Five Ways Storytime Helps Kids Get Ready for School

Early learning | 3-minute read
By Tracie Popma
January 29, 2019
Did you know that storytime at the Library can get your kid up, dressed with their teeth brushed and out the door on time?
We didn’t either — because that’s not how storytime gets your kid ready for school.
Instead, our storytimes lay the groundwork for young children to become everything they have the potential to be.  
By the time a child is 5 years old — the point where we often think education begins — a child’s brain has grown to 90% of the size of an adult’s brain.
Use your full-size brain to ponder that for a moment … amazing, isn’t it? That’s why we’re so excited to be able to help parents be their child’s first teacher.
Early learning — that’s for kids 0-5 — is our top priority at the Library. These crucial years make a difference as they are a vital time for developing a growing bank of words that your child understands.
Talk. Sing. Read. Write. Play. These five activities help build a child’s vocabulary and get them ready for school, while creating opportunities for them to practice language and build a full word bank.
There is no greater place to get started than at your local storytime. It’s like blending cauliflower into your child’s mac and cheese. They love it, and are none the wiser that it’s good for them. Here’s insight into how that works:

Talking with children helps them learn vocabulary. Talking about what is happening on the pages of a book is a great way to share language, and giving children a chance to talk helps them use different parts of their brains.

Singing slows down language so that children can hear the smaller sounds in words. Storytime songs also help introduce new words and concepts in a fun, engaging way.

Hearing stories read out loud is a great way to learn new words. Picture books can contain up to 40% more rare words — words that aren't typically used in everyday conversations.

Children need to develop the muscles and coordination needed to learn to write. To help them do that, we move our hands while singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and often provide toys and art activities after storytime to help them practice their motor skills.

Most of all, storytime is fun! And play is the most natural way that young children learn. So while storytime is jam packed with early learning activities, children will think of it as the place they get to play with shakers, move and wiggle, or giggle at a silly story. There are also age-appropriate toys and play spaces in every library to continue the learning and exploration after storytime is over.
So what do you do now? Hop onto Ticketmaster and get your tickets for the next storytime.
We kid, we kid.
Everything at the Library is free — quality, free programming that gives your child the head start that they need to be ready for school. Getting their teeth brushed is up to you.  



More than 200 storytimes per month at 28 locations
around the region. Find the one that is right for you.

Christie Hamm is the youth services manager for Sacramento Public Library, guiding services and programming for children, teens and families at all 28 locations.

Donna Zick is the early learning specialist for Sacramento Public Library and coordinates countywide programming and initiatives to help families support their child’s early literacy skill development.