Guest post

Rediscovering your library via the children's section

September 12, 2017

Guest blog by Carlea of DP Kids blog

The photo you see is the very first time I took my now almost three year old son and his little buddy to the library. We went to baby song time and thought it would be a great way for us mums to get out and socialise as well as something different for our babies to do. For me, singing to my then baby was something we did everyday, but the library would enable me to learn new songs and get some new ideas.

The local library gave me the opportunity to meet other mums with babies the same age, at the same time as stimulating my baby’s growing interest in the world around him. During song time I learnt a few new songs, had a great time joining in with the actions and holding him and dancing around. Plus, as an early childhood educator it reminded me a lot of what I used to love about my job when working with young children and families.

As he grew older we attended story time, and I just loved listening to stories being read aloud and with the enthusiasm that should be there when we read to young ones. Seeing all the toddlers and children being engaged in the story, extending their concentration and learning about the world for me was really exciting! This led me to think about what other families would get out of the experience by taking their child to their local library and joining in one of the many sessions available, whether it be with their baby, toddler or preschooler. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. The ability to have fun with your little one. Sometimes as parents we get busy and stuck in the mundane and an experience like going to the library reminds us of the fun we can have together.
  2. The opportunity to socialise and meet other parents and families. My local library has mums, dads, grandparents and other extend family joining in and I always find someone new and interesting to talk to while I wait for the session to start. It’s refreshing sometimes to talk to another grown up when your day is filled with little people talking.
  3. Seeing your little ones secretly learning while they are having fun. Without even realising it, they are extending their language, learning about music and rhythm, exploring the world around them through books and stories, socialising and learning how to share, and developing a love of learning. It’s also great feeling like a part of their community.
  4. Inspiration for at home, when you are stuck for songs, games or what to read. While young ones learn through repetition for us sometimes singing The wheels on the bus for the 150th time that day can just be too much! But we have to give it a go, as this is how they learn.
  5. Flexibility. You can go to any library at anytime and join in a program suitable for you and your little one. If you miss a week, head back the next week. If a day doesn’t work, go another day.
  6. It’s free! Not only to attend a First 5 Forever session but also to join the library. This means while you are there you can pick out a few books with your little one to bring home and you have free inspiration for the rest of the week!

The great thing about the First 5 Forever program is that it helps parents like me prepare their little ones for a bright future filled with learning. Singing, reading books and telling stories together are the foundations for what learning is to come in the future. We as parents are our children’s first and most important educators and your local library can support you in that role by giving you and you little one the ability to discover something new each and every time you go.

Read more from this author on the DP Kids blog.

Baby, Rhyme and Story Time sessions run in public libraries all around Queensland. Visit your local library website for details on free sessions near you.