We’ve all been spending a bit more time at home than usual. And with winter almost on our front door, we’re likely to keep this pattern of behavior going on for a while longer. More than ever, in times like these, our homes truly are our sanctuaries. But they can actually be even more than that. Especially if it means keeping our children entertained. And while Netflix seems like the obvious go-to, there is still a lot to be said for the old tried and trusted pastime of storytime.
There are a number of reasons why storytime is still incredibly useful and important for kids. Away from school, kids can continue to learn and develop their minds in other ways. And storytime is a great place to start. Here are five great reasons for engaging in storytime with your children.
When you read stories to your children, their brain learns to focus and pay attention. By following the story along with you, they are learning how to listen and absorb information. Learning to pay attention is a skill that will stay with them for life. And because storytime can be fun, it doesn’t even need to feel like learning.
When children listen along to a story, their brain learns to visualize the words they hear. Their imagination is activated and while they’re hearing you read, inside their brain, they are bringing the world that you are describing to them to life. Imagination is a very useful tool to acquire and especially important in early development.
Children can learn a lot about emotions through storytime. They learn how to deal with them in the safety of your own home. The story you read might have emotional highs and lows. It’s important that children understand these emotions and having you there to reassure them through each story, gives them the confidence to face their own emotions.
Children can learn a whole lot about relationships from stories. How characters behave and respond to one another teaches them all sorts of social norms. But by spending storytime with them, you’re actually developing your own relationship with your children, establishing confidence and trust.
When the story is over, it’s good to discuss it. Why did the characters do what they did? How do you think they feel about it? Asking children questions about the stories you read to them gives them a great opportunity to practice problem-solving.
All of the above learnings help with early childhood development. And all of them can be done in the home without even having to open the front door. Nothing beats a Saturday afternoon story session on the couch with the sun pouring in through the windows. Enjoy it!