Baby story times at MD libraries benefit both mom and infant

Rebecca Hass knows the value of taking an infant to story time at the library, not only because she's the program and outreach manager for Anne Arundel County Public Libraries, but because she also has a 13-month-old.

Story times are fundamental for early literacy, she says. They introduce babies to books, language and communication. But they also give parents new ideas.

"You don't want to sing 'Twinkle Twinkle' forever," she says. "Here you learn other words to put in. ... We keep parents interested and invested."

Maryland area libraries all offer weekly story times for babies beginning soon after birth.BabyStoryTimes

  • In Anne Arundel County, the class is called Babies in Bloom and is for babies birth to 18 months.
  • In Calvert County, it's called Cuddle Up & Read To Me for birth to 24 months.
  • In Prince George's County, there is Baby Laptime Storytime for newborn to age 1 and Baby Storytime for ages 1 to 2.
  • In Howard County, it's called Play Partners and is for infants to 23 months.

They all offer roughly the same thing — stories, baby games, rhymes and musical activities.

"We do it for the same reason we do it for older children, so they start having a love of books and learning at an early age," says Beverly Izzi, the youth services coordinator for the Calvert Library System. "The sooner they start, the sooner they get that."

In story times, babies and toddlers learn how to hold a book, they hear the language, and their vocabulary increases. Parents also learn how to talk to and read to their infants at home. And there's the added bonus of meeting other parents.

"That's absolutely an outcome of story time," Izzy says. "They get to know each other, and play groups are formed. They have the opportunity to meet and talk with another adult."

All of the libraries support this effort.

"It takes a village, and the library can be part of that village," Hass says.

Most baby story times require reservations or a ticket that can be obtained from the children's desk 15 minutes before the class. Click here find out more about story times at Maryland area libraries.

Or visit various county library websites:

Anne Arundel County Public Library

Calvert County Public Library

Prince George's County Library

Howard County Public Library

 

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