This article is sponsored by Wichita Public Library.
Youth librarians at Wichita Public Library spend hours finding picture books to read at story time while also developing songs and activities that are woven into the 30-minute weekly event.
Storytimes at public libraries are staples for families with young children. Not only is it a great social event for both kids and parents/caregivers, storytime helps kids develop early learning skills that create young readers.
At Wichita Public Library, nearly every location hosts a storytime:
- Nursery Rhyme Time is for children ages two and under and helps then develop a love of learning as they sing, dance and enjoy simple stories. Ms. Katrina at the Rockwell Branch also hosts Toddler Dance Party once a month after Nursery Rhyme Time, which…
- Family Storytime lets kids ages 0-6 and families share a love of stories together that engages a broad range of developmental stages.
- Preschool Storytime for children ages 3-6 helps them develop literacy skills through active listening, singing, movement, and sharing a love of stories in a group setting.
- Cuentos Bilingues for children ages 3-5 exposes them to another language (Spanish) with a unique story time presented in both English and Spanish.
- Family Pajama Storytime is offered occasionally and some locations for children ages 3-8. It’s a story time that provides songs and stories before bedtime – children can come dressed in their pajamas and are encouraged to bring along a favorite stuffed toy for snuggles and fun!
The Library’s Cuentos Bilingues story time was featured on KSN’s Good Day Kansas last fall as part of their Hispanic Heritage Month series. Click here to watch that segment.
So, why storytimes?
Storytimes are longstanding staples at public libraries. They develop early literacy and school readiness skills. Activities during story times are included for a reason – to help develop a specific skill. For example:
- Singing helps children hear that words are made of smaller sounds, and teaching rhythm helps children learn to think spatially.
- Reading stories gets children excited to read, and demonstrates how books work (how you open a book, how you turn the page – motor skills).
- Crafts help children practice fine motor skills and lets them be creative!
- Bringing out toys for play time encourages oral communication and lets children use their imagination.
Sure, storytimes are fantastic forms of entertainment, but they provide so much more for children. Storytimes are great ways for children to make new friends and develop new skills – they position children to become readers, which sets them up for success in life.
When you visit a Wichita Public Library location for storytime, spend some time exploring before or after. Take a look at the abundant children’s collection of books available for you to borrow. Ask about other activities you can take home, like:
- Playaway Launchpads, which are pre-loaded with content for kids and designed with a simple, easy-to-use interface.
- Early Learning Backpacks help create young readers with themed kits containing picture books, educational games and toys, and an activity guide.
If you have questions or want to chat with a youth librarian, visit us at one of our seven locations!