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Freebies in the Desert–Part 1: Activities for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

file3211347375852Everyone loves a good bargain, especially in our current economy, and there are some great activities available right here in the High Desert Community.  All of the activities featured in this article are provided through a very surprising place–your local branch of the San Bernardino County Library.  Before anyone groans, rolls their eyes, and moves on to something more exciting,  let me tell you that libraries have changed.  No longer are they only for students and intellects.  In fact, you might be surprised at just what goes on at our local libraries.

Do you have a child or grandchild between the ages of one and three years?  Are you looking for a program you can attend with your toddler that will allow you to interact in a fun environment, while focusing on developing gross motor and listening skills?  You might want to check out Tiny Hoppers or Toddler Boot Camp where the focus of the program is on developing gross motor and listening skills while having fun.   These programs promise singing, moving and  finger plays to keep the little ones interested.  They finish up each group with story time.   Toddler Boot Camp is held at the Apple Valley Branch Library on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m.  Tiny Hoppers is held at the Adelanto Branch Library on Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m.

The Phelan Library has a Little Artist program for children aged zero to five years.   During this program, your burgeoning artist will make art projects that are sometimes messy but always fun.  This program is held on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.

If you share your life with a preschooler, there is preschool story time at almost every high desert library branch.    Story time is more than just someone reading a book–the library promises songs, rhymes and puppets, as well as the letter of the week which will introduce your preschooler to the letters of the alphabet as well as the sounds they make.  Preschool story time might just help to promote a love of reading in your child that will last his or her whole life.

According to the Library website, preschool story times are as follows:

Adelanto:  Thursday, all day

Apple Valley:  Thursday, 10:30 a.m.

Barstow:  Thursday, 10:45 a.m.

Hesperia:  Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.

For those who wish to instill both a lifelong love of books as well as good fitness habits, the library also offers Movers and Shakers for children ages three to five.  Each class has a story, as well as the letter of the day, and is filled with active songs and props.  The purpose of the course is to promote health through physical activity, develop gross motor skills, promote a sense of rhythm and improve body awareness as well as to help them learn how to follow directions and improve listening skills.  This program is held at the Hesperia Branch Library on Monday at 11:30 a.m. and at the Phelan Memorial Library on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

So gather up the preschoolers and toddlers in your life and head to the library.  You might just have some fun.

Come back next week for Part 2:  Activities for School Aged Children, Tweens, and Teens

**Patti can also be found at where she tries to limit her blogging to stocking a pantry, budgeting, and recipes.  She isn’t always successful.


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