As a Children’s Librarian, fall is one of my favorite times of year. The craziness of summer has subsided with the kids back in school. The library is still quite busy, but not from the minute we open our doors. And there is another reason I like the fall, story times.
I love doing story time with a group of preschoolers. They are usually old enough to sit and listen for a little while, then do some activity. We limit story time to 30 minutes for this age group, and it seems to work well. I enjoy picking out the books I’m going to read to the kids, as well as finger plays and music. I always start off with an action song to get everyone moving. Then I read a book. I often try to pick books that the kids can interact with. Books where they can repeat a phrase or make animal sounds are really popular. I intersperse 3-4 books with music or fingerplays until the end when I always do the Hokey Pokey. I hope the children find this as much fun as I do.
You don’t need to be a Children’s Librarian or have any credentials to read with your children. Many years ago, way before I ever dreamed I’d be a librarian, I read to my children. I still think of those times very fondly. It meant a lot to the kids, and to me, even if I was tired of reading a particular book 5 times in a row! I think if you were to ask my now adult children, they would say that those times when we sat and read together, are some of their best memories, too. I think that those experiences fostered a love of reading that they both have to this day.
So parents, put down that cell phone, tablet or laptop. Turn off the TV set. Is what you are missing really that important? None of is indispensable to our job or friends, but we are indispensable to our children as they are growing. Want them to do well as adults? Then spend some time NOW with them reading. It’s one of the most important things you can do. You will be a hero in your children’s eyes and you will be creating memories that last a lifetime: yours and theirs.