It’s November and getting a bit chilly out there! Many of you are probably starting to feel cooped up in your apartments and want something to do with your kids. We, as speech pathologists, have gotten to know many of the fun activities NYC has to offer. This month we’ll be talking to you about our favorite story time hours all over the Big Apple!
We believe that reading can never start too early. From very early on as an infant, although they may not understand what we are reading, your little ones are paying attention to your intonation while you read – especially when you’re excited and talking to them in a sing-songy manner. Repetitive books are also a great way to reinforce reading. When you read a book over and over that has a rhythmic repetitive quality, you will be amazed at how your child will begin to memorize these words, and soon enough, read the whole book back to you verbatim! They will begin to model how their parents turn the pages from left to right.
Even though we often take this for granted, this is truly a skill and is learned by example. Of course, as they grow older, story time can be used as an opportunity to label things you see in a story, to follow directions (eg. “touch the cat”), have a conversation about characters and the setting, answer questions, sequence, etc. Naturally, when you encourage the love of reading, their vocabulary increases as well as their phonemic awareness, which leads to superior reading and writing skills.
Here are the top 10 story times we LOVE in NYC:
Logos Bookstore – NY, NY
Mondays at 11 AM: 1575 York Avenue. An amazing storyteller, Lily grabs the attention of 0-5 year olds and teaches them a passion for reading. She even intertwines musical entertainment into the session. A huge plus is that you get 20% off the majority of items purchased after story time.
FAO Schwartz – NY, NY
11 AM and 3 PM Monday through Friday & 1 PM and 3 PM Saturday & Sunday: 767 5th Avenue. Located at Barefoot Books on the second level, it’s a very fun and colorful atmosphere that is motivating for children. They read stories ranging from classics to popular modern books.
Metropolitan Museum of Art – NY, NY
Thursdays at 10:30 AM (as well as a few other days of the week): 1000 Fifth Avenue. It is located in the Children’s Reading Room of Nolen Library and is perfect for ages 18 months through 3 years. Children learn to look, pay attention, and really learn the joy of reading with picture books. Their creativity is undoubtedly enhanced!
New York Transit Museum – Brooklyn Heights
Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street. The Transit Museum in Brooklyn is a great place to immerse you and your children in language learning and fun! They have a variety of programs listed on their website in PDF format, and how many of our kids just love trains and buses? Stories, games and more take place during “Transit Tots,” Thursday mornings at 10:15am. Recommended for children ages 2 to 5 with an accompanying adult. Free with admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 2-17.
The Moxie Spot – Cobble Hill
81 Atlantic Avenue at Hicks Street. The Moxie Spot serves as a restaurant, but has a story time for kids under 5, presented Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon. It costs $2.50 per child for use of the play space (waived for every $15 spent on food).
PowerHouse on 8th – Park Slope, Brooklyn
1111 Eighth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. This bookstore often holds kids’ events, including a Sunday morning story time at 11:30am, often featuring children’s authors reading their own work and the occasional afternoon story time on a Sunday as well, for those who like to get up a bit later ;-). Their story time is free!
Greenlight Bookstore – Fort Greene, Brooklyn
686 Fulton Street at South Portland. Greenlight presents Sunday Story time for children ages 0-3 every Sunday at 11am. Ages 3-8 can come in on Saturdays at 11am for stories and often craft activities too. It’s free!
Yorkville Creperie — NY, NY
Presents: Once Upon A Time At Yorkville Creperie… Story time is every Tuesday & Thursday at 11:00am! Enjoy a relaxing hour for you & a great time for your child. Costs $10 per child includes snacks and juice. They even have Story time punch cards — come 9 times and earn 1 free visit!
American Museum of Natural History — NY, NY
The American Museum of the Natural History has a free story time for preschoolers every Monday morning during the school year except holidays. Story time is held at 10:15am and 11:15am. The museum has suggested admission; which means you can decide how much you’d like to give! Great for children ages 2-12.
The Scholastic Store — NY, NY
The Scholastic store has storytime for babies and toddlers every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 11am. You can also browse the shelves for the latest releases, and of course, story time is free at the SOHO store.
Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP, has a Baccalaureate of Arts in Speech Pathology and is a graduate of Long Island University-CW Post Campus, where she received a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology in 2001. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the state of New York to practice speech-language pathology. Debbie has 13 years experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area.
Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and has New York licensure in Speech-Language Pathology. She has 7 years of experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area and was an adjunct instructor at New York University. She co-authored two chapters of “Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism”.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.