By Gwyneth Perry, Senior Librarian, @ Weltevreden Park Library
Reading a story to a child is one of life’s great pleasures. Nothing beats seeing the excitement on their faces as the story reaches a pivotal point, or the interaction from a young listener as he interrupts the story to tell you all about something amazing that happened in his life. Often the story will jog their memories about exciting life experiences they have just been through and they just have to tell everyone about it. Storytime is never quiet! The children talk to each other and the reader and it’s often quite difficult to keep everyone’s attention. But it’s always a lot of fun!
I was able to host my first in-person story time since the Covid pandemic began, in early November 2021. It was wonderful to watch the children’s faces as I read to them and observe the enjoyment they got by sitting listening to a story. In this world of endless screen time, just sitting and having a story read to them can be simple pleasure in a hectic and busy life.
Reading to children at home is just as important and the books that children listen to will remain part of their lives and live on in their memories for years and years. Especially if it was a well-loved story that was read to them over and over and over. My Gran used to read stories to me when I was a child and there are some of them that just take me right back to that special time whenever I read the stories again. They bring back treasured memories of a very happy time.
Life is busy, school work is seemingly endless, sport can take over, but do your best to make reading to your children a priority. In the craziness of life this will be a time they look back on as a special time. The stories can be a way to discuss life issues, feelings and or just be quality time with a loved one. They will always be an important part of a child’s life and bring joy to the person doing the reading….even if you’re reading the same story for the 100th time! You will never regret the time spent bringing stories to life with your children. Physical books, e-books, audio books, it doesn’t matter. The important part is the time spent enjoying a good story together.