As a Youth Librarian, I regularly presented programs for early learners (children ages 0-6).
We boogied the afternoon away with a “prom” themed event — designed for babies and toddlers! Music, a sensory dance floor, shakers, balloons, and even baby “limo” rides made the event fun for everyone.
In September and October 2017, I co-ran Kindergarten Countdown, a 5-week program focusing on preschoolers entering kindergarten in fall 2018. Each week, we provided activities and apps focusing on a different core literacy skill (reading, writing, playing, talking, singing) and encouraged parents and children to work together. Parents took home materials to allow them to recreate these and other activities, so they could continue to prepare their preschooler for kindergarten outside of the library.
We began each session with an overview of how the program worked, the importance of that week’s skill, and information about that week’s activities and apps.
Noon Year’s Eve
We counted down to 2021 in style through a virtual storytime, balloon drop, and dance party. This was one of our most well-attended virtual events, with 439 participants from around central Ohio.
Play & Learn
Every week in summer 2019, parents and their little ones interacted with 10-12 early literacy, fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities carefully selected for ages 0-3. This was a popular event– we had 80-120 visitors each week. People came and went on their own schedule–for some babies, 10 minutes was more than enough time in the crowded room; others enjoyed a full hour of play and even stayed to help with clean-up.
Some of our most popular activities included:
- Cereal Boxes and Straws
- Baby Pool Play
- Pom Pom Drop
- Sensory Tiles
- Tumbling Mats
- Sensory Bags & Bottles
- “Messy” Sensory Play (rice, beans, sand, easter grass, water)
- Instrument/Sound Play
Play & Learn at Home
In 2020, we adapted our in-person Play & Learn program into a virtual event through a series of videos for caregivers featuring at-home DIY baby play ideas.
Stuffed Animal Sleepover
In October 2016, I ran a Stuffed Animal Sleepover. After a drop-off storytime, attendees left their stuffed friends at the library overnight and picked up their friends the next day.
Pictures of the event can be found by clicking on the picture below or by clicking here.
Parents sent in feedback about how much they enjoyed this program:
“Thank you for putting this program on! My kids loved it so much. Your hard work on the pictures was so nice. Thank you again.” – Sarah Hegemier
“I just have to tell you how great this was. Such a cute idea and my 4 year old absolutely loved it! Thank you!!” – Kim
“Thank you for spending so much time and effort in taking those adorable pictures of the stuffed animals and writing those funny captions too! My girls enjoyed looking through the pictures and “reading” what their stuffed animals (Ellie the duck & Dum-Dum the monkey) and their friends did last night! It was such a great experience! Thank you again!” – Elaine
Learn more about my 2019 Stuffed Animal Sleepover here.
Winnie the Pooh Party
In January 2019, we celebrated Winnie the Pooh with games, activities, books, and more. We all came together to play a game of Winnie the Pooh BINGO – a first BINGO game for many of our youngest participants!
Passive Programming: Imagination Station
Westerville Library hosts a monthly Imagination Station in the youth department. The theme of this station changes each month and includes different ways for patrons to interact with the department and develop their play and imagination skills.
As part of my Superhero Headquarters imagination station, patrons could:
- Complete a Superhero Scavenger Hunt
- Discover more resources about superheroes inside and outside the library
- Create a superhero mask
- Create a superhero symbol
- Pretend to be a superhero using dress up clothes and props
- Spin a wheel to discover their superpower
- Color various superhero coloring sheets
Some of the resources I created can be seen below:
Check out additional images of many of some of my other Imagination Stations:
Read more about some of my specific Imagination Stations at these links: