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Taking Your Child to Storytime at the Library: When to Start and What to Expect

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A children’s library is the perfect place to instill a love for reading and books in your child. Many libraries offer storytime, where a librarian or volunteer will read a book and do activities with groups of children. This time is a great break for parents and is a friendly environment for you to meet other families with similar-aged children. This article will provide some tips on taking your child to the library for the first time and what to expect from storytime.

Storytime By Ages 

Most libraries will break storytime into a few different age groups. These age groups are typically baby, toddler, preschool, and family. Here is what to expect from each group.

  • Baby storytime is an excellent opportunity to familiarize your children with the library environment. You can expect to be gently bouncing, singing, and playing with your baby while the librarian models how to bring the book to life with your child. While this age group will be less about reading and more hands-on as a parent, you will have plenty of time to connect with other families.
  • Toddler storytime will be much more active, with songs and games that will get your child moving. The books read tend to be interactive to engage your child in telling the story. Once your child has begun to confidently, toddler storytime is perfect for you.
  • Preschool storytime is designed to encourage your child to practice active listening. The books will be lengthier with a more complicated plot to help your child learn how to follow along with a story. Once your child can sit still for extended periods, they are ready for preschool storytime.
  • Family storytime is perfect if you have multiple children spanning different ages. It may be more chaotic, with various activities occurring simultaneously to keep kids from each age group engaged. Family storytime is perfect if you have multiple kids but do not have time to go to the various storytime groups they are a part of.

Library Tips 

Taking children to a library for storytime can be a bit tricky since libraries tend to be quiet, and kids are a bit noisy. Here are some tips and good practices for taking your child to storytime.

  • Familiarize your child with the library environment before your first storytime. If you are attending storytime for the first time with a toddler or preschooler, it is important to set their expectations before they get there. Before taking them to the library, explain that it is a calm environment where people go to learn and read. It is usual for children going to a library for the first time to be overwhelmed by the rows of high shelves filled with books. Simply going to the library to walk around for a few minutes before your first storytime is a great way to expose your child to a new environment before they are surrounded by other children and expected to do group activities.
  • Have a conversation about the proper way to treat library books. It is essential that before getting to the library, your child knows that these books are not their’s so they must treat them with respect. Remind your child to be gentle with the books, not to eat or drink near them, and not to draw on them.
  • Get your child their own library card. Most libraries will give out library cards to school-aged children. Getting their own card will give your child a sense of ownership and independence, adding an extra incentive to return to the library.
  • Research local libraries online before going. You can easily find libraries near you online and visit their websites. On their websites, you can see when they have story time and what age groups they cater to. Knowing your library’s children’s resources will help you make the most of the experience.

Find a Daycare to Help Grow Your Child’s Passion for Reading 

After experiencing storytime and the joys of reading books, it is likely your child will develop a passion for reading and will want to spend more time doing it. They must practice their reading not just at the library or at home, but also at the daycare they attend. The Learning Experience has daily storytime at their schools in each classroom. Your child can expect a similar experience to the storytime at the library.

To see more videos about story time, visit The Learning Experience’s YouTube channel here.

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