My wife and I are fortunate enough to have a family member who watches our daughter while we are at work, so she doesn’t attend day care. And while this is great, it limits the amount of time she has to socialize with other children. There are a few children in our neighborhood she occasionally sees and talks to, and she has some cousins who don’t live in town that she gets to play with from time to time. But she doesn’t have the opportunity to play and socialize with other kids on a regular basis.
Fortunately, the library has programs for children of all ages that are intended to help not only with learning, but also with socialization. She attended “Baby Bookworms” when she was younger, and is now in her second 1 month session of “Sneak, Peek, and Read”, which is a story time for little ones ages 18-24 months. My wife and I were a little concerned after her first few times at “Sneak, Peek, and Read” for a few reasons. The first time we took her she had very little interest in participating in any of the organized activities. She didn’t want to go up and get her book, she wasn’t too interested in singing, and mostly she just wanted to wander around the back of the room by herself. So the next time we went my wife and I had the grand plan of moving closer to the front of the room to put her in the middle of the action. Unfortunately, this seemed to put her on the spot, because when we started singing the welcome song to her at the beginning of our get together, she started crying.
So the next time we sat on the other side of the room, only this time she started crying before the program even started. Now, she did recover after the singing portion of these programs, but she was obviously not really comfortable, and didn’t really play with the other kids who were there. So we debated whether or not we should bring her back. We didn’t want to make her upset and nervous, but at the same time it seemed we should continue to try in the hopes that it would eventually get easier for her.
Well, we’re almost to the third part of her second session and she has been doing a great job. She hasn’t cried once, has fully participated, and even played with some of the other kids the last time we went. She’s still a little unsure at the beginning, but she gets into the swing of it pretty quickly. Last week she even got to sing her favorite song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, and was belting it out once she recognized it.
I would highly recommend any of the library’s programs for little ones such as “Baby Bookworms” (0-18 months), “Sneak, Peek, and Read” (18-24 months), and “Tot Time” (24-36 months) to anyone with children under the age of 3. It really is a great opportunity to get your kids in a social setting where they can learn to read, sing, and play together. My daughter has certainly come to enjoy her storytime, and even responds with a resounding yes when we ask her if she wants to go to the library.