One of the greatest ways to instill the love of books and learning in our little ones is to read to your children as much as you can. The benefits of reading to your tots from a very early age are vast. From building and developing vocabulary to encouraging and strengthening their little imaginations, books and stories are the key to early childhood education.
So, you know it's important, but where do you start?
Pack up your tot and your favorite reusable cloth bag (you'll need something to hold all those books your child will want to check out!) and head to your local library. Long Beach is fortunate to have a total of twelve libraries within city limits, all of which are well-stocked with children's sections. While each library location offers different opportunities for our little learners, every location has scheduled story time hours. These story times accommodate children as young as three months of age (Tiny Tot Story Time) to preschoolers up to three years old (Toddler Stories).
If you're out shopping, break your day up with a visit to a local Barnes and Noble Bookstore. With two convenient locations in Long Beach, both of which have coffee and snack bars for hungry moms and tots, you'll truly find something for everyone. Try out the recurring pajama story time or sit for a spell and listen to volunteers read a variety of both new and cherished favorite picture books.
Story times not only allow children to experience a variety of books, but will also begin to teach them concepts of print, such as reading from left to right. Having other toddlers around encourages socializing and playing together, all in a nurturing, print-rich environment.
So, check your calendar and try out a local story time this week!
Check out Barnes and Noble's website for details on story times and locations.