JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Teton County Library is launching a new early literacy program called ‘Baby Time’ for the youngest members of our community in Jackson and Alta. At Baby Time, children direct the play and build bonding relationships with their parents and caregivers.
“Studies have shown that play is important for children’s brain development and learning,” says library youth services manager Mary Flamino. “Baby Time is designed to encourage caregivers to follow their child’s lead during play to grow their curiosity and imagination.”
Beginning this month, the Jackson library will offer Baby Time for children from birth to 18 months, on Wednesdays with two sessions—10:05am and again at 11am. The sessions begin with 35 minutes of play at interactive stations, followed by 10 minutes of “lap-sit” circle time with bounces, tickles, and songs. The Alta Branch offers Baby Time at noon on Thursdays.
Baby Time is one of the ways Teton County Jackson and Alta libraries are becoming Family Place Libraries, a nationwide network that includes more than 500 sites in 31 states. Family Place Libraries recognize that literacy begins at birth and libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families.
Several stations will be set up around the Youth Auditorium featuring toys for music, transportation, and small and gross motor skills. Because the program is designed for baby-caregiver bonding through play, groups are discouraged from attending.
This month the library also resumes Library Saturdays, a popular program for kids ages five and under with their caregivers. The library offers two sessions at 10:15am and again at noon. The activities alternate each Saturday, between Lego Builders, Mini Music and Movement, Sensory Sensations, and a weekend Baby Time.
Baby Time and Library Saturdays are part of the library’s slate of offerings to help families build early literacy skills to cultivate a lifelong love of reading and help prepare kids for school. The Jackson and Alta libraries also continue to offer their popular weekly storytimes for children.
The Jackson library presents Toddler Time, for ages 3 and under, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Storytime, for ages 4 to 6, on Thursday mornings. The Alta library offers storytime on Friday mornings.
Library programs are free and open to the community with support from donations, large and small, to the Teton County Library Foundation.