Posted on September 30, 2014 at 6:00 am
At the beginning of June, I had some great conversations with parents about the programming the library had planned for the summer. They were thrilled to hear about the fun, educational, and free programs the library offered all summer long. They were plotting ways to keep their kids busy and entertained while school was out of session, and desperately hoping to keep themselves sane in the process. I felt like a superhero coming to their rescue.
While I think many parents think of Summer Reading and Storytimes when they think of the library, I’m sure there are quite a few who would be surprised to know just how many kid’s programs take place during the school year. So rest assured, this edition of the library hack is here to show you that your library is here for you (and your sanity) year-round.
It all begins with the babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. I already mentioned Storytime, but it is worth mentioning again. If you haven’t come to a one in a while, you might be surprised by what we offer. From songs and flannels, to playing with scarves, bean bags, and bells, Storytime incorporates early literacy activities that will spark your child’s love of books and reading. After the story session is a “Play and Learn” time where parents, caregivers and kids enjoy activities that introduce little ones to early concepts of math, science, art and early literacy. Storytimes take place at all ten Spokane County Library District libraries.
If you are looking for something for your school-aged kids to do after school, we’ve got you covered. The Kids Explore and Discover Club gives kids a chance to learn about different aspects of science, technology, engineering, art and math while having so much fun they won’t even realize they are learning. From building a fort and then battling it out to see who engineered their fort the best, to learning about buoyancy and water pressure and why the Titanic was doomed to sink, we’ve got an exciting line up of programs for this school year. Check out the flyer at your library, or go to our online calendar, to find the day and time for your library.
If you live in the vicinity of the North Spokane Library, your kids are in for a treat. Due to the popularity of our Lego and Pokémon programs this summer, we are starting a new program series for kids, called Monday Funday. Each Monday, from 4:00-5:00, we’ve got a different Club planned. Kids can join us the first Monday of each month for Lego Club. We have an incredible amount of Legos just waiting for them to create their next masterpiece. The second Monday is North Spokane’s Kids Explore and Discover Club week. Be sure to check out the Kids Explore and Discover Club flyer (or look online) for a complete list of the programs. On the third Monday, we invite kids to bring their creativity, and we will provide the supplies, for Art Club. Make sure kids wear clothes that can get messy, each month will be a different art project and the surprise is half the fun. The fourth Monday of the month is all about Pokemon Club. We play for fun, not for keeps, and beginners are always welcome. When the occasional fifth Monday occurs we will have Build It Club, not to be confused with Lego Club. This is where we bring out all our non-Lego building materials and kids get to choose their medium. With the exception of Kids Explore and Discover Club, which is for kids in K-5th grade, Funday Mondays are an all ages program. We do ask that kids 6 and under be accompanied by an adult.
Because kids just can’t seem to get enough of Legos, we created Lego Build Days. Each library gets a day to build whatever they want and then their creations are displayed in the library for the next month, before being shipped off to the next location. We still have some Lego Build Days on the calendar for this year, and be sure to check back in January for your library’s dates for next year. Our Legos will make the rounds to all ten libraries again in 2015.
For kids in grades 4 and up, we’ve got Tween Club at our North Spokane and Spokane Valley libraries. Some of the fun in the lineup for this fall includes a Minecraft day and a magnets program with hands-on experiments and activities.
If volunteering (or meeting a graduation requirement) appeals to your teen, we’ve got a Teen Volunteer program at our North Spokane and Spokane Valley branches. This quarter’s spots are already filled, but in December we will be taking applications for the next quarter (which begins in January.) To get an idea of what a teen volunteer might do, take a look at our Volunteer webpage.*
So parents take a big breath and let out a sigh of relief. There are many ways to keep your kids occupied outside of school hours that are both fun and educational, and don’t cost any money. And for those of you who are kids at heart, be sure to check out the amazing adult programs we have going on, we know you want to play too!
*Since the publication of this post, our volunteer program, including teen volunteers, for all of our libraries can be found on our Volunteer page.
Tags: events, kids, library hacks