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Art&Seek Jr: Lots To Like At The Library For Little Ones

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Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

When you’re expecting a baby it seems as if everybody and his dog is full of tips, advice and anecdotal examples of the best ways to take care of junior.  I got an earful on everything from how to beat morning sickness, to making your own baby food when I was pregnant with my wee bundle of joy. One piece of advice stuck – I’m still doing it – and with this week’s events, you can too.

The tip that became most amusing came was a friend who insisted her child’s love of music was all because she exposed her baby to classical music in utero i.e. she held headphones up to her belly. This was at the height of the Baby Mozart craze so I decided to give it a whirl. Yes, Rose did stir when I piped the music in, but then it dawned on me that this might not be such a great idea. What if the music was disturbing her? Babies sleep a lot, after all, and there’s nothing more annoying than the guy next door blasting music when you’re trying to sleep. I didn’t want to make her mad before she was even born. In the end it was the passing glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror that made me bag the suggestion. I was quite the picture standing there with headphones stretched around my enormous belly.

Create a life long lover of books at your local public library.  (photo: Therese Powell)

Create a life long lover of books at your local public library. (photo: Therese Powell)

On the other hand, one of the best pieces of advice I received was from a co-worker mom friend who suggested I start reading to Rose as soon as possible. And when I say, as soon as possible, she meant the day you bring them home from the hospital.  It hadn’t occurred to me to start reading to her as an infant–as a child, definitely, but a tiny baby? I saw this as an excellent opportunity for mommy/baby bonding time, but not much more. My thinking was she would be too young to understand or even see clearly anything I was reading.

So, day-one home from the hospital I gathered up my floppy-headed baby and settled cross-legged on the bed for a story. What surprised me from the get-go was how engaged she was. Far from being the drooling little blob I expected, she actually seemed to enjoy the sturdy, little cardboard baby books that we read together. Our night-time ritual grew and before long a weekly trip to our local library was added to our routine. Eight years and hundreds of books later we’re still big fans of the public library. Nowhere will you find more activities, resources and fun for your child and it’s all free!

Whether you’re craving extra cuddle time with your favorite chunky monkey, need a fun activity for a bored preschooler, or searching for an event the whole family can enjoy, the library really does have something for everyone. Here are a few picks for you and your kiddos to check out.

  •  Mother Goose Time at the North branch of the Denton Public Library. You and baby will bond with stories, songs, and activities. For babies birth to 18 months and their caregivers.
  • On Friday stop by Bookmarks at NorthPark Mall for Bounce Baby Basics. You and your favorite little dumplin’ can share some interactive music, nursery rhymes and stories.
  •  Here’s an event after my own heart–Family Storytime!  The whole family can enjoy books, songs, rhymes, movement activities and more at the Central branch of the Arlington Public Library.
  • Celebrate African-American History Month and listen to tales from the “urban Aesop,” DeCee Cornish. Mr. Cornish is a Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Artist and a member of the Tejas Storytelling Association. You can hear his humorous stories based on myths, legends, and folktales from African-American history Wednesday at the East Berry branch of the Fort Worth Public Library.
  • Looking for a new pet? Then stop by the Parr branch of the Plano Public Library, Sat. Feb 22 for their Pet Adoption event. You can bring home a very grateful new friend or pick up tips on how to be the perfect pet owner.
  • If you have a special needs child, then check out All Aboard Story Time for Children with Special Needs at the Summerglen branch of the Fort Worth Public Library. Your tinies can enjoy pre-k stories, crafts and activities while improving their academic and social skills.

These a just a sample of the many library events on the Art&Seek calendar. Search the Libraries and Kids and Family-Friendly categories of the calendar for more events.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.