Your toddler may be ready for some quiet and structured story time at the local library.
Toddlers are sometimes different in their own environments than they are in public settings. Even the toddler who loves to run around the house and talk and babble non-stop could be ready for a group book reading session.
You may think that your active toddler will not be interested in sitting and listening to a book being read by a stranger. You may even think that the group will be too loud, or noisy and uncontrolled.
Watching a room of toddlers sit and listen to a book being read can be eye-opening. Most toddlers, even the youngest ones who cannot fully grasp what is happening, will sit quietly and listen.
A storytime usually includes a mix of book reading, a theme of the day, some stuffed animals or puppets, and songs. Craft time may be included at the end.
Check the Age Range of the Storytime – if your local library has a story time, try to start taking the toddler as soon as he or she is age eligible. If you have more than one child and only one is in the age group, it is usually not a problem to take both children with you. Check with the library first if you are unsure.
Benefits of Early Introduction to Storytime – The earlier you introduce your toddler the story time, the better chance of the child learning some social skills. The story time involves quiet listening time, interactive singing time, and sometimes hands-on craft time. A hello and good bye song when included also add to the social learning skills of the toddler.
Test the Waters The only way to find out is to go – If you are really unsure if your toddler will tolerate any amount of sitting time, you can still attend. The only way to know for sure how a toddler will react and behave in a story time setting is to go. When most of the other toddlers are sitting, your toddler will also sit and listen. If the group is too rowdy, your toddler may also join in with that fun.
Toddler likes books – If your toddler enjoys books at home, and will sit while you read him or her a book, he or she may really enjoy storytime.
Toddler can Sit Quietly – If your toddler likes to enjoy quiet time, while playing, or reading, he or she will enjoy a public story time.
Toddler is Social – The social toddler who gets excited to see other children when you are out will also enjoy the social atmosphere of story time. Children who are under two do not have that many opportunities to interact with other children. This is even more true for children who stay at home with a parent, an only child, or a child who has much oldersiblings.