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Enriching Early Literacy Storytimes: Helpful Tips and Lasting Inspiration

Early Literacy Articles

From brain science to the effects of caregiver involvement on literacy, the case for doing more with storytimes is deep and compelling. Here you will find articles full of helpful tips and lasting inspiration to help you enrich early literacy storytimes.

August 2015
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Finding fun and engaging ways to promote early literacy skills to children and their caregivers is one of the most rewarding parts of being a children’s librarian.

July 2015
Talk to Me, Baby: The Research Behind Language Development

The soft coos and playful babbling of infants may sound like pleasant nonsense to a parent’s ear. But as babies make these noises, they’re making important progress toward language development: they’re literally finding their voice.

June 2015
The Magic of Sensory Storytimes

Children with developmental disabilities can struggle in traditional storytimes. As a result, their caretakers may avoid bringing them to library programs. You can help all families feel welcome and address children’s learning needs with sensory storytimes.

May 2015
Playtime at the Library

At the La Crosse (WI) Public Library, children pretend to shop at a farmers market, tell stories on flannel boards and play parachute games — all while building early literacy skills in a natural way.

April 2015
The Storyteller’s Dilemma: Selecting High-quality Read-aloud Books

With countless classic tales and tens of thousands of new children’s books published each year, selecting books for storytime can seem overwhelming.

March 2015
The Art of Storytime

From encouraging fine motor movement to expanding vocabularies, art plays an important role in strengthening the skills our children need to succeed in the 21st century.

February 2015
Mix It Up! Tips for Successful Mixed-Ages Programming

In an ideal world, libraries would be able to offer an array of storytimes designed to meet the varying developmental needs of young children at different ages and stages.

January 2015
Making Storytime App-tastic!

Carissa Christner, a youth services librarian for the Madison (WI) Public Library, is using storytimes to help parents find and use the best apps for early literacy learning.

December 2014
Early Literacy: It’s Child’s Play

According to researchers, children’s participation in unstructured playtime is crucial to laying a foundation for literacy success. During dramatic play, children practice many of the same skills they need to become emergent readers.

November 2014
Sharing Stories: The Power of the Spoken Word

Put the focus on family literacy during National Family Stories Month in November. Learn about the benefits of sharing stories and get our caregiver handout, “10 Tips for Sharing Stories.”

October 2014
Raising Healthy Readers

What’s the best prescription for lifelong health? Early literacy skills, says Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, pediatrician and founding director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.

September 2014
Ready to Learn: A New Approach to Storytime

Sue McCleaf Nespeca currently heads Kid Lit Plus Consulting and is an adjunct instructor at Kent State (Ohio) University’s School of Library and Information Sciences. Here she shares her experience as one of the creator’s of the Very Ready Reading Program.

August 2014
The New Storytime: Putting Research into Action

Youth Services Librarian Jan Hanson had a dilemma that is familiar to many librarians. She was faced with a crucial need for family literacy services for her community, but had limited staff and resources.

July 2014
Finding Funding — Financing Early Literacy Skills

Increasing recognition of the importance of early literacy skills has led to a significant expansion of funding for quality early care and education programs. Government agencies at all levels, nonprofit organizations, and corporate foundations are investing in early literacy programs ...

June 2014
Reading to the Beat — Music and Early Literacy Skills

You probably already know that music is a fun, engaging way to interact with infants and toddlers. Recent research shows that music also boosts early literacy learning in a number of ways ...

February 2014
1 Book for Every 300 Children

While the neuroscience behind language acquisition and reading readiness is complex, the pathway to early literacy development is not. No special tools or toys are required ...

April 2013
A New Approach to Early Literacy

At a recent library conference, we invited 10 librarians to breakfast hoping to gain some candid insight into the realities of life in a library. We expected to talk about ...