(Joshua Watkins/Black Press)

COLUMN: Story Time: the heart and soul of the library

The library has your children covered from birth until Kindergarten

To many, story time and libraries go hand-in-hand. But surprisingly, some Summerlanders haven’t heard about the preschool programs offered at the Summerland Library.

The library has your children covered from birth until Kindergarten with our Rhyme Time, Toddler Time and Story Time programs.

Library story time is not only a great free form of entertainment for little ones, but it also provides a multitude of cognitive benefits that are essential for child development.

For example, reading books out loud to a child helps develop their reading skills even before they even learn how to read, and kids get the opportunity to socialize, engage with others and learn social skills that will help them ease into Kindergarten.

The Rhyme Time program at the library is open to babies up to two years old.

The program consists of lots of rhymes, lap bounces, tickles and diaper changing songs. The babies love to crawl around, explore and get to know all their new friends!

This program is also beneficial for parents and caregivers too. It is a great way to meet other parents, make new connections and expand your nursery rhyme repertoire.

At Rhyme Time, we like to repeat songs and rhymes three or more times, so it is ingrained in the parent’s memory and the babies start to recognize it as well. You’d be surprised at how quickly a baby develops their own favourite song!

Toddler Time is just for… well, toddlers — two- and three-year-old children are welcome to participate in this exciting program with a parent or caregiver.

Children in this program will enjoy some of the same familiar rhymes and songs from Rhyme Time, along with new ones. We also start to introduce stories, puppets and even some toddler yoga! Toddlers are a busy group, so lots of movement and action are integral parts of the program.

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Once children are around three and a half years old, they will move into the Story Time program until they are ready for Kindergarten.

In this program, we are preparing the kids for school life with a lot more stories and activities that require good listening skills and cooperation.

Parents are no longer required to stay in the room with the kids to promote some independence and allow Story Time to be a special time just for the kids.

Beginning Aug. 13, you can call the library at 250-494-5591 to register for these great, free programs that will start in September.

Registration prior to the start of the programs is required as there is no space for drop-ins.

You can also come into the library at 9533 Main Street to sign up and check out some of our books that will be on display this week such as What’ll I Do with the Baby-o that includes “more than 350 rhymes and songs to use in play with babies and toddlers” and Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillian, a catalogue of “400 Fingerplays, Flannelboards and Other Activities.”

Kayley Robb is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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