Submitted by evesham on

Attend a story time with a child and you may see picture books, puppets, parachute play, singing, crafts, and more. Public libraries work hard to create welcoming environments for families to come together for fun experiences. Best of all, underneath this vibrant, colorful surface, learning is happening through something called emergent literacy.

Before kids learn to read and write, there are six building blocks that form the foundation of literacy. Print motivation is fostered by using funny voices and gestures to bring picture books to life. Phonological awareness is just a fancy way to say rhyming words and songs help teach toddlers and preschoolers that words are made up of smaller parts. Handling books and writing name tags encourage a print awareness. Words are everywhere!  Choosing the right books to share in story time is so important to capture and hold attention. But, don’t be afraid to choose a book that introduces new words. The more vocabulary children know, the easier it will be to read to them. Adults tend to read the words, but children read the pictures. Develop their narrative skills by encouraging kids to describe what is happening in the picture. Lastly, we explore shapes and concepts during story time to develop letter knowledge. Learning the distinction between a circle and an oval requires the same skill set as distinguishing between an ‘o’ and ‘p’.  Exploring concepts such as colors and shapes can be made into a fun “I Spy” game to look for the blue objects or circles around the room. 

As you can see, library story times are so much more than just reading books. We are supporting you and trying to captivate your child’s imagination and foster a love of exploring and reading by teaching them under the guise of having fun!