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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snuggle Bug Book Club

A large, spacious room... Chatty moms seated in a group... A stray dad here and there... Strollers and diaper bags parked along the wall... About a dozen little ones toddling about... Another dozen stationary babies cooing next to their parent(s)... And at the front of the room? ... A soft-spoken librarian with an array of books, an easel, a CD player, and a Big Bird doll (I'll explain).

It was our (Isaac's and my) first visit to our local library's Snuggle Bug Club (a storytime for babies ages 0-18 months)! And let me just tell you, a whole load of babylicious fun was had by Isaac that morning. He seemed to be very aware that this was an activity meant especially for him (and people of his age), and not just another big-person outing I had dragged him along for. When I think about it now, this is probably the first truly age-appropriate (fun) outing he has ever been on. Meaning, everything else we've done with him (the zoo, museums, etc.) wasn't exactly designed to be appreciated by a baby.

"There are lots of people my size here!" he seemed to be thinking excitedly. It was so much fun to watch his face light up in delight. It melted my heart.

"And, hey! I know this story!" is what his eyes said to me as the librarian began reading a big book version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Squeals of joy were bursting out of him throughout the entire storytime.

Isaac and me waiting for storytime to begin.

I felt a little bit like an outsider, because I didn't know any of the other moms there. But Isaac and I had fun together. My mother-in-law is in town, and came along and took photos of us. And I did get to briefly chat with a couple other moms.
In addition to hearing a couple stories, we did finger plays, danced to a song, and used these shakers during another song. They were a big hit with the kiddos!
I had to keep pulling these shakers out of Isaac's mouth. I am not a total germaphobe, but we've been sick enough this winter season!
O.K. see that Big Bird doll that the librarian is holding? Look closely... in the background. She used this scary Big Bird doll as her baby. She demonstrated the fingerplays and such with it. The best was seeing her dance during some of the songs while cradling Big Bird like a baby.
Look at this happy face! Ah, the joys of books and reading!
I wish the Snuggle Bug Club met more than just once a month...

If you've got a little one... or a not so little one. Check with your local library to see when their storytimes are. Check with local bookstores too. Our local library has baby storytime, toddler storytime, and preschool storytime. Plus, they have a special pajama storytime every month (or is it every week?). It's a free activity, it gets you out of the house (appealing if you're a SAHM with cabin fever), and it's educational and fun for your child.

Take some time before or after storytime to hang out at the library. Play some games, use the computers, check out some books. Usually the librarian will even recommend some books during storytime! This will probably become an outing your child looks forward to every week, or month, or whatever.

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