About Books, Balls, and Blocks


Books, Balls, and Blocks is a free, fun, family event for children ages 0-5. It is comprised of 16 different volunteer-led activity stations in which children can engage in developmentally appropriate play while their parents complete an ASQ-3 screener. Parents are also strongly encouraged to engage in the activities with their child. A typical BBB is a 2-3 hour event that can be held at a child care center, family resource center, church, school, or anywhere else where children and families can gather with sufficient parking, restrooms, and emergency exits.


  • DETECTION OF DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY: Children participate in the event while their parents complete the ASQ-3 screener. Parents have an opportunity to evaluate their child’s development.
  • PARENT EDUCATION: Parents can engage in the activities to experience appropriate developmental play with their children. Parents can interact with the activities and will hopefully get ideas for how to play at home. There is also a resource table with information on child development and community services.
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Volunteers from the community and various sponsoring agencies are crucial to a successful Books, Balls, and Blocks. The community supplies volunteers, and this allows volunteers to engage in and increase awareness of appropriate child development. Parents can also get connected to resources that may help with any concerns.


The entire concept and application of a BBB was created by staff at Help Me Grow Utah. Help Me Grow is based on the idea that developmental delays and disabilities occur in far too many children and are often undetected and untreated for far too long. In an attempt to identify delays as early as possible, engage parents in appropriate child development activities, and connect children and families to the resources they need, BBB was born.

BBB & Help Me Grow Core Components

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Children and families are given information to connect them to relevant community services. Community service providers can be present onsite or simply provide materials to be distributed to parents. Community service providers may also play integral roles in hosting and/or advertising the event.

CHILD HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OUTREACHParents are given an opportunity to allow HMG staff to share their child’s developmental screening results directly with the child’s primary health care provider. Additionally, health care providers in the area can be contacted and connected prior to the event to inform them of the opportunity for their patients and give them notice that they may be contacted afterwards with ASQ-3 results.

CENTRALIZED TELEPHONE ACCESS POINTBBBs are attended by HMG Care Coordinators, who can connect families directly to HMG services.

DATA COLLECTIONStaff track the number of children and families served, which contributes to the strength of HMG’s aggregate data.

babies blocks

BBB & Strengthening Families Protective Factors

KNOWLEDGE OF PARENTING & CHILD DEVELOPMENT: Parents are provided with accurate information about child development and are given ideas of appropriate expectations for children’s behavior and developmental stages.

SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE OF CHILDREN: Children interact positively with others, self-regulate behavior, and effectively communicate feelings.

SOCIAL CONNECTIONS: Parents are able to meet other parents with children their child’s age and can interact in ways that give them positive feelings about themselves and their community.

PARENTAL RESILIENCE: Parents are strengthened in their role as their child’s first health care provider, teacher, and playmate.

CONCRETE SUPPORT IN TIMES OF NEED: Parents are given information on local resources that can help meet the needs of their child and family. Parents are empowered to be their child’s strongest advocate.

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Nearly 85% of brain development occurs in the first few years of life.

University of Hartford Center for Social Research

Help Me Grow Alabama

Help Me Grow Alabama is an affiliate of the Help Me Grow National Network and a program of the Alabama Partnership for Children.


Help Me Grow Alabama is funded by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education through the Preschool Development Grant and the Alabama Department of Human Resources.


HelpMeGrow Partner

HelpMeGrow Partner

HelpMeGrow Partner