All posts by Nicole Giroux

Yoga Programming Update

Thank you so much to all of our patrons who supported our recent addition of yoga programs for children! We had great attendance and received wonderful feedback, so we’re going to make yoga part of our regular programming beginning in February!

Baby Yoga on Wednesdays at 10am will replace Preschool Storytime, but don’t worry! There are still two additional sessions of Preschool Storytime currently offered: Mondays at 10am at the main Library and Fridays at 10:30am at the MacKay Branch. Please also note the addition of Yoga Storytime for preschoolers and kindergartners on Tuesday afternoons at 1:30pm.


Toddle Tots (a music and movement program for toddlers) on Wednesdays at 11am will replace Toddler Rhyme Time. Please note two additional sessions of Toddler Rhyme Time currently offered: Mondays at 10am and Fridays at 11am. Toddle Tots will still feature elements of yoga, but in order to keep this a drop-in program instead of requiring registration, Nicole will be planning activities that accommodate larger groups than a traditional Toddler Yoga class.


Yoga Storytime (a story-based yoga program for preschoolers and kindergartners) on Tuesdays at 1:30pm
 will replace Big Kid Storytime for the same age group.




For more information on these programs, check out our Programs for Young Children page.

Returning in March: After School Yoga (Ages 6 – 11)

After School Yoga will be offered periodically for children in two age groups: 6-8 and 9-11. Registration will be required and will open two weeks prior to the program. See our event calendar for upcoming sessions.icon-calendar

Play Area Upgrade!

Noticed anything different about the Children’s Room? If you’ve visited lately, you might have seen that we rearranged the physical layout of our Play Area…

…to make space for the…


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Children’s Department at CPL recognizes the importance and value of play in children’s learning and development. We are so happy to have a vibrant play area for our young patrons to use during their visits! Interested in more opportunities for play? Check out our programming page for information on Play Space and Stay & Play, two weekly play programs that follow our storytime schedule (resuming January 23rd, 2017!).

We were able to purchase these wonderful new toys with a generous donation from the Chelmsford Friends of the Library. The Children’s Department is so grateful for the Friends and their continued support!

Come on down and play with us! 🙂


Books for Toddlers on Wed., Dec. 14


We had a great group for our final storytime of the fall/winter session. Don’t forget that storytime is on a break until January 23rd, 2017!

Image of itemImage of itemToday’s toddler storytime featured three books, in addition to all of our rhymes, songs, marching, and more! We started with Mem Fox’s Hello Baby! in which a series of baby animals are introduced.  We also read Sputter, Sputter, Sput! by Babs Bell, a great early book about driving a car.


Image of itemAfter taking our own imaginary car ride, we read Tuck-In Time by Carole Berger as our snuggle book. This sweet bedtime story goes through body parts as a young child gets ready for bed.

Today was also a day for bubbles…and dancing! We danced around to Kira Willey’s “Big Brown Bear” & Laurie Berkner’s “The Goldfish Song”!

Thank you for joining me for storytime today – I hope to see you at my yoga classes before storytime resumes at the end of January!


Books for Preschoolers on Wed., Dec. 14

Today’s storytime was so much fun – what a fun final meeting for our fall session! Remember, this Friday is the last day of storytime until Monday, January 23rd when our winter/spring session begins. 🙂 In the meantime, we’ll be offering children’s programs for all ages, including children’s yoga classes! Check our Children’s Event Calendar for more info. Now, on to the books!

Image of item We had a fun theme for storytime today – eating! Jeff Mack’s Ah Ha! is so much fun to read aloud. The only letters in the book are “A” and “H,” in a series of Ah-ha’s, Ha-ha’s, and Ahh’s – it’s all about how you say the words when you read them. A clever frog gets captured by a young boy, escapes, and then must escape a series of animals who want to eat him!

Image of itemAfter singing about some famous frogs on logs, we read Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith, a fun counting book that counts up to 10 as fish join a game of follow the leader, then counts back down to one as they all eat each other in succession! This book encourages movement, such as snapping like a crab and flapping like a ray, so it’s great for getting some wiggles out!

