Published on 07 June 2021

Reading to success

“Reading aloud with your child has proven to be one of the most valuable ways to set them up for success and help them develop a lifelong love of reading,” says Woodcroft Library Team Leader Kathrin Davidson.

Woodcroft is one of six City of Onkaparinga libraries that offer free storytime sessions for toddlers and babies, and Kathrin says there are a range of benefits the sessions offer.

“Research has shown children whose parents read to them when they’re young learn to speak, read and write more easily,” she says.

“The most important stage of brain development is between birth and three years of age, with 90 percent of brain development taking place between birth and five years of age.

“Reading can help develop the brain’s ability to focus, concentrate, plus improve social skills and communication skills.

“Reading with your child promotes early literacy skills including phonological awareness and letter recognition.

“It can help a child regulate their emotions and learn about their world and events, help them to discover, stimulate curiosity and learn new things such as familiarisation with animals and the sounds they make, different types of vehicles and transport and different cultures.

“Reading with your child also promotes a sense of safety, resilience, closeness and belonging with parents as they sit together and share the story.”

There are a range of storytime sessions available at Woodcroft, Seaford, Aldinga, Noarlunga, Willunga and Hub Libraries, which provide an opportunity to socialise with other new parents and caregivers, and provide an opportunity to learn new skills to engage with your child from experienced library staff.

Free sessions include:

  • Babytime – featuring age-appropriate stories, songs and rhymes to enjoy with your baby and encourage a sense of closeness and communication
  • Toddlertime – which develop literacy skills with age-appropriate stories and lots of action-based songs and rhymes to keep active toddlers engaged
  • Storytime – where children can enjoy stories and songs while developing school readiness skills for kindergarten and primary school
  • Sensory-friendly Storytime – which is focused on sensory based stories and activities that are accessible and fun for young children who prefer a calmer storytime environment with smaller group numbers and less distractions.

Bookings via Eventbrite are essential and Kathrin says the only problem is trying to leave the library at the end of the sessions.

“Libraries are such magical spaces, it can be hard to know when to stop browsing the shelves for books to borrow and take home,” she says.

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Storytime session at Aldinga Library