“From an early age, books were my constant companions and my local library, a place I could find a new friend on every shelf.”– Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker sums it up pretty well. Regardless of how your day or week is going, there is something magical about the power of libraries to transport you to another place. Due to technology creeping in, this is something we are slowly losing.
Early literacy is critical to our children’s long term development. 85% of brain growth occurs at ages 0-3. Language and literacy development begins long before a child actually begins to speak and read. “Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.” Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby!(2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co. I share these statistics not to stress or pressure any moms, just to educate on the importance of reading. Research also shows if we just speak normally as we go about our day and read to our kids, they will absorb everything they need to know. No pressure or push for early academics.
Luckily for us here in McLennan County, we have fabulous library programs supporting literacy at a young age. If you are new to the area or to our local libraries, read below for some of my favorite story times and programs in the area!
Hewitt Library knows how to bring kids into the library experience as they will give them their own personal library card, have indoor/outdoor play areas, and a number of family programs including the following …
Birth – 1 Year
Mondays at 9:00 AM
1 – 3 Years
Tuesdays at 10:00 AM
Early Literacy Story Time
3 – 5 Years
Tuesdays/Wednesdays at 10:30 AM
1,2,3 Come Play with Me Workshop
Saturdays in fall and spring (check website for exact date/time)
For all events including crafternoons, teen clubs, and family story times you can click here to view their calendar.
The Waco Library works hard to provide weekly story times both for the baby and early literacy groups. In addition to weekly storytimes for babies and toddlers, they provide evening family story times. Your family can enjoy story time adventures together, which is a great option for working moms and school aged children. See more of their calendar here.
The most magical bookstore experience. Fabled offers story times that are usually announced on their instagram and email lists. Regardless if it is during story time or not, this a cozy spot to grab a cup of coffee and get lost in a book with your little ones. They have a carefully curated kids room full of the best children’s books.
Mini Monday Story Time
Geared towards children 5 and under.
Included in the price of admission or your membership.
Enjoy your Monday morning with a story (often by fun guest readers), crafts, and activities.
Not a story time, but a resource I would be remiss not to mention. In many Waco Zip Codes, you can enroll in this FREE program for a book to be mailed to you each month. Follow their instagram for information on pop up story times at the local farmers markets and other fun venues.
Do you know of any additional story times or events that are fueling early literacy in our area? Share them in the comments below and be sure to tag @wacomoms if you venture out to one of our local libraries!