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Did you know that it's never too early to read to your child? Babies enjoy being read to, and the importance of sharing books from an early age, lead to the development of Better Beginnings.
The Better Beginnings program brings together babies and books. Its coordinated by the State Library of WA and delivered through public libraries to support parents as their child’s first teacher. Parents with new born babies can collect their free Better Beginnings reading kit from their local library or from their Community Child Health Nurse.
@ Your Public Library
Your local public library is a great place to visit. As well as great books for you to borrow, you can join in fun activities like Storytime. It is free to join and borrow books at your library. You will also find booklists of suggested reading and displays that highlight great books from the collection.
Most public libraries throughout Western Australia run a wide range of activities and are able to provide you with a lot of support in reading to and enjoying language with your children.
Many libraries hold Baby Rhyme Times or Story times on a regular basis - weekly, fortnightly or monthly - that you can attend with your baby and/or other children.
Here is a sample of what you might expect from one of these sessions:
Baby Bounce or Rhyme Times
For very young babies from 0 to 2 years old. The sessions often include nursery rhymes and action songs as well as simple picture books. Often libraries provide print copies of the rhymes, songs and actions learnt. For many parents it’s a chance to re-learn these and share others you might know. You will find your baby will love hearing you repeat these rhymes and songs at home and will soon be joining in.
Story Time Sessions
For young toddlers from about 2 to 5 years old. They build on the range of rhymes and action songs learnt - by this time the children are very active participants and these sessions are loud and fun events. Librarians choose picture story books more suited to this age group and they will often bring the stories to life with puppets, felt story boards or dress up costumes.