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George W. Hawkes Downtown Library
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
East Library and Recreation Center
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Ron Wright Lake Arlington Branch Library
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Northeast Branch Library
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Southeast Branch Library
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Southwest Branch Library
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Woodland West Branch Library
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
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Early Learning with APL


Our mission is to help you foster a love of reading in your child from a young age. Reading books to young children helps them learn new vocabulary, become familiar with letters and sounds, and is a wonderful time to bond with you. 

1000 Books Before Kinder Complete Dooley Family

Here are some tips:

  1. Keep books in places around the house where kids can grab them easily. We want them to be comfortable with books, just like with toys!
  2. Choose books with a topic that interests them
  3. Read the same book over and over again, they love this repetition!
  4. Talk about the book! Ask them questions and let them tell you how they feel or what they see when reading a book
  5. Choose books for their stage of development-find out how to select the best books for them on our Resources Tab
  6. Come to a library storytime and learn ways to read and sing at home (link to storytimes on our calendar)
  7. Participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program! 



Young children may not be able to write letters yet, but you can help them develop the muscles they will need to hold their pencil and write someday. These “fine motor skill” activities are ways to strengthen their hands and help them develop focus.

Here are some tips:

  1. Fingerplay songs that use hand motions like Itsy Bitsy Spider or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We will teach you some of these at our weekly library storytimes
  2. Art activities-many art activities are helping them develop their hand and finger muscles like coloring, painting, and using play dough. We do art activities at the end of our library storytimes and other library programs each week.
  3. Journaling-Give them their own notebook and let them scribble in it whenever they want to promote using pens and pencils.


Singing to and with your child will help them learn new words and rhythms. Think about how fast you would normally speak the words “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and the difference in the speed and rhythm when you sing the words “Twin-kle….Twin-kle…Lit-tle…Star.”

Here are some tips:

  1. Sing the same songs over and over again because they learn through repetition and they like being familiar with the songs. Eventually, they will join in!
  2. Make eye contact and sing SLOWLY with very young children
  3. Make songs part of your daily routine, a song for eating, a song for going to bed, for taking a bath, etc. This provides some structure to their day, which they love!
  4. Movement songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes will help your child become comfortable with their body and how it moves. Come to our library storytimes to learn some more wiggle songs! 
  5. If you don’t know many children’s songs, you can check out a children’s music CD from any library and enjoy singing and dancing together! Some of our favorite children’s music artists are Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, and Raffi.


Studies have shown that children who hear more words at home are more likely to succeed in school. We want kids to hear a LOT of words!

Here are some tips:

  1. Talk to your child from birth even if you don’t know what to say! Tell them what you are doing when you cook dinner, tell them what toys you are handing them and what you are feeding them.
  2. Speak SLOWLY and ask them lots of different questions
  3. When they are speaking to you, make eye contact and give them your full attention as much as possible.
  4. When reading a book, ask them what they think or how the character seems to be feeling to invite them to interact with the book and story. It’s ok if they interrupt! We want to read WITH them, not just TO them.



Play is the number one way children learn. We want to encourage intentional play every day!

Here are some tips:

  1. You don’t have to buy fancy toys. They can play with kitchen objects or things you find outside in nature.
  2. Check out our Read it Again kits, which are filled with books and toys for different themes. 
  3. We have children areas and youth programs every week to encourage play!


For Caregivers

The Arlington Public Library has resources to help caregivers of young children! These videos and websites are recommended by our children’s librarians to give you the tools you need to support your children as they develop.

Additionally, if you are at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library or the Southeast Library we have laptops available for you to use in the Children's areas.

We have also partnered with Help Me Grow North Texas to help answer your questions about your child’s development, parenting, or community-based resources. If you have questions or need specific help contact Help Me Grow. The best way to reach Help Me Grow is 844-NTX-KIDS (844-689-5437). More information about Help Me Grow go to or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @HelpMeGrowNTX.

Green Space: Help For Families with Young Children

DIY Storytime

Process Art

Our children's team uses process art in most early learning programs like Little Messy Art and Drop-In Art. In this video, Miss Juli explains what process art is, the benefits of it, and how YOU can do it at home!

Baby Storytime

Babies start learning from the moment they enter the world. Ms. Juli is here with some songs, baby signs, and tips for you to enjoy learning with your baby at home! Try it yourself: Language development begins at birth, and sign language is a great way to help your baby learn. Sign language gives babies tools to express their feelings, needs and emotions before they're ready to talk. Get started by adding some simple signs, like the ones we use in storytime, to your daily routine.

Children's Areas

Currently the Arlington Public Library offers three dedicated space for child learning and play. We have the Children's area at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library, the Family Place at the Southeast Brach Library and the Gene and Jerry Jones Youth Technology Center at the East Arlington Branch Library. Please click this link to learn more about our dedicated children areas.


Activity List By Age

We have created suggested activities for caregivers that incorporate a variety ways to interact with your early learner.

PDF icon30 Days of Activities Baby.pdf

PDF icon30 Days of Activities Toddlers.pdf

PDF icon30 Days of Activities Preschoolers.pdf

Picture books

Picture books are great for preschoolers ages 2-5. The books are big with bright colors. Here’s a list of some of our favorite picture books:

Pigeon has to go to school

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems 

Pete the Cat I love my white shoes

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean 

My Friend Rabbit

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann 

The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkey     


Corduroy by Don Freeman 

Heart Topics For When Life Happens

These booklists have been developed by the Arlington Public Library children's staff. Titles are not be seen as comprehensive, but more as suggestions. Place a hold on any of these titles through our online catalog to have them brought to your nearest branch for check out.

PDF iconAdoption-and-Fostering.pdf PDF iconBlended-Families.pdf
PDF iconBody-Awareness.pdf PDF iconBullying.pdf
PDF iconChild Development-Online-Resources.pdf PDF iconCoping-with-Anxiety.pdf
PDF iconDeath.pdf PDF iconDisabilities.pdf
PDF iconDiverse-Characters.pdf PDF iconDivorce.pdf
PDF iconDyslexia.pdf PDF iconIdentifying-Feelings.pdf
PDF iconLGBTQIA.pdf PDF iconManners.pdf
PDF iconMental-Illness.pdf PDF iconMultiple-Heritages.pdf
PDF iconNew-Baby.pdf PDF iconOne-of-a-Kind.pdf
PDF iconPotty-Training.pdf PDF iconPoverty.pdf
PDF iconPuberty.pdf

Educational Sets

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They are themed kits full of educational toys and games, DVDs, CDs, puppets, and of course, books! We have kits about favorite authors, shapes, letters, numbers, animals, princesses, cars, seasons, monsters, holidays, and many more! All of our kits are themed to enhance your child’s enjoyment of learning. Click this link to learn more about our educatonal sets, kits, and backpacks for at home learning.


Age appropriated technology that is an engaging and language-rich experience. The library’s technology for kids can promote early learning.

Click this link to learn about the different techonlogy options we have for in library use and for at home learning. 

Early Events and Programs


Early learning programs. Check our calendar for early learning programs each week!