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Books Balls & Blocks Delaware

Learning can be fun!

See how games and activities stimulate a child’s growth with free, fun family events.

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Teacher with kids playing with shapes. Part of the Books Balls and Blocks Delaware program

What is Books Balls & Blocks (BBB)?

Books Balls & Blocks (BBB) is a free, fun family event where children can get an early child developmental screening. Parents and caregivers can come play with their children and learn how games and activities stimulate a child’s development. Anyone living in Delaware who cares for a child age 5 or younger is invited (siblings can come, too). At the event, there are activity stations, each with a way to build a child’s developmental skills.

Fun

We use play to show how it is one of the important ways your child learns and develops.

Friends

Here, kids can meet and learn through play. Parents get to observe, talk, and learn how their child is growing.

Peace of mind

We’ll help you determine if your child’s growth is on track. If not, we’ll offer ways to help get them prepared for school.

Children coloring in books

Skills include

  • Communication and language
  • Cognition and problem-solving
  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Literacy

*Delaware’s ASQ data over the past 3 years shows a number of children (birth–5 years old) who had ASQs administered experienced delays in these key areas.

Baby playing with toy blocks

What Happens During a Books Balls & Blocks (BBB) Event?

At a BBB event, parents/guardians fill out the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for their child. The ASQ asks about a child’s progress with growth or milestones. If parents don’t want to fill out the questionnaire, they can still stay and play with their child. Each BBB has activities to help with a specific area of child development, based on the stages of a child’s life. Programs are in person and online, each with a different way to play.

Join us

In person

In-person BBB events offer interactive stations where parents and caregivers can play with their child. Each station focuses on a specific area of developmental skills. If parents fill out the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, it helps them determine if their child is on track. The interactive stations could be used by parents to assess how their child is doing in terms of their growth, when they are filling out the ASQ. The stations help a child’s brain and physical development improve as they play. It also helps identify skills such as hopping on one leg, using scissors, pointing to objects, and recognizing pictures in a book.

Online

Online BBB gives kids a chance to explore and practice focused skills on a single topic. These online events happen on Zoom.

During the online BBB, staff help parents and caregivers play with their child in a way that encourages skill growth. A child’s fine motor, communication, and problem-solving skills could grow with each BBB session.

Three BBB Zoom sessions, typically on Saturdays, target specific age groups: 12- to 23-month-old and 36- to 48-month-old children.

Sign up to play

These Saturday Zoom sessions are targeted to 12- to 24-month-old children (1- to 2-year-olds) and 36- to 48-month-old children (3- to 4-year-olds). They encourage adults to play with children in directed, age-appropriate play. Participating with your child increases their fine motor, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Multiple topics are held on different dates for each age group. You do not need to attend all sessions, but you must register for each session individually. After registering using the Register links below, you will receive an email with materials and Zoom links.

We recommend signing up five days prior to each event. If you register any time after the Monday prior to the event, it is not guaranteed that materials needed for the event will be shipped and delivered on time.

Sessions are recorded and shared on social media or used for promotional purposes. Please grant permission when registering. Or, you may turn your camera feature off if you do not wish your child to be shown online.

There is a limit of 15 families per session.

Upcoming BBB Events

More Events:

Parent Meet-Up for Parents, Partners and Staff

Parent Meet-Up for Parents, Partners  and Staff

This session will be parent-focused and the goal is to help answer questions and provide additional resources.

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What Happens After a BBB Event?

The completed screenings are sent to a Help Me Grow at Delaware 2-1-1 Child Development Specialist. Help Me Grow staff will then upload responses to the ASQ online portal.

A Child Development Specialist will call parents and caregivers if the results show a child may need help in an area. Parents should NOT panic if they receive a call. It is NOT a confirmation that a child has a developmental delay. Children will need to have a formal assessment to check.

Depending on a child’s age, the screening results will be sent to an early intervention program that caters to the related age group. In Delaware, Birth to Three, commonly known as Child Development Watch, is responsible for children from birth to age 2. Child Find is through local school districts. It caters to children age 2 and older.

For more information about BBB events, please call 302-744-4922 or email booksballsblocksde@gmail.com.

Mom reading with toddler

Want to Earn Rewards?

Parents and caregivers earn rewards for attending sessions and completing evaluations. Prizes are also earned for attending all three sessions for a specific age group.

  • For every three sessions they attend, children get a prize to reward their hard work (and play).
  • Each time they fill out a survey at the end of an event, parents and caregivers earn a gift card.
  • The more sessions they attend, the more chances parents will have to earn rewards for their child.
  • Parents can also refer others to a BBB event to earn rewards.

Host a BBB Event or Be a Vendor!

Early childhood agencies, organizations, and childcare centers can get involved, too, by hosting or co-sponsoring in-person or online BBB events. BBB events provide opportunities for vendors to set up a display table and present or promote child- and/or family-oriented resources and activities. By hosting an event, you will be promoting your organization, too! Mentions in media posts, email alerts, and during live and recorded BBB online sessions help to spread the word about your group in the community.

Email us at booksballsblocksde@gmail.com.

Additional Resources

Below are resources and outside services that can help.

Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) Developmental Screening Resources

Screening young children is an effective, efficient way to check a child’s development, help celebrate a child’s milestones, and determine whether follow-up steps are needed.

Quality Time 30 (QT30) App

The QT30 app challenges parents and caregivers to spend 30 minutes of quality time with their child each day. Users are awarded points, badges, and more. The app also has reminders and timers to return to play on a daily basis.

CDC’s Developmental Milestones

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move.

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.