Disclaimer: This Kids’ Blog post is aimed mainly at the parents of young children. Kids read on at your peril!
Kia ora! Those of you who read this blog regularly may be familiar with a number of the regular events and programmes we run for children and families in our libraries across the city. One of our most perennially popular programmes is Baby Rock and Rhyme. This super fun programme runs at eight of our libraries weekly, and is designed to help you as a parent foster your baby’s literacy journey while building a stronger bond with them through reading, singing, movement and play. It’s also an awesome way to meet other new parents and make new friends who are also on the at times rocky road of the journey of parenthood. Read on to find out some of the ways you can make the most out of Baby Rock and Rhyme with your little one.
- Attend whenever and wherever you can. At this age, your little one really benefits from repetitive learning processes and, as much as possible, a steady routine. Baby Rock and Rhyme is totally free to attend, and there is a session on somewhere in the city every weekday — we warmly invite you to come along whenever (and wherever) you can. Here is the complete list of locations and times around the city:
- Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Tuesdays at 10.30am
- Island Bay Library: Tuesdays at 9.30am
- Johnsonville Library: Mondays at 2.00pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10.00am
- Karori Library: Thursdays and Fridays at 10.30am
- Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Fridays at 10.00am
- Miramar Library: Tuesdays at 10.15am
- Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Fridays at 10.15am
- Te Awe (Brandon Street) Library: Mondays at 10.30am, Wednesdays at 2.00pm
- Listen to music with your baby at home as well. If you’re coming to Baby Rock and Rhyme, you’re already doing an amazing job! Ka rawe! But it’s only half the equation. Did you know you can actually download the official Wellington City Libraries Baby Rock and Rhyme album from Bandcamp? You can also find the CD in our library collection along with a huge selection of music CDs full of songs for babies and young children. Why not put on the album, give your little one a shaker or rattle to hold, and have a good ol’ boogie together? It’ll feel great, and it’s also a fabulous way to reinforce the literacy steps that begin with you, your baby, and your librarian at Baby Rock and Rhyme.
- Be really present during the session. Remember that Baby Rock and Rhyme isn’t really about the librarian performing for your child. What they’re really doing up there is modelling ways for you to interact with your baby to foster their physical and intellectual development and kick-start their learning journey. So, when you arrive, make sure you park the buggy, put your phone away, and prepare for some real quality time with your little one. Sit with your child in your lap and really be present with them — talk to them, encourage them, and guide them throughout the session. If they start acting up or grizzling, it’s fine! We understand! If you’re there with them, you can comfort them or remove them from the room for a minute or two to calm down. If you tune out, your child is missing out on half the benefit of being there.
- Read, read, read! After your Baby Rock and Rhyme session, why not ask your librarian for help choosing books for your little one? All of our libraries have large collections of board books perfectly suited to the rough treatment they sometimes receive — we really don’t mind if these get damaged as they’re there to be used, so please don’t worry about that! Our librarians are always happy to help you pick out the perfect set of books for you to enjoy at home. We understand sometimes the huge range of books can be a bit intimidating, and it can be hard to know if you’re making the right choice for your child. Just remember that at this age, there’s really no way you can go wrong with books for your young learner — as long as you are reading together, you are doing everything right.
- Ask for help if you need it. Parenting can sometimes be a lonely and confusing path to travel — but it is also one of life’s most rewarding experiences. With Baby Rock and Rhyme, as with any of our library programmes for young people, our librarians understand this, and want to help you as much as they can. Don’t be afraid to ask us for help — before, during, or after the session, whether you need help finding books for your little one, accessing parenting resources through the library, or getting in touch with Plunket or other local support groups. You are also more than welcome to email the Children’s Librarian if you need help or advice regarding books or literacy for your child. You don’t need to feel like you are distracting us from other work when you reach out for assistance — helping you is our work, and we are always more than happy to do what we can.