Ask the Librarian: My Child Doesn’t Sit for Storytime

Just like adults, children learn in different ways. While some children learn best by exploring with their eyes and ears while sitting, others prefer to explore physically. All children learn best when more than one of their five senses is engaged.

Even if your child isn’t sitting, it doesn’t mean they’re not listening. They will still look for you while adventuring, so it’s best to continue modeling storytime behavior while your little explorer is out and about.

If you keep coming to storytime, eventually your child will learn the routine and might even begin to sit for longer periods of time. It may happen after just a few visits or after a few months. If your child doesn’t begin to settle, it’s still developmentally appropriate to wander.

As long as your child isn’t causing a disturbance, such as crying or interrupting the storytime provider, your child is welcome to meander around the room. If you’re uncomfortable with your child’s level of activity, step outside the storytime space for a few minutes then come back into the room.

The same can be said for when you're reading at home. If your child wanders away while reading a book with you, keep reading! Books with songs in them are especially good for little ears to listen to as they meander.

Our staff of storytime specialists and early literacy librarians are always ready and willing to talk, so please feel free to discuss your concerns with us!