Suffolk Libraries will be celebrating National Storytelling Week from 27 January to 4 February.
Some libraries are holding special events and activities, with engaging storytelling activities a regular feature of Suffolk Libraries weekly ‘Wordplay’ sessions for early years.
Suffolk Libraries even has its own Storyteller in Residence - Kirsty Tallent. Kirsty is part of Suffolk Libraries successful Arts programme, with her role focused on highlighting the power of storytelling and connecting people to a diverse range of stories in non-conventional ways.
As part of Storytelling Week, Suffolk Libraries is also highlighting the many free resources it provides to encourage children to enjoy reading and improve their literacy. This includes:
The new 50 Things to Do Before You’re Five app which was launched at the end of last year to help parents find free or low cost activities to enjoy with under fives
Featherbed Tales – a digital service which allows you to record yourself or your child reading a beautifully illustrated story or rhyme to share with a loved one
Many other reading recommendations and resources on the Suffolk Libraries website to encourage reading for pleasure amongst children and adults.
Erin Hamilton, Suffolk Libraries’ Children’s Librarian:
“National Storytelling Week celebrates the power of sharing stories. There are many ways to tell a story, to bring a story to life or to share your story with someone else. Suffolk Libraries is maybe the greatest story-sharing organisation in Suffolk with our storytime sessions for children, our literacy work and of course the millions of books we lend every year!
"Stories teach us about the world and they allow us to step into someone else’s shoes and feel empathy, they help us to relax and escape and they can help develop essential literacy skills.”
Library events taking place during National Storytelling Week:
Stories & Puppets at Kedington Library – Wednesday 31 January. A special storytime and craft activity session for children and families with storytelling, puppet making crafts and more. This is a free, drop-in event suitable for all ages.
Bedtime Stories at Lowestoft Library – Saturday 3 February. Wear your cosiest pyjamas, bring along your favourite teddy and join in with this free Bedtime Stories session for under 11s. Enjoy a beautiful story and hot chocolate in the welcoming space of the library. There are three sessions available at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. Please book your place on the National Literacy Trust website.
Storytime Sessions at Haverhill Library – Saturday 27 January and Saturday 3 February. Join Haverhill Library for a special storytime session, suitable for 6-10 year olds. Tell us about some of your favourite stories and characters and pick up a beautifully-crafted story from our shelves to take home with you and enjoy reading with loved ones.
Storytelling Crafts at Beccles Library – Saturday 3 February. Celebrate National Storytelling Week with Beccles Library! Come along to the welcoming space of the library for some book-themed crafts and interactive storytelling at the end of the session. Suitable for pre-school children.
More information about 50 Things to do Before You’re Five
50 Things to do Before You’re Five is a free location-based app full of inspiration for free and low-cost activities around Suffolk, perfect for parents and carers. The app includes simple guides, top tips, book suggestions and local links that are accessible for everyone.
The 50 Things app aims to give young children a head start in their literacy and learning journey and will also help them engage with and understand the world around them.
The app has plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to take part in, including:
- Making music, mess and magical potions
- Picnics in the park and exploring local woodlands
- Sightseeing local landmarks and learning about history.
Reading for pleasure
Suffolk’s libraries are the perfect place to support and encourage children to read books they enjoy, with thousands of free titles in stock, there’s something for every kind of reader.
Reading for pleasure can improve mental wellbeing, for both children and adults. It can increase their understanding of their own identity, improve empathy, and gives them an insight into the world view of others.
You can find out more on the reading for pleasure pages on the Suffolk Libraries website including printable activity sheets, tips on finding the right book at the right time and more.
Suffolk Libraries’ stock team has also put together a list of recommended titles for National Storytelling Week aimed at children of all ages to enjoy, inspired by timeless fairytales.
More storytelling events: