So, you’ve just had a baby! Congratulations to your entire family.
If you’re anything like me, you may be wondering how you can raise your child to love books and become a lifelong reader. When our oldest daughter was a newborn, I read a wonderful book from Mem Fox all about the benefits of reading aloud to her each day. With our second daughter, I realized that there even more ways to bring early literacy to young children: sign language and baby storytime.
Our family loves attending programs at our library: LEGO time, guest lectures from local experts, and even adult coloring! Our favorite activity is storytime, and it has been since the time our girls were babies.
Here are the benefits of baby storytime:
Storytime is fun.
Entertaining a baby can be a tricky endeavor. Baby storytime gives you a screen-free break from being the “entertainer.”
You get new ideas!
Children’s librarians are experts in early literacy. They can recommend new and favorite books, introduce nursery rhymes, and share tips you can apply at home.
It’s a bonding experience.
Many parents have told me they would love fewer distractions during family time. Baby storytime is an opportunity for you to give your baby lots of snuggles, tickles, and eye contact.
You meet other parents!
Becoming a parent can be an isolating experience. Attending baby storytime at the library gives you a chance to connect with other families in your neighborhood.
It sets good habits for the future.
Going to the library for baby storytime teaches your little one that the library is a fun place to be! As your baby grows into an inquisitive toddler, you can introduce them to browsing for board books and taking them home.
Resources for You
(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure here.)
You might also enjoy our printable booklist for babies:
What if you can’t go to baby storytime?
Maybe you live in a rural area without a library nearby, or perhaps you have a medically-fragile child and can’t go to crowded places. In that case, we would love to invite you to our monthly online story time for little ones! Bring your baby or toddler for songs, stories, and a little bit of sign language. Meet other parents and enjoy our online community. Learn more about our online story time here.
Listening (and watching) someone read a book to a child at Storytime (or sing songs, too) can contain many elements of early literacy to begin to prepare the child for when they start to read and can start anytime. Helps caregivers learn how to do it for the biggest benefits also.