Mar 12, 2010

It's Babytime!

Last week I went to my very first Babytime. Different from the traditional storytimes which are standard fare at libraries, Babytime focuses on emergent literacy activities rather than listening to stories read aloud. There's generally music, rhymes, and movement led by a children's librarian and moms and caregivers take part too.
I went with a friend, Geri, her daughter Jeanette and Jeanette's son Wade, a lively 8 month old. Wade goes to Babytime once or twice every week and loves it.The Pima County Public Library has an extensive schedule of Babytimes and Storytimes and their efforts are supported by local agencies like Make Way For Books.

What a delightful time! Imagine 20 babies -- some sitting on laps, some walking around the room, some crawling on a huge colorful quilt in the center of the floor. There were 4 sets of twins! Using a rhyme and a big bear puppet the librarian introduced each child to the group; then the group recited various rhymes like "Eensy Weensy Spider" and "Where is Thumbkin" (those are the ones I remember because they're familiar) aloud with accompanying movements, all the adults engaging with the babies; and we listened to songs. The scheduled Babytime is followed by 30 minutes of free time when the moms and aregivers can talk together and babies can play while soft music plays in the background. There were lots of books around the room for anyone to pick up and look at (and check out too.) Maybe I'll get to go again before we leave Tucson!

Here are some favorite board books for babies:

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