Babies love the Library!
Welcome to the Library, Baby!
EPL welcomes everyone into the library - and what better introduction than bringing your baby to get his very own card! Babies up to 24 months receive a free Welcome Baby package, including:
- Illustrated colour rhyme booklet (see the electronic version below)
- Baby board book - yours to keep!
- EPL Library card for your baby
- Reusable Library book bag
- Recommended reading lists
Visit any of the EPL locations around the city to pick up a Welcome Baby package for your baby.
Like the rhymes and songs you've found here? they are available in 5 world languages as well. Click here for the Chinese, French, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese versions now.
Looking for books to read with your baby? EPL staff have compiled excellent titles that are sure to thrill your baby!
These titles are featured in EPL's recommended reading lists, along with early literacy tips and information for parents and caregivers. Click the images below to see the full reading booklet (also featuring titles for toddlers and preschoolers!)
Free printed keepsake copies of both of these booklets are available from any EPL around the city. Pick up a copy to keep and personalize it with your baby's preferences as a way to keep cherished memories forever!
More great ways to introduce your baby to the Library
Attend a Baby Welcoming Day: Meet your library staff and your neighbours, participate in demonstrations of storytime programs, sign up for a library card and learn what the library has to offer.
Baby Laptime: Hear stories, share books and learn new rhymes, songs and finger plays. For babies up to 12 months.
Fun for Ones: Learn rhymes, songs, finger games and stories. For toddlers aged 12 to 24 months.
Daddy and Baby Time: A special bonding time for babies and their male caregivers. Learn songs and rhymes that help support your baby's development in this relaxed environment.
There are many other programs available for babies and parents. EPL offers over 6800 programs each year; search the current listings to find one for you and your family.
These videos will help your baby's language development. We also have videos for toddlers and preschoolers. Books, free programs, expert staff and these videos are all ways we are helping you help your baby with essential early literacy skills.
It can be stressful for little ones to be naked and cold! To make bath and diaper time more positive and relaxing, try soothing your child with songs and rhymes! Try any of your child’s favourite songs too!
Bouncing rhymes are wonderful for rhythm! Hold your baby so that she’s facing you, so that she can see your mouth making the words, as well you can see how much of a bounce she likes! As she gets older, she may like bigger bounces, but some kids some prefer gentler bounces.
It's Never Too Early
Even though babies are too young to read, they are learning so much at this age. Your baby is absorbing so much information about the world, it's a wonderful time to build a foundation for literacy.
Here are some examples of how to build the 6 skills of early literacy in your baby (watch the matching videos):
- Point out letters on objects that are around the house.
- Play with toys that are different shapes, such as blocks, balls, or puzzles.
- Sing the alphabet song to your baby
- Read lots of books together, especially nursery rhymes and poems. These rhymes can contain a whole story.
- Describe what you're doing as you do it.
- Talk as if you were having a conversation with your baby, even when they can't understand you.
- Speak in 'parentese,' using a higher tone and a slower pace than your regular voice.
- Talk with your baby! Ask them questions, and when they babble, treat that like an answer.
- Sing songs with your child! Singing naturally slows down words and makes it easier for babies to tell the differences between sounds.
- Read books together. It's never too early to start!
- Point out words everywhere, such as on signs and labels.
- Encourage your child to become familiar with books; let babies hold them and touch them. Board books have big sturdy pages that are great for small, curious hands. You can also use cloth books or bath books.
- Let your child hold the books when they are able to
- Hold babies close to you as you read, making it a time of physical closeness
- Share books that babies can touch and hold, or have flaps, mirrors, or textures that are exciting for them
- Read books together and talk about the pictures
- Start talking with your child as soon as he or she is born
- Encourage your baby to babble and 'talk' – they are getting ready to say words!
Other great early literacy resources are available from:
ABC Life Literacy Canada is a national organization that inspires Canadians of all ages to increase their literacy skills. There are lots of tips to help children and parents read, talk, and play together.
Located in Edmonton, the Centre for Family Literacy is dedicated to building, developing, and improving literacy with families and communities.
Find out about what the American Library Association is doing to help promote early literacy.