Library Fun: Second Edition

We came back home to snow when we flew from Mexico to Wisconsin today. While I’m excited to get started on our Christmas decorating this weekend (an excellent way to procrastinate the unpacking of our suitcases!), I’m not ready to return to the cold. Luckily, even when the weather is yucky, we can still enjoy a day of fun at our local libraries. Here’s some more library fun from this summer:

We built towers and tracks with big blue blocks at my parent’s library. These blocks are fun to play with – but I’m glad I don’t have to store these huge things at my house! My daughter loved the veterinarian clinic that was set up at another library near our house. There were lots of stuffed animals to take care of, clipboards with checklists to give your pet a check-up, x-ray scans, and plenty of medical tools and grooming tools to get the job done. My kid especially loved taking care of the snake and the parrot. Creepy. Sometimes she does not seem like my child! At the same library, they had another corner set up as a campsite. There was a tent with camp chairs, a fire, lantern, and woodland animals. There was also a nearby “pond” where kids could reel in fish thanks to some magnets. While my daughter gets shy around other kids, she made several friends while playing at the library in these fun play stations.

Another play area was full of construction items like a wheelbarrow, blocks, a workbench with tools, brooms, and a construction worker outfit. My daughter liked loading up the wheelbarrow. At the library closest to our house, the children’s area is smaller, but still provides some room for play. My daughter took up the whole kid’s table with this giant book of The Wheels on the Bus. Luckily, she was happy enough to flip the pages by herself so I didn’t have to embarrass either of us with my terrible singing!

Before entering the children’s library, there is a statue of some children reading a book. My kid sat down and said, “Take a picture of me!” She fit right in. Another library offers a spacious area to build your own wooden train track. I know this is common at many libraries, but what I like about this set-up is that you don’t have to make your track fit on a train table. A big floor rug gives you more room to play. When we visited a new library this summer, we found lots of puppets. While I was personally a bit grossed out thinking about how many kids have put their hands inside all the puppets, my daughter joyfully explored them! Bring on the hand sanitizer!

Since we’ve been on vacation, we’ll be back at the library soon to check out new materials. Hope you are utilizing your local libraries too!

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Library Fun: First Edition

My daughter and I are homebodies. We much prefer hanging out at home to venturing out into people and traffic. But the one place we always look forward to going is the library. We have so many fantastic libraries in our area, so we utilize them a lot. We visited a new library last spring and it became a fun place to visit during the summer. It’s located in a small town about 10 minutes from our house. An extra perk was that there’s a cute little ice cream shop a few blocks away. We could visit the library and stop for a treat before heading back home. That’s a great day!

Inside the library, there is a cute children’s section. There is a large arched door for adults to walk through, and next to it is a smaller door for kids to enter. Right away, it makes it clear that children are welcome. While the children’s area doesn’t have a ton of space for toys, there are a few things to play with like a shop that rotates different toy bins, a tower of puzzles, and two tablets with pre-loaded games attached to a giant yellow crayon.

There are also fun things to check out. In addition to the usual books, CDs, and DVDs, this library also has crafts to check out and Me Readers. Me Readers are like e-readers for kids. Each Me Reader comes with 8 books and a device with color-coded buttons. Each page of the book has a color and shape around the text. Kids push the correct button on the device to have the page read out loud. My daughter thought this was so cool – it was just like Mommy’s kindle! She could turn the pages, push the buttons, and feel like she was reading the book herself.

There are fun things to find outside the library too. The library must have had a rock-painting event because there are cute painted rocks hidden among the landscaping. There are also benches with large, colorful canopies overhead for shade, and two big wooden swings set under pergolas. You can check out your books and then read outside. How I wish we had a swing like this at our house!

A sensory garden provides time to explore. Three large planters offer a variety of plants that you can Taste, Touch, and Smell. My daughter loved trying the green onion each time because she thought it looked like bamboo! In the Touch planter, there were plants with super soft leaves and plants with rough, bumpy leaves. I’m so grateful for the fantastic libraries in our area and the thoughtful librarians who provide interesting materials and programming for library patrons of all ages.

We love libraries! What do you love about your local library?