Littles get moving at library’s new program for babies and toddlers

Story provided by Stillwater Public Library

The Stillwater Public Library is introducing another program related to children’s health. “Littles on the Move” is a weekly development program for babies and toddlers up to two years of age and older children who are not yet walking independently. The program takes place on Mondays from 10-11 a.m. from Jan. 8 through May 20. It is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through a health literacy grant.

“Littles on the Move” features seven activity stations set up in the library’s auditorium. The stations are designed to encourage the development of gross motor skills and provide ideas for parents to encourage continued activities at home. Activity stations that will rotate each week include:

·         Station 1- Ball pit to practice sitting balance and spatial awareness

·         Station 2- Floor sensory tiles to motivate crawling and walking

·         Station 3- Tunnels to encourage longer crawling periods, use of ducking movements, and increase endurance

·         Station 4- Velcro wall to encourage upper arm use and development

·         Station 5- Mirror array to activate movement motivation

·         Station 6- Floor piano to motivate movement via sound

·         Station 7- Climbing structure for endurance building and height navigation

·         Station 8- Push walker to encourage independent standing and balance development

·         Station 9- Reading corner with movement-based board books to provide parents with tangible ideas to use at the programs and at home and to provide positive interactions with books based on movement

·         Station 10- Calming station with dolls and plushies to encourage rest between activity

According to children’s librarian Elizabeth Murray, the idea for the program came from a trip to another library.

“On trips, we often stop at local libraries to see what they offer and to take advantage of the resources they provide,” Murray said. “My husband and I took my 10 month old daughter to the West Des Moines Public Library program which has been running a similar program successfully since 2018. The toddlers in attendance loved the activity stations, and the parents were clearly excited about setting up similar activities in their homes to further their children’s development. When I saw how much my daughter engaged with the stations, I knew that this program would become the centerpiece for our next health literacy project.”

“Littles on the Move” is free and open to the public. Registration is not required, but participants can sign-up to receive reminder emails at stillwaterokgov/LibraryHealthLit.

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ health literacy grant project is a nationally recognized program started to help improve Oklahoma’s low health ranking by providing health information programming through public libraries. This activity is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. The opinions and content of activities and materials do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries or IMLS, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.