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Ready to Get the Jump on 2021? Our Children’s Department is Here for You All Year Long

December 16, 2020

Free Online Programs For Homeschooling, Story Times, and More


2021 is coming up fast, and you know what that means. New diets will kick in, people will resolve to spend less money, and a laundry list of other new year’s resolutions will take effect.

These are all great pursuits, but what about your children? What would you love to see them doing in 2021? We may be biased (and proud of it), but we believe there’s nothing better you can give a child than the gifts of reading and knowledge. And at Nashville Public Library (NPL), our Children’s Department at the Main Library is here to help you share these gifts, all year round.

Whether you’re a homeschool family looking for something new, a parent or caregiver who wants to instill early literacy in your child, or just a family who loves bedtime stories in your jammies, we’ve got plenty to offer.

Babies and Books

If you love tickle rhymes and wiggle songs, you’re going to love Babies and Books. Every Monday at 10 AM, via Zoom, we share some of our favorite songs, stories, and activities that teach early literacy and other essential skills for children from birth to age 3.

We’ve got a fantastic lineup of fun things planned for January. Miss Leanna is covering the themes “Hello and Goodbye,” “Snow,” and “Opposites.” To introduce these concepts to your children, Miss Leanna will be sharing some dazzling stories and teaching the American Sign Language signs for “hello,“ “bye-bye,” “snow,” “hot,” and “cold.” There’s plenty of singing, too, and you never know when Peggy Sue, our field mouse friend, will drop by for a visit!

Please email leanna.wagner@nashville.gov for more information and to join in the fun. If you want to check out this month’s stories for yourself, below is a sneak peek from our catalog. And if you’d like even more Babies and Books goodness, Miss Leanna sends out a curated book list tied to the following week’s theme at the end of every episode.

Homeschool Friends

Homeschooling your children can be tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. 

And that’s where Homeschool Friends comes in. Every Thursday at 2 PM, via Zoom, Miss Katie guides families through fun and engaging activities that focus on STEAM skills. Through icebreakers, discussion, and a culminating activity, children can let their curiosity and creativity take charge as they learn, laugh, and grow together.

For January, Miss Katie is introducing families to entrepreneurship. Throughout the month, kids will learn how to develop their own product, how to market it for sale, and get an introduction to economics, with an emphasis on bartering and trade. At the end of the month, kids will have a complete product as a capstone project.

Here’s a snapshot of what to expect each week.

  • Week 1 - Introductions and games to connect with new families, introduction to entrepreneurship, and initial brainstorming for products.
  • Week 2 - Introduction to product design and development, continued brainstorming, and creating an “idea jar” for future projects.
  • Week 3 - Basic marketing, including ideas for how to market a product, design a brand logo, and develop a simple marketing strategy for your product.
  • Week 4 - Introduction to economics (bartering/trade, goods and services, currencies, and exchange).

For more details on what to expect this month, check out the Homeschool Friends January 2021 Resource Guide.

Please email Katie.Hall@Nashville.gov for the Zoom invitation and more information. If you’d like to check out the books Miss Katie will share, check out our catalog. Please note: selected books are subject to change.

Once Upon a Dream

Cozying up in some comfy jammies is great. So is enjoying a fun story before bed. Put them together, and you’ve got the perfect end to your day. That’s what Once Upon a Dream is all about.

Every Wednesday at 6:30 PM, via Zoom, Miss April leads families through a story, a song, and a fun learning activity! And don’t worry — jammies are not only welcome, but encouraged!

This month, Miss April has some fantastic stories to share with you and cool themes to explore. From birthdays to the human body to the mail to winter, January is all about having fun and learning new things.

Please email april.smyth@nashville.gov for information on how to register! And, if you’re feeling sassy and want a sneak peak at the stories Miss April is sharing in January, see below.

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Ed Brown

Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.