Image of itemNext, we danced around to Laurie Berkner’s “The Goldfish Song” – a hilariously good time – before moving on to a book that comes with a CD: Gobble It Up! A Fun Song About Eating by Jim Arnosky. We listened to the CD as I turned the pages, but you can always read it aloud if you don’t have a CD player.

Image of itemWe moved on to Jonathan London’s Crunch Munch, a fun book focusing on the sounds various animals make when they eat. After talking about what we had for breakfast, – I had a banana – we had to “Go Bananas” with the Learning Station song!

Image of itemWe wrapped storytime up with a great library book: Read It, Don’t Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr, which gives advice on how not to treat library books. 🙂 The kids requested more dancing, so I put on a few more songs: Laurie Berkner’s “We Are the Dinosaurs,” which had us stomping and roaring, and Kira Willey’s “Big Brown Bear,” which calmed us down to hibernation mode. 🙂

Thank you all for joining me today – I hope to see you at my yoga classes and then back at storytime at the end of January! 🙂


New Programs in the New Year: Children’s Yoga!

Try something NEW this New Year! I will be offering a series of children’s yoga classes for various age groups during the upcoming winter storytime break in January 2017. Check out our Children’s Event Calendar to see dates and times.

You might be asking yourself, What is yoga? What place does yoga have in the library? Why children’s yoga? Excellent questions!

What is Yoga?

Put simply, yoga is a physical and mental practice with roots in ancient India that focuses on uniting our whole selves – mind, body, and spirit. By bringing attention to our breath (spirit), doing various poses (body), and focusing on the present moment (mind), we can bring the three parts of the self into harmony, benefiting our physical and mental health. While yoga is often used as a form of exercise, that is not its sole purpose. For some, yoga is a way of life or a philosophy. And while yoga has ties to various religions, it is not inherently a religious practice. The yoga being practiced in the library has no religious element.

Why Yoga in the Library?

Allow me to refer to part of Chelmsford Public Library’s mission statement: “The Library seeks to be an integral part of its community by offering a variety of materials, services, and programs to enrich daily lives, extend personal and intellectual development, and enhance educational endeavors.”

I truly believe that bringing yoga into the library will enrich families lives, extend their personal and intellectual development, and enhance educational endeavors, especially for our children! Today’s world is complex and we are so often busy thinking about everything but the present. We can all benefit from some much needed mindfulness through yoga.

Why Children’s Yoga?

Children’s yoga classes are nothing like adult yoga classes and the format and activities vary widely depending upon the age of the children, so it’s easier to answer this question in parts:

Why yoga for babies and toddlers?

Babies and toddlers are natural yogis – they constantly live in the moment (not to mention their flexibility!). But what about their caregivers? So often in today’s complex world, our days are bursting with activity and we spend much of our time thinking about anything BUT the present moment. Rushing from one thing to the next, we often forget to take time to really focus on what we are experiencing. A baby or toddler yoga class gives caregivers an opportunity to spend time focusing on nothing but being with their child in the present moment, a truly wonderful bonding experience.

In terms of growing bodies, baby and toddler yoga both focus on developmentally supportive movements and poses. What does that mean? Children will discover and practice many of the moves we do in a yoga class on their own. By assisting them into various poses and helping with these movements, we’re preparing their little bodies for future development. For instance, baby tummy postures help strengthen the core muscles needed for crawling, while downward dog pose helps toddlers connect their upper and lower bodies, a necessary part of body integration.

Why yoga for preschoolers?

I teach preschool yoga as a yoga storytime, connecting preschoolers’ natural love of stories and movement. Traditional library storytimes help children develop school readiness skills that will prepare them for success in the classroom.  These skills range from physical to social to discipline-based (language/literacy; mathematics; science; art; etc.). A yoga storytime helps children not only develop in many of these areas, but also aids in cultivating mindfulness skills. For instance, practicing various yoga poses helps children with their gross motor skills, while doing partner poses also aids in their social development.

Why yoga for school-age children?

