Cross Plains Public Library

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Lapsit Program For Babies 

The Lapsit program is for infants from birth until they are old enough to join the LAP program.  Research in the field of early childhood development has shown that this age is a crucial time for learning.  The program is geared to infants to help them develop language and cognitive skills that start them on the road to learning so they can become better readers and writers when they reach school age.  Stories, music, finger plays, and simple games, to be repeated at home, all add to the child’s cognitive development.

The spur for all librarians and teachers who are interested in growing new readers is an expanding body of evidence that early programs really do make a difference for children.  Researchers continue to discover important information about babies that can be directly related to infant/toddler programs.  Those scholars who once thought that children entered into the world as blank slates now know that infants have very sophisticated brains.  Research is also showing that in the earliest months of life, a staggering amount of brain development occurs.  Children’s intelligence – actual brain growth - and well being are directly affected by their environment, including nourishment, intellectual challenges and adequate affection.  What this means is that babies exposed to an environment with more stimulation will develop more synapses (brain cell connections) than those who are not stimulated.  Or more simply, that the talking, holding, singing, playing and exploring we do with a baby adds up to an increased capacity for learning that lasts throughout that child’s life.  There are a few key statistics that can very quickly reveal the significance of programming for this age group.  We now know, for example, that 50 percent of a person’s intellectual capacity is developed before age four.  Additionally, children learn over 80 percent of the vocabulary that will serve them all of their lives by the time they are five.  From this type of evidence, more and more libraries are deciding to addprogramming to serve families during this critically important period in the language and intellectual development of children.  Lapsit programs and services are valuable introductions to the wonderful world of language in which the very young child and adult together share a fun, learning experience that they will then want to recreate.  These experiences also encourage early brain development with verbal, visual and tactile stimulation.  These programs provide an opportunity for the parent, as their child’s best teacher, to gather ideas for more learning experiences at home. Stories, fingerplays, songs, and games, repeated at home, all add to a child’s cognitive development.  Parents will also enjoy opportunities to meet other parents of toddlers to exchange notes, give support, and develop friendships.

If you would like more information, please contact the library at 725-7722 or e-mail at