Looking for something new to offer your young families? Something ready-to-go and research-based to support early learning? Do you have a little money or grant funding?
What about a Brain Box?
In 2013, my library hosted Dr Jill Stamm, the founder and director of the New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development. She came and spoke with parents and again with staff about her research and her book, Bright From the Start. It was a great program and I recommend reading her book–there’s lots of good information about healthy brain development for babies and toddlers.
Through Dr Stamm we learned about the Brain Boxes developed by the Institute. They are activity sets carefully designed for different ages: infants, babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. They include materials and instructions to foster the caregiver-child interaction that builds healthy brains.
They’re on the expensive side, but there’s lots of research behind them, and you could easily spend an equivalent amount of money in staff time putting something similar together in-house. We bought a set after Dr Stamm visited, set up a set of procedures for our staff for inventorying and managing all the pieces, and got them in the catalog. In a year, they have NEVER been on the shelf. They’ve been a great addition to our collection and offer a unique early learning experience for our families.
What interesting early learning materials does your library circulate?