board booksWhether you’re a new mom ready to get out of the house and introduce that sweet babe of yours to some new baby friends or you’re looking for something for your child’s caregiver to do with the little ones, baby story time is a total crowd-pleaser. You can start as soon as baby easily sits in your lap and shows interest in books. Also, the babies don’t have to be singletons. At these baby story times, big brothers and sisters are always welcome. Read on to find a group near you or fill your baby’s social calendar with a story time for every day of the week!

Monday:

Poway (9:45am)
Target age group: pre-walkers

The group meets at the Poway Branch Library and tends to be on the small side (perhaps because leaving the house with a little baby to get anywhere by 9:45 is like running a marathon). Teacher Liz sings opening songs, offers an early literacy tip, and reads an opening story, which is a large board book that captures baby’s attention a little better than a teacher holding a small board book.  The rest of the class is spent alternating between shared reading (in which the teacher reads a book while each child also has her own copy), parents reading to baby (Liz leaves out boxes of board books for parents to choose freely), and movement songs. The grand finale is parachute time with the crawlers rockin’ out underneath the canopy. This story time takes a break during the month of August.

13137 Poway Rd.
Poway, Ca
858-513-2900
Online: sdcl.org

Santee (noon)
Target age group: pre-walkers.
Expect a larger group at the Santee Branch Library that can actually get quite crowded, so plan to arrive early to score a good spot on the rug, and be prepared to share books with neighboring families. Teacher Melanie provides a list of songs complete with lyrics so you’re not sitting there pretending you know the words to “Open, Shut Them.” Most of the class is spent doing shared readings with simple, very baby-friendly board books (i.e. few words on each page) and movement songs. The last part of the class is perhaps baby’s favorite with free group play. (Note: The library is located in a strip mall, so parking is a bit limited.)

9225 Carlton Hills Blvd #17
Santee, Ca
619-448-1863
Online: sdcl.org

Tuesday

National City (11:15am)
Target age group: 0-3.

South Bay families will appreciate that this group is conveniently located off the 5 near Kimball Park in National City’s new library. In addition to the usual stories and songs, little ones get to participate in a simple craft that supports the theme of whatever texts the teacher read that day (e.g. something to color and paste). After craft, it’s time for free play.

1401 National City Blvd.
National City, Ca
619-470-5800
Online: nationalcityca.gov

La Mesa (11:30)
Target age group: pre-walkers.

East county families can head to the newly built La Mesa Branch Library for baby story time. As with the Poway and Santee groups, teacher Christine leads shared readings and movement songs. Recently, babies and caregivers started crowding up the tiny rug space dedicated to story time so much that the administration decided to make some changes to the book stacks to accommodate the growing group. Despite the large attendance, there are enough finger puppets and rattles to go around.

8074 Allison Avenue
La Mesa, Ca
619-469-2151
Online: sdcl.org

Wednesday

Lemon Grove (11:30)
Target age group: pre-walkers.
Another new library, this one just a few months old, the Lemon Grove Branch Library hosts a baby story time led by teacher Marilyn. The group that meets here is much smaller than the Santee and La Mesa groups, but you will see some familiar faces. Expect a schedule similar to other baby story times around the county: shared reading, movement songs, and free play.

3001 School Lane
Lemon Grove, Ca
619-463-9819
Online: sdcl.org

 

baby book

Thursday

Baby Sign Language Story Time
Target age group: six months through preschool.
At various times and at various libraries around San Diego (Pt. Loma, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and North University) you can catch teacher Monta reading stories and singing songs while signing in ASL. For example, Monta’s group at the North University Library meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at noon. The teacher brings in stuffed animals or puppets as visual aids, music CDs, and a felt board to further reinforce new words and signs. All the literature and ASL signs revolve around a different theme each month, such as the beach or under the ocean. At the beginning of each session Monta sings a welcome song and reviews the words and signs from the previous month.

8820 Judicial Drive
San Diego, Ca
858-581-9637
Online: sandiego.gov OR meetup.com

 

Friday

Point Loma (9:30)
Target age group: pre-walkers to toddlers.
At Yellow Book Road in Liberty Station, you’ll find the only non-library location on our list. Like many other baby story time groups, this session features movement songs and the teacher’s favorite board books. The teacher shares these stories in a read-aloud format (only the teacher has a copy of the text) rather than shared reading. Babies participate in the songs with maracas and jingle bells. You can stay for toddler story time immediately after, if you dare.

2750 Historic Decatur Road
San Diego, Ca
619-955-5188
Online: yellowbookroad.com

Encinitas (10:30)
Target age group: pre-walkers to toddlers.
If you want to catch a group by the beach, head to the Encinitas Branch Library overlooking the ocean. Expect the biggest crowd of all the baby story times we’ve listed (20-30 babies). Teacher Amy even wears a microphone because the babies get loud! Arrive early to snag a book for shared reading time. Late arrivals may want to bring a book or two of their own to reads to baby when it’s free reading time. The session ends with free-play in a large room with expensive art for sale on the walls, so beware! This group also takes a break during the month of August.

540 Cornish Drive
Encinitas, Ca
760-753-7376
Online: sdcl.org

Since we couldn’t include all the baby story times offered at every single San Diego library, this list may be missing your favorite group. Let us know in the comments!

Written by: Amanda Freerksen