Every Friday at Cortelyou Library we have Choo Choo Train Play Time at 10:30 a.m. This popular program is a “lifesaver” in the winter when playgrounds are too cold to visit, according to Jared Roberts, whose son, Ozzie, is seen below playing with the train set.
“As soon as the library opens the children run to the area to play with the train sets,” says Antonia Bramble, Neighborhood Library Supervisor of Cortelyou Library.
Putting the wooden track pieces together so the train can run smoothly down the track takes patience for the toddlers and pre-schoolers, who may need a helping hand from their caregiver to assemble the extensive track. But, their efforts are rewarded when they see how much fun it is to make the trains move around the track, over bridges and down inclines.
Many parents realize that there are multiple benefits of play time with things that go. Moving the trains along the track helps develop fine motor skills and constructing the track is a lesson in problem solving.
Children's play expert Dr. J. Alison Bryant stresses the benefits of hands-on play in an article on the Fatherly blog. “That’s how kids learn,” says Bryant. “Their minds work while they do things with their hands. It’s all integrated. That’s why toy cars [and trains] are the whole package.”
While Choo Choo Train Play Time is unique to Cortelyou, many libraries in Brooklyn offer Build with Duplo, a program that is also excellent for hands-on learning for young children.
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