Montgomery County libraries hold a wide variety of free educational programs for infants through pre-kindergarteners. The programs usually last about 45 minutes, and they include reading, singing, and dancing.
Toddler time has started again at Chevy Chase Library. During the summer, Toddler time gives way to programs for school age kids (Bethesda Library, though, had a Toddler age reading time all summer long).
Some libraries, like the Noyes Library for Young Children in Kensington, require advanced registration. Some branches give tickets to parents the morning of the story time to ensure that their families can get in. At Chevy Chase Library, though, it’s every toddler for him or herself.
These programs are very popular, and space is limited. On days when more children show up than can fit into the room, there is a lot of Mommy jostling in line. If your kid pulls out of line for any reason, don’t go after him or her. If you do, the line will move forward without you. All of your, “We were in line” comments will be ignored…in fact, you will become invisible. To recap, if your kid pulls out of line, just wave goodbye and hope for the best.
Today’s Toddler Time was great once Dom realized he wasn’t supposed to wander around screaming, “What’s that?” He wasn’t at all interested in the reading, but once the music started, he was entranced. We did several movement songs, including the Hokey Pokey. Nothing is funnier than watching a group of toddlers, barely balanced, putting various body parts into whatever they’re putting them into and shaking them all about.
I really, really recommend checking out one of these programs at your local library. Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George’s, Frederick, Charles, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City libraries all have variations on story time. If I didn't mention your county library system, check with your nearest branch. The overwhelming odds are that they, too, offer kids' story time programs.
An added bonus? You don’t have to pay $300 upfront for a class in which your toddler might not be interested.