StoryTime is back! Spring session begins March 23

A smiling woman participates in StoryTime with her daughter sitting on her lap.

Newton Public Library is pleased to announce the resumption of in-person StoryTime events for young children and their caregivers. The library’s eight-week spring StoryTime session begins March 23 and continues through May 13.

StoryTime for toddlers (18-36 months) will be held on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. StoryTime for preschoolers (3-5 years) will be available at 10:30 a.m. on either Thursday or Friday.

Advance registration is not required, but parents and caregivers are encouraged to sign up for the library’s Children’s Services email list in order to receive the latest updates and reminders.

Weekly StoryTime programs are designed to meet the early literacy needs of children through stories, rhymes, songs and play – all while strengthening the bond between child and caregiver and cultivating a love for the library.

“The purpose is to not only get children excited about books and words and stories, but also to equip parents with some skills they can use to encourage early literacy at home,” children’s services coordinator Sara Rickard said. “In addition to the usual rhymes, songs and storybooks, we’re planning to incorporate activity stations where parents can play with their children in an activity that’s related to the theme of the StoryTime. The hope is that some of these activities will be things they can replicate at home with their kids.”

Encouraging early literacy means helping children to recognize sounds, develop vocabulary, understand how a story works, and express themselves through words and stories – building-block skills that will eventually lead to reading and writing.

“For example, we’re not going to teach a toddler how to write her name, but we will talk about shapes, and once she’s familiar with shapes, she can eventually understand that ‘C’ is like a circle, and that sort of thing,” Rickard said. “The primary job of children is to play, so if we can play with them while incorporating these things, that’s the best way for them to learn.”

In conjunction with the resumption of StoryTime, the play area on the children’s services level will reopen after an extended closure due to COVID-19. The area will feature some new toys to foster imaginative play, including a train table, an interactive streetscape floor mat, a play kitchen, and new puzzles and blocks.

StoryTime participants ages 3 and up are welcome and encouraged to wear masks, but masks are not required. Free child- and adult-sized masks are available at the library.