(WWBT) - Blogger Sarah Wade has a list of weekly activities for moms who have children of a variety of ages. The purpose of her list is to encourage social interaction for children that stay home and moms that might feel home bound or are discouraged for various reasons to venture out on their own.
The Week of June 5
Topic of the week: Library Story Times
My girls and I try to have a library day at least once a month. I have been to most of the main libraries in the Richmond and surrounding areas and they are all great! Most have large play areas with toys, and age specific story times ranging from 6 months all the way through school age. The story times are wonderful and are kid friendly.
It is not an environment where your child will be expected to sit still and listen to books the entire time. The stories are told in a way that keeps the kids engaged, incorporating songs, toys, games, bubbles, etc. It really is a great time and best of all its free! Where ever you are located you can check your county's library story time schedule online. The new library at Libbie Mill offers one of my favorite story times. They have a large separate room with a wall of toys and the instructors are very upbeat, keeping the experience exciting.
Another thing that makes this library special is the sensory play dates and themed activities that they offer periodically. You do not need to have a library card to attend story times, although I would recommend getting a card if you don't already have one so you will be able to pick out some fun new books during your visit. Story times are a top activity for hot or rainy summer days!
Finding time for books
I feel fortunate that my girls are naturally drawn to books. Especially considering that neither myself or my husband enjoy reading. I always wanted to be a reader but it was never something that I could get hooked on, even as a child. My lack of interest has been the driving force for making sure that my girls are at least exposed to books daily, and whether or not they become lovers of books, well that's up to them.
I once had a women approach me while I was waiting in the car with my girls and told me that I should use this down time to read them a book. Now, for those who know me well they have heard me talk about this encounter a thousand times because I was outraged, I took this comment as an insult. After I took some time to process what this women said, it started to make sense. We should have dedicated reading times, and the 5-10 minutes I spend waiting in my car wouldn't be the worst time to do that.
How to make a habit of reading
Children love routine and they will be more likely to engage in the book you are reading if you are reading to them regularly and at around the the same times. Like a lot of people I read books before nap and before bed, this just happens to be what works for us. Bedtime is the traditional story time, but it doesn't have to be your story time. Maybe you don't have a consistent bed time routine, maybe you work nights, or maybe you are just to worn out at night, I can relate to that.
So, lets take a minute to think about it, if you have not started a reading routine yet, when will your story time be? Maybe during breakfast, during bath time, or even while you are waiting in the car. No matter when your family's book time is your little ones will absorb the benefits of reading, and they will learn to look forward to this special time you spend with them.
For pre-school age children and up consider checking out some early reader books from your local library. They are normally pretty quick to run through, they are age appropriate, and they encourage memorization and repetition for early reading skills.
Do you get board during reading time? If you have trouble getting into your kids books try mixing it up! Either check out a variety of books from the library, that way it’s always fresh and interesting. Or another option would be to check out more advanced chapter books, some times going up a few reading levels will help keep you as the parent more engaged, and in turn your child will be too!