J and I started attending out local library's story rhyme almost a year ago and I have to say it in one of the activities where I have seen J grow the most. It is a 30 minutes session which includes singing, nursery rhymes, musical instruments, role play and of course a story. When we started early fall after she turned one she was very clingy, still not sure on her feet, and sat on my lap most of the time. While she enjoyed taking in all the sensory input, she very rarely joined in. Now as soon as we get get out of the lift to the lower level of the library where the children's section is she if off and when it is time for story rhymes to start to marches over and happily takes a seat on the mat. She loves singing the hello song they start every session with and is usually warming up her hello hands a minute or two before the song actually start. I have seen J come out of her shell so much and it amazes me as I have watched her become more interactive, learning the different hand motions for song, following instructions from the ladies who run the group, and now starting to learn the words and actually singing along with the songs. What amazes me more is seeing how these skill come to play in day to day life. It would be easy to write off J knowing to put her musical shaker behind her back when always asked in story rhyme "hide it" but she will do this pretty much when ever she is ask to hide an object now. Also seeing her learn to sit through activities like a whole story and actively listening is amazing.
Bookstart. While I knew that Bookstart provided a pack of books to all children at two different times before the age of 4 I didn't know they also provided funding for activities in the community like story rhyme as well. I can't imagine not going each week and to be honest while there are a million different classes you can sign your toddler up to do most cost between £7-10 for a 30-60 minute session and that isn't something we can afford on a weekly basis. Story rhyme has been such a benifit to us and I am so happy when found out about it.
Today's story rhyme theme was party to celebrate Bookstarts 20th birthday and there were lots of party games and cookies and juice to celebrate J had a fabulous time. Happy Birthday Bookstart here is hoping for another 20 fabulous years of helping children learn to love books!