Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mrs. Claus Came To Town!!!!

I'm a library kind of girl. From a young age, I was convinced that I'd either end up as a teacher or a librarian. In middle school and high school (and college), I practically lived in the school library. I even hung out with and assisted our middle school librarian. (Yeah. I was really, really, really cool.) On the other hand, I also used to play teacher with my sisters and give them homework assignments. Which, for some crazy reason, the never did. Punks.

Really, it was a toss up.

So, from the moment Joseph started showing an interest in books, I desperately wanted to take him to the library to participate in their Preschool Story Time. Desperately. Unfortunately, story time was smack dab in the middle of morning nap time. I was SO sad, but we would still spend some time in the children's section of the library a few times a week. They have heat ;). Recently, though, the little man has gone down to one midday nap... which means that, in place of our morning nap, we went to Preschool Story Time for the first time today! EEE!

And who should appear at our very first Preschool Story Time ever?

Well, aside from about 25 other preschoolers, which was cause for crazy excitement all on its own, we got to meet MRS. CLAUS!! Woot woot!

She read books about Christmas and we sang songs and there were crafts. It was heavenly!

Ok, I was probably more excited than Joseph... This was his first Preschool Story Time after all. He decided to play it cool and act the part of the casual, aloof observer.

He alternated between sitting in my lap and hugging me really tightly during story time. While all the other kids listened to Mrs. Claus, Joseph watched all the other kids. When all the other kids stood up together to sing and dance, Joseph stood up and watched the other kids. He'd look at me like, "Mom? What on earth are they all doing??"

I think the sudden influx of what essentially amounted to a classroom full of children was a lot for him to take in all at once. He was excited to see other kids, but unsure what to do. I give it a few more weeks of story time sessions and he'll be participating away.

Of course, when the little girl in front of us lay down on the carpet, Joseph was all over that:

Yup. He decides what activities he will participate in. And that rug was the perfect place to chill.

After story time, it was time for arts and crafts. I showed Joseph how to cut the paper with kids scissors and then held the scissors out to him to see what he would do. He looked from the scissors to the paper and then picked up the paper and ripped it in half using the cut I'd already made. I guess that's one way to cut out a stocking. Same result, different tool. Oh toddlers.

Joseph was very fond of the glue. He even (surprise, surprise) tried to eat it. I convinced him to "pat, pat!" the cotton balls instead. I'm no fun.

Next came stickers and markers. Joseph is far more interested in removing and replacing marker caps than he is with actually coloring. We'll get there.

Stocking complete, Joseph and I went to meet Mrs. Claus in person. Joseph was all, "Hey lady, nice to meet you, now hand over the candy canes!" However, when I asked Joseph to tell Mrs. Claus what Santa says, he shyly told her, "Ho ho ho!" Winning.

On the way out of the room, Joseph spotted a giant sun on the carpet. He was extremely excited about this. There was a great deal of pointing and clapping. We had to do The Itsy Bitsy Spider a few times before leaving the room.

I think Joseph's favorite part of the whole excursion was hanging out with all the other little kids in the children's section of the library before going home for lunch.

All of the libraries in our county are well stocked with educational toys. They participate in a Virginia wide program in which they continually exchange bins of toys. Every time there are new toys at the library, I get all excited. Have I mentioned that I'm a huge fan of the library?

The county library has preschool story hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week and our town library has preschool story hour once a month. I plan to attend with Joseph at least once a week, if not twice.

If you are at home with youngsters, I strongly recommend that you check out what your local library system has to offer in the way of a children's section and children's programs. Participating in such programs is an excellent way to encourage a love of reading at a young age, to socialize your child with other children in his/her age group, and to get your child ready for school. Plus, you could meet some new mommies in the process! Just think of the playdate possibilities!!! :)

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