Students today are stressed out and anxious from an early age. In an article on WebMD, University of Michigan professor Richard L. Hall, PhD, says, “Students are put in a position of feeling they just must not stop. They are not given a sense of support. They are put in an environment where they are not accepted for themselves but only for what they are going to achieve. All this builds stress” (emphasis added). Who has time for mindfulness when the focus is always on the future–on what you will know instead of what you do know; on who you will be instead of who you are? Teaching mindfulness techniques to school-age children through yoga can help them cope with this school stress and benefit their mental health in the long run.

As a Certified ChildLight Yoga instructor, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to deepen my own yoga practice through teaching others, especially children, how to slow down and enjoy the moment, accepting themselves as they are right now.

I hope to see you in my classes!


Books for Preschoolers on Wed., Dec. 7

Image of itemToday’s storytime had a sweet theme: cookies! We started with Karma Wilson’s The Cow Loves Cookies. While the animals on their farm enjoy eating their daily hay, corn, and slop, the cow loooooves cookies!Image of item

Next we read The Ducklings Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems. Poor Pigeon can’t catch a break! Meanwhile, Duckling gets cookies just by asking for them?! A nice twist shows that kindness and generosity can turn a bad mood around!

Image of itemMouse loves cookies, too! And he’s not about to let a burnt batch Image of itemruin his day in Laura Numeroff’s The Best Mouse Cookie.

Next up was Jamie Rix’s The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie, which deals with the classic dilemma: what do you do when there’s only one cookie left?


Image of itemFinally, we ended with Who Put the Cookie in the Cookie Jar? by George Shannon. Instead of questioning who’s emptying the cookie jar, this book shows us how many helping hands go into putting the cookies into the jar!

Thanks for joining me for storytime! We have one more storytime in the Fall session next week. Then we take a break until January 23rd, when the Winter/Spring session begins!




Books for Toddlers on Wed., Dec. 7

Image of itemWe had fun with books and songs about the number ten today. Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes showed us all different kinds of babies who have the same ten little fingers and toes. This is a great early book that showcases both the beautiful diversity and commonalities among human beings. 🙂


Image of itemWe also read Gill Guile’s version of the nursery rhyme Ten in the Bed before singing the song version. This was one of my favorite bedtime songs as a child and I hope your children enjoyed it today!

Thanks for joining me for storytime – see you next week! Next week is our last session of Fall Storytime. The Winter/Spring Storytime session starts January 23rd.


Books for Preschoolers on Wed., Nov. 30




Lynn Plourde’s Wild Child, my favorite autumnal pictImage of itemurebook, started off storytime today. We watched Mother Nature put her Image of itemwild child to bed, welcoming winter.

With winter, comes snow (noooooo!), so we read about a bunny’s first experience in the snow in Bernadette Ford’s First Snow. Of course, after watching bunnies frolic in a snowy meadow, we had to do Little Bunny Foo Foo!


TheImage of item bunny theme continued for the rest of storytime, with Candace Fleming’s Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! Poor Mr. McGreely can’t keep the pesky twitch-whiskers from eating his garden veggies, even after building a giant wall around it! We worked out some wiggles building our own walls as we did the action rhyme “Johnny Works with One Image of itemHammer.”

Once we had our walls built up, we settled back in for another Candace Fleming bunny book, Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide!  This time it’s winter and the bunnies are trying to sneak into Mr. McGreely’s house!

Image of itemFinally, Bunny’s Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown had us crowing like roosters, chirping like birds, buzzing like bees, stretching, yawning, sneezing, and more!

Thanks for joining me for storytime! See you next week!





Books for Toddlers on Wed., Nov. 30

Image of itemYesterday we celebrated all the fun things little bodies can do, like toddle, with Kathy Henderson’s Look at You! A Baby Body Book. We marched, clapped, waved, jumped, popped bubbles, and had all sorts of fun moving our bodies!Image of item

Our snuggle book for the day was one of my very favorite bedtime books, Mem Fox’s Time for Bed, in which various animals are lulled to sleep.

Thanks for joining me for storytime – see you next week!