.
When choosing a child care program, you should be sure that the provider values reading as much as you do. Ask the provider how the program supports early literacy and how often the children enjoy story time during the day.
Look for these examples of early literacy support in your classroom:
- Make sure that books are easily accessible.
- Look for a diverse range of books– bright colors, sharp contrasts, rhythmic writing, lift the flap books and simple phrase books.
- Centers should be labeled.
- Are there paper, pens, pencils, crayons and other items to write and draw?
- After reading, do teachers encourage discussion of the book and characters?
- Is reading part of the child care program’s daily routine, such as at the close of circle time?
BIRTH to 1
- As you read with your baby, show her that pictures should be right side up.
- Provide board books for your child that can be touched and she can put in her mouth.
- Babies love books with bright colors in them.
AGE 1 TO 2
- Teach your child that reading is done from left to right.
- Point out words that have similar sounds and rhyme when you read with your child.
- Seek out story times geared for children your age at local libraries and book stores.
AGE 2 TO 3
- Children this age know that stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Help them understand the different parts of the story by imagining different beginnings or endings.
- Read and reread books that your child loves as she gains something new from the book with each reading.
- You can help increase your wiggly child’s attention span by finding entertaining books that you both love to read aloud.
AGE 3 TO 4
- Explain to your child that letters in a specific order form a word. Practice by teaching him to write his first name.
- When you are reading a book for the first time, take a moment to look at the cover and guess what the books might be about. Read the name of the author and illustrator to your child and tell him what those titles mean.
- Story books with just one or two sentences per page printed in a large, clear font are especially good for promoting word recognition.
AGE 4 TO 5
- When reading to your child, point out that there are spaces between the words.
- Encourage reading at home by creating a special, comfy space your child can go to enjoy his books.
- Help broaden your child’s awareness of social situations by reading books that provide opportunities for him to identify with a character’s feelings or behavior.
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