By Marianne Salza
The Chelsea Public Library is delighted to offer a new educational program for parents and infants up to 24-months old that focuses on developing language and motor skills through play.
Baby Lapsit, in collaboration with The Chelsea/Revere Family Network, is an eight-week session, beginning Oct. 5. It is an opportunity for parents and caregivers to have fun and strengthen the bond with their babies.
“I’m very excited,” said Martha Boksenbaum, Children’s Librarian. “Families want their children to get the very best of everything, but not every parent is able to put their child in a quality daycare where they feel they are getting all of that skill development education that they really want.”
In this intimate, half-hour class, infants will practice action rhymes, an activity that involves a mother helping her child discover new ways of moving their arms, legs, and hands.
“Action rhymes are a great way for them to process information,” said Boksenbaum. “Over time they’ll start to recognize the songs. Repetition is a baby’s best friend, so we’re going to have lots of singing.”
Flyers will be provided for parents to take home to review song lyrics and the two books that will be read during story time.
“Sometimes parents get a little nervous reading to babies because they don’t talk back and don’t necessarily show interest. Sometimes they may even show what seems like disinterest by pushing a book away or trying to eat it,” said Boksenbaum, who received a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Simmons College. “You just have to keep reading with them because babies are soaking up all of the knowledge. They’re really listening to you.”
Families will spend 15-20 minutes participating in interactive exercises; and following the session, are encouraged to explore the library.
Now that Boksenbaum has established a pre-school story time at the library, she is thrilled to be able to focus on infants and new mothers, and hopes to make the library space comfortable for all ages.
“It’s a great opportunity for socialization, to make new friends, and to share tips. That information is so valuable,” said Boksenbaum, who developed a Baby Lapsit program previously at the Randall Library in Stow, MA. “It’s an opportunity to spend time with other parents and have your baby get to know other babies.”
The Baby Lapsit program will be held Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., from Oct. 5-Nov. 23 at the Chelsea Public Library, located at 569 Broadway, Chelsea. To register or learn more about the class, call (617) 466-4350.