Storytime is a time to comfort, play with and teach your child
Being read to is one of childhood's richest experiences and it encourages healthy development in a number of ways. The following Comfort, Play & Teach tips can help you make the most of storytime with your child.
Spend some special one-on-one time with your child over a book. Storytime encourages snuggling and allows babies and young children to bond with you by feeling your warmth and listening to the comforting sound of your voice.
Help your child deal with real life issues through books. For example, reading and discussing a story about a child who is going to a new child care centre, has lost a pet or had a fight with a friend, can comfort your child with the knowledge that others have gone through the same situation and help him learn new ways to cope.
Wind down after a busy day by reading a story before bed. Storytime is a classic part of the bedtime routine because settling down together with a book allows children to feel comforted and relaxed.
Get your child actively involved. Asking questions about the events taking place, examining the illustrations together and talking about things and events that go beyond the story make for playful conversations.
Read books that are hands-on. Let your baby explore cloth books with his fingers and mouth while offering your toddler or preschooler interactive books. Your child will enjoy books that invite him to pull tabs, touch and feel textures, hear sound effects lift peek-a-boo flaps and more.
Escape into an imaginary world. As you read, allow your child to explore her imagination and delight in fantastical and whimsical illustrations that turn storytime into playtime.
Enhance your child's pre-literacy skills. Teach your preschooler to recognize letters and the corresponding sounds. Seek out these letters in books. Soon, he'll seek out these letters on his own every chance he gets.
Teach your child that reading is useful and important. Point out when reading helps you make a yummy treat from a new recipe, learn the instructions of a new game or find out about fun activities you can do from a newspaper listing. Modelling is the one of the most powerful ways to teach your child the importance of literacy.
Learn about new places without leaving home. Reading books is a good way to teach your child about places and experiences that may otherwise be inaccessible. Books can introduce children to the ocean, outer space, faraway countries and cultures, and open their minds to new ideas.
For suggestions on some of the best books for children, visit We Recommend