1,2,3 Play with Me

ted and griffin shade playing at the avondale library Ted and Griffin Shade enjoying playtime at the Avondale Library

1,2,3 Play with Me began at the Avondale Branch of the Birmingham Public Library this past September. Two of the participants were Ted and Griffin Shade. Griffin had just turned 4-months-old. Ted is a stay at home dad. At first they were not sure what they were getting themselves into, but as the weeks went by their increased confidence was evident to all.

Ted found the infant play area and soon Griffin was right at home with the baby gym and the tummy time pillows. Ted got to know the other participants and was appreciative of the opportunity to meet other parents. He says, “We had a great time. I think I got more out of it than Griffin, but I think getting him exposed to a kid-dominated environment is good for him at any age. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to converse and network with other stay-at-home spouses. I still sing the circle-time "hands" song to him (which he loves), and it gave me a lot of new avenues to research with regard to children's culture. Thanks so much for doing this.”

Carla Perkins, the Youth Librarian at the Avondale Library, was enthusiastic about the new additions of children's activity tables, rugs, Legos, and parenting resources to the Youth Department. She observes, “So often we see children playing in the library, but Family Place makes it okay for parents to play, too. Thanks to interactive and organized play, the library is the place to be.”

Avondale and Springville Road Public Branch Libraries have been designated Family Place Libraries™. Family Place Libraries™ is a network of children’s librarians nationwide who believe literacy begins at birth, and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. Family Place Libraries™ welcome young children and their parents and caregivers in unique ways. Special areas in the Youth Department are designed to invite children and their families to play and read together. Parenting materials and resources are readily available.

One of the key components of Family Place Libraries™ is an organized time for children--birth through age 3--and their parents to play and learn together. Running for five weeks, 1,2,3 Play with Me is a 1 hour and 15 minute program featuring toys, an art experience, books, play, and circle time. Community resource professionals are on hand to discuss parenting questions and concerns. Topics covered include nutrition, speech and hearing, child development, and music and movement.

1,2,3 Play with Me Schedule

Avondale Branch Library
(205) 226-4003 for registration
Every Wednesday
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
February 6 – March 5, 2008

Springville Road Branch Library
(205) 226-4085 for registration
Every Thursday
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
April 3 – May 1, 2008

Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

The Birmingham Public Library Family Place Libraries™ is funded in part by a Project Development Grant from the Junior League of Birmingham.