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This fall I noticed a grandma bringing in her adorable granddaughter in frequently around 4 in the afternoon. Then I noticed other moms/nannies around that time of the day, sometimes in pairs, more often on their own.
In this neighborhood school age kids are few and far between and those that we do have are generally elsewhere in the afternoons. <SIGH> We're just not very busy in the afternoons, whereas in the mornings I am swamped with toddlers and preschoolers at programs.
So I took the plunge into baby programs. Put out the word that I might be doing a 4PM on Monday program--were people interested?
I asked our admin if Santa Claus could be kind and find me some toy/book money. He came through with enough to buy a large cache of toys and lots of board books--especially the sort I don't generally circulate, the touchy/feely kind.
I did an on-line course from the University of North Texas on baby programs and watched a batch on line. I was particularly impressed by Babygarten who are kind enough to offer a full program demo video. I watched what they do, loved it and knew I could do it.
I named the program "Read, Sing And Play, Baby" because I wanted the music and literacy components to be clear.And "Read" comes first!
I started in January and was terrified. But by the time I was done with the first one, I knew this would work, and now it's one of the highlights of my week.
I do about a 20-30 minute program of songs and games. Last week I tried using a "focus book" where we all read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" together. Gathering sufficient copies is the main problem, because from the start my room has been full--20 families on average!
When the program is over I bring out my red truck loaded with toys and books, scatter them on the floor and let them hang out and play for as long as they like. It's a 4PM program, so people seldom stay past 5.
As usual, I am being frustrated by parents who are using me as another free program, not getting that we are a LIBRARY! But I've also had parents get cards, ask for book advice, etc. Today I showed a mom our great (pats self on back) kids music section.
And no matter what else goes on, the babies are cute, cute, cute!
It's a great way to start my week's programming.............