BABY & ME
By Chelsea Tarwater, Children’s Librarian
(an early childhood literacy adventure sponsored by Blount County Friends of the Library)
There’s a huge link between how many words babies hear every day and the strength of their future vocabulary and math skills. That is just one reason why the library has Baby & Me story time. Designed for infants and toddlers, Baby & Me is a sometimes chaotic but always fun mix of singing, reading, bouncing, dancing, stretching, and playing that helps parents learn how to bolster their baby’s early literacy skills and how to play with them creatively. It’s a first step towards future library programs and even school, giving babies a chance to socialize and parents a chance to mingle and connect.
It’s not always easy to engage a baby in a picture book, but we take this story time as an opportunity to demonstrate to parents how to make any book interactive. Just by following the rhythm of the language in a book, you can easily incorporate bouncing, clapping, or dancing. There’s also an important parent/child connection to be made during one on one reading time by turning it into a warm, loving moment with hugging and snuggling, which is something that many books that were written with babies in mind naturally incorporate.
Essentially, our goal with Baby & Me is to take reading to a child and turn it into something sweet and fun and physical, because that’s the best way to start out their early literacy journey.
We have recently had to expand our Baby & Me schedule to include an additional story time due to popular demand, so it’s at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM every Wednesday. Each session is followed by some loose sensory activities that allow babies to play and explore and activate their imaginations.
Recently, we’ve squished pumpkin guts, played with spooky slime, played with egg shakers and ukuleles, and scribbled all over the floor (well, paper on the floor). Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we have access to all kinds of cool supplies to make these activities happen.
It’s always an adventure putting thirty babies and toddlers in a room and trying to do something cohesive with them, but it’s a really fun adventure, and one we look forward to having every week!
The LIBRARY is CLOSED on the following dates in November:
Friday, November 11th in observance of
Thursday and Friday, November 24th and 25th in observance of