Even as an adult, children's books are still one of my favorite things. I have many fond memories of “story time” throughout my life, and have continued to delight in fun, colorful and memorable children's books.
I was super excited when I saw that Gymboree partnered with the world of Eric Carle Classics in their new play and sleepwear sets. The day that we went to pick ours up, Gymboree was having an in-store storytelling and craft event. As we colored our “Hungry Caterpillars,” I was inspired to write a post about creative and fun ways to make story time memories last a lifetime.
LOCATION. Pick a unique spot for “Story time,” or travel around the house and experience story time in many new environments. This can be in homemade forts, under the kitchen table, under a blanket with a flashlight, or sitting on the front porch (one of our favorites).
TIME. Set a time that's specifically for story time so that you can be consistent. This doesn't have to always be at night. It can be before naps, at breakfast, at dinner, or even as an after-school activity.
Activity. Create activities centered around the books you are reading. Not only will this be educational for your kids, but it will turn the books into memories that will last much longer. Gymboree has TONS of printables and activities to go along with the Eric Carle books. After participating in the craft at Gymboree, I am really excited to try out some of the others that they have.
Books that Teach. Make story time count by also using that time to teach your children valuable lessons. There are so many great books out there (including the Eric Carle Books) that can teach your children a wealth of morals and life lessons.
Dialogue. Use fun voices when reading stories, but Don't let story time end with the close of the book. So much learning and valuable bonding can occur with dialogue that occurs when the story ends. Ask your child questions about what was just read. Brainstorm ideas and different endings. Learn more about your child during this valuable time together.
Fun Pajamas! This one is a bonus. Fun pajamas are such a fun and exciting way to make story time fun! I will never forget the Christmas that my niece got a pair of pajamas with one of her favorite characters on it. She was bouncing up and down like she had won the world. I love that the Gymboree's new sleepwear can now connect my child with the fun and memorable stories we are reading.
Inspired by Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, from 9/2-9/30, Gymboree will be hosting a photo contest, encouraging parents to help their little ones take a picture of what they see.
Entrants can submit a photo via Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or via the designated direct photo upload site, using the hashtag, #WhatDoYouSee.
Entrants of the #WhatDoYouSee contest will have the chance of winning one of ten Eric Carle gift baskets including: A House for Hermit Crab book, a signed copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, figurines, stickers, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sippy Cup, Chunky Colored Pencils, Match and Munch Game, Place Mats Book, and Stage & Play (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) $144.99).
The winners will be announced at the end of the contest period, which is 9/30/14.
For even more fun, download the iPhone app so you and your little one can add some Eric Carle fun to your photos and play a caterpillar game!
Thank You Gymboree!
How Do YOU Make Story Time Memorable?
This is a sponsored blog post. I received compensation from Gymboree. The opinions and text are all mine