Tester’s Take: As a first-time parent, I’m constantly questioning if I’m doing the “right” thing. Am I providing enough stimuli? Human interaction? Educational activities? The list goes on. When I saw the library’s “Babytime” event listing in Toledo Area Parent, I practically squealed in delight. The event was free (great for parenting on a budget), and it was one of the few activities geared toward babies. Plus, while I may be an English nerd, I know little about effective methods to educate infants, so I was eager to have someone else take the lead.
Goal: Developing early literacy skills using rhymes, stories, music, and textured props
Age range: Infants to toddlers
Duration: 45 minutes
Time: Times vary depending on branch location; most classes start around 10am.
Frequency: Once a week for 6-week sessions starting in June (dates vary by location)
Nursing friendly: Yes
Stroller/wheelchair accessible: Yes
Environment: We met in the reading room, which only had one entry that they closed so kids couldn’t sneak out. The room and toys were kept in top shape (for the germaphobes out there like me).
Additional benefits: Meeting other caregivers while babies play and interact with one another. And naptime! My son napped for a whopping three hours because he was so thoroughly enthralled.
What it’s like: Miss Heidi (as everyone called her) started the class with a playful song — one which the children recognized because they all chimed in. After a few songs, Miss Heidi read a children’s book about stripes. The babies crowded around her on the floor, frequently interrupting her, but Miss Heidi wasn’t phased. Hardcover books were then distributed so parents could read individually to their children, and after a sufficient amount of time, the songs recommenced. Miss Heidi used movement and an assortment of textures — felt stars, silk ribbons, and styrofoam stars — to accompany the songs.
Check online for your local library’s Babytime dates/times: www.toledolibrary.org.