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January 2015

Why you should read to your child part 1

January 30, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

There are many benefits to reading to children, especially from an early age. Research shows that reading to your child right from birth will positively impact their cognitive, emotional, as well as motor development. Moreover, it will encourage a love of reading and learning! This is the first post of a three-part series that will discuss the benefits of reading with children, and showcase different resources that the Toronto Public Library offers to support this aspect of development.

Mother reading to her baby.
Photo courtesy of the National Media Museum

Stages of development

Birth to 6 Months

Babies develop immensely during the first six months of their lives. They will transition from being completely dependent on their caregivers to wanting to explore more and more through reaching, grabbing, and tasting. During this period babies will also begin to show emotions, especially around those with whom they are familiar. It might not be apparent but during this time babies are also starting to develop a sense of self, and are learning how to comfort themselves.

Boardbooks at the library
Let your baby hold the book as your read to them; boardbooks are a great, durable option!

7 Months to 12 Months

By 12 months, babies are already avid learners and are using their gross and fine motor skills. Although they will show increasing signs of independence, they will still very much rely on those around them. This will also be a significant time for the development of their confidence and coordination. During this stage babies learn best through repetition; songs, stories, rhymes, finger plays, and games will all help foster their development. Consider attending Baby Time at a branch near you!

12 Months to 2 Years

This is the last stage of infancy. Babies will develop tremendously, especially their motor skills such as walking, climbing, and even dancing. This is also the time when infants start to become more socially adventurous and enjoy being around other children. During this period infants begin putting sounds together to form words; they can also communicate with gestures and respond to simple requests.

2 Years to 4 Years

By 2 years old, toddlers will be playing on their own and using more motor skills such as running, jumping, and climbing. Toddlers' language skills will be accelerating around this age, and you should be able to understand them roughly half the time. At 2 years old, children will use their words more and more to express their feelings and needs.


As children transition from toddlers to preschoolers, to being school ready, their mental abilities see dramatic growth. They will be exploring more complex concepts and be able to match, sort, and differentiate objects. Language skills will see much development and by the end of their third year, children may already be able to copy letters and print their name. By their fourth year, children are learning to cooperate and are becoming more even-tempered. You will now also notice an increase in their attention spans as well as their creativity and imagination.

From the moment they enter this world, children begin to develop in great strides both emotionally and cognitively. It is important for parents and caregivers to foster this growth by providing children with positive experiences. One activity that will ensure this all throughout a child’s development is reading. Reading together can benefit children and parents in many ways, and contribute to a child’s positive upbringing.

Father and son storytime
Father-son storytime courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on a CC license




Lego in Motion

January 5, 2015 | Charlene Lee | Comments (0)

As we continue to encourage creativity in the library, the Cedarbrae Branch has found success in incorporating the use of iPads into our programs. For our final Lego Club of 2014, kids made wonderful stop-motion films using Lego, and the National Film Board of Canada's stop-motion app. Check out a creation made by one of our participants!


Check out some books that the Toronto Public Library carries for inspiration on making movies at home!

   Cartooning The Economics of Making a Movie

Lights, Camera, Action! Stop Motion Animation

Welcome! This blog is written by the Cedarbrae Library staff and we want it to become a place where you can find out what's going on in the branch and in the community. But not just that - we plan to write about all things we might find interesting.