Rhyme time

I held my first rhyme time today since starting my new job in a public
library in July. It was so much fun, but it also made me feel great because
I know that attending rhyme time & using the library can help toddlers turn
into great readers with good literacy skills.

For some children, the first time they see a book is when they start school.
Bookstart wanted to change all of this, so they began giving out Bookstart packs to young babies aged 9 months, 18 months and 3 years old. They also provide support for libraries to help promote reading to young children and one of the ways libraries do this is
through rhyme times.

Rhymes times are free drop in sessions for children aged 0-5 years old,
where we sing songs, learn rhymes & read stories. Why rhymes though? Well,
children love rhymes. They are their first introduction to narratives and
will hopefully lead to a love of story books too.

But rhyme times are more than just letting the children have a fun time and
getting them into reading books. By using rhymes, children can quickly learn
to recognise rhyming words, such as wall and fall. Once they recognise that
the words share the same sounds, they can then learn spelling sequences
easier once they begin to read and write. Once they learn how to spell or
read ‘wall’, they can then recognise ball, tall, and fall.

Various studies have found that the better children are at detecting rhymes,
the quicker and more successful they will be once they learn to read (Bradley,
1988c, Bradley & Bryant, 1983)
This is true no matter what their class background, intelligence or memory
ability. Rhyme times are FREE events held across the country in public
libraries, which can help give children from any background a great start in
life.

Our rhyme times also involve story telling, which promote shared storybook
reading between the parents and children.  Sometimes parents feel a bit silly reading books to babies who can barely even hold a book, but we always encourage them that babies are never too young to be introduced to books. We encourage active participation in story
telling, as this is even more crucial than being read to frequently in
developing a child’s literacy skills. It is important that we don’t just
simply read a book to a baby or child, but involve them by asking questions
like ‘what’s Maisy doing?’ or ‘how many fish are on the page?’. Story
telling also helps children develop good language skills, which will then
lead to good literacy skills once they start school.

Rhyme times are important for the development of so many children across the
country. It is important that every child has access to these kind of events
in libraries. Libraries to me represent democracy & freedom and rhyme times
embody this.

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