After a short winter break, storytimes are starting up again today. We thought this would be a perfect time to talk up our weekly storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “my kid could never sit through storytime,” then you’ve probably never been to Green Tree! We recognize that an active kid is an engaged kid. That’s why we incorporate lots of interaction into our weekly programs. Not only is storytime at the library fun, but it’s also an experience that fosters language development, emotional awareness, early literacy and physical development.
Our Book Babies Storytime, held twice a month on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., helps our youngest library users hear language and interact with other babies. Trained librarians share songs, finger plays, classic nursery rhymes, board books and more. Babies will even have the chance to play musical instruments and march along to the beat. Even if your child is still eating books, they’ll learn to handle books and recognize pictures (a very important concept called print awareness). Expect a lot of repetition and interaction at this one. After Book Babies, age-appropriate toys are set out for little ones to explore while caregivers get to know each other. Children ages 0 months to 2 years-old and their caregivers are invited to attend.
Toddler Storytimes, geared towards children between 2 to 3.5 years of age, take place on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Each storytime is designed around concepts such as shapes, seasons, or animals. The librarian will read picture books and encourage kids to point at and name objects. In between listening, kids can shake their sillies out and dance to the “Rock ‘n Roll Freeze Dance.” There’s plenty of fingerplays, body movements, and songs too. Together, these activities help expand vocabularies, broaden and enrich their experiences and stimulate brain development – all the while putting a smile on your little one’s face.
The library offers two storytimes for Preschoolers: a morning storytime at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays and a repeat afternoon storytime at 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Preschool Storytime aims to prepare children ages 3 to 5 for kindergarten. Each week, a new storytime theme is introduced and the librarian will usually share two to three books on the theme, including non-fiction titles. Fundamentals such as memory, matching, math, colors, shapes, movement and more are reinforced through games and circle time activities. During the week’s activity, children must listen to directions, practice patience in waiting for their turn, cooperate with partners and often perform individual tasks in front of a large group. Practicing these skills paves the way for children’s journeys to school and helps children become familiar with the idea of working inside a classroom.
After both the Toddler and Preschool Storytimes, a librarian will lead children to another space to make a craft reflective of the day’s theme. While all that gluing and cutting may seem like messy fun (and it is!), kids are actually learning crucial skills. Instructional crafts help develop fine motor skills, teach important concepts like colors and shapes, and model how students will eventually take direction in a classroom. Plus, these crafts provide great artwork for around the house and keepsakes to look back on later.
What really makes our storytimes awesome at Green Tree? Play time! After our Toddler and Preschool Storytime crafting sessions, children and their caregivers are invited to go wild in our gym. (The Municipal Building was once a school and still has a gymnasium.) Bring along toys – anything other than wheels, which can damage the wooden surface – and play, play play! On a cold winter’s day especially, this free gym time can be a real lifesaver for parents who are looking for ways to get out of the house and burn off some steam. From a development standpoint, physical movement helps children gain confidence, improve gross motor skills, and socialize with their peers.
At all of our storytimes, caregivers are given copies of the week’s songs, fingerplays and other activities. This encourages participation at the library and inspires families to sing the songs and recite the rhymes at home too.
Our weekly storytimes do not require registration. Just pop into whichever storytime would be most developmentally appropriate for your child. If you’re unsure which storytime is best suited for your child, feel free to reach out to the library and our children’s librarian can provide guidance. Also, we occasionally take holiday and planning breaks with our storytimes, so be sure to check our calendar of events for a full and accurate listing of dates and times.
We hope that you can join us for a storytime soon!