Taking babies and toddlers to the library may seem a bit counterintuitive. This is especially true if you cannot shake the stereotypical image of the silent, serious library.
You may also be interested in my article How to Create a Story Time Routine with your Baby
Libraries are no longer silent and unwelcoming. Instead, they have become proponents and advocates for literacy for children of all ages. Yes! They want you to bring your babies and toddlers to the library. In fact, most library systems have created special programming for young children, to begin introducing language at an early age.
How Babies and Toddlers Can Benefit From the Library
Our local library has story times for children of all ages. There is class for babies, one for toddlers and another for preschool aged children. Each class is designed to provide early literacy and language exposure, but it also allows children time for movement and music! This is something we look forward to every week!
Many library districts schedule special programs just for young children. These events sometimes involve literacy, but in most cases they are simply fun! In the summer, our library holds a huge carnival, with games and activities for kids of all ages.They even had fire trucks, tractors and a helicopter for the children to see. For Halloween, they had a costume dance party! And it is all free!
You will find that most libraries have created a section of the library just for children’s books. The environment is very child-friendly, and toddlers are able to do a bit of (supervised) exploration. I also really love checking out books from the library because a) when it comes to books, our little guy is ravenous, and we tend to go through them quickly and b) we can figure out which books we really love, before purchasing them. Believe me when I say, many children’s books are duds.
Yes! The library is a great place for kids to play! Our library has a train table, a puppet theater, and some Legos. These items are all set out for young children to play and explore.
I highly encourage you to check out the programming at your local libraries! There are so many great programs and resources, not to mention all of the free books, for your babies and toddlers to enjoy. What a great way to introduce literacy in a fun way, early on! You can visit the library’s website, or give them a call to learn more about what is offered near you!