Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Play, Baby, Play! - Play Around at the Library!

During our most recent storytime break, I decided to hold some fun play groups at the library. I held them two weeks in a row during our normal storytime hour and they were a hit! For more fun activities, check out everything Kendra over at Read, Sing, Play does with her babies!

Each week I set out a variety of activities for the caregivers to engage in with their children. I tried to make sure that the majority of activity stations I provided were cheap and could be easily reproduced at home. The goal of the program was to encourage caregivers to play with their children, and hopefully continue that play at home. 

One of the most popular stations was our scarves station. I wrapped tissue boxes in paper and stuffed them full of scarves. Toddlers pulled out the scarves, pushed them back in, and repeated for a long time. Eventually they also realized they could unwrap the boxes too. Even after the first one was unwrapped and it was revealed to be a tissue box, they still shouted "SURPRISE!" every time a new one was opened. Kids are just the best. 

The bubble wrap wall is everything!
The bubble wrap wall was also crazy popular with both kids and caregivers. While some kids preferred stomping on it, others chose to roll. More kids then I expected decided to delicately pop the bubbles throughout the whole program.

This is a perfect stations for infants too. I heard amazing conversations happening at the wall about sounds and textures. Start saving your bubble wrap now!

Of course, this station was also pretty fabulous. I purchased the pool and the ball pit balls on Amazon, and filled up a blow up pool. I also added cushions to the bottom of the pool because I imagined littles jumping in head first and hitting the hard floor beneath. It was a good decision. I had one kid who literally laid in the pool for an entire hour. Multiple caregivers have come in to share pictures of their own pool pit at home!

For this station I simply taped ribbon to the bottom or a table and box. It was a fun tactile experience for little ones as they crawled though it. It is also great for imaginative play! Within the first ten minutes it quickly became a "car wash" with children lining up to go through the wash.

I had a variety of sensory bottles for littles to explore at one station. I had different objects in each bottle and kids loved shaking them up and watching the changes.

I also included these sensory writing bags as an activity. For more information on these, check out my blog post here.

Obviously I had to have a station with shaky eggs and dancing ribbons. The dance party music played at a reasonable volume during the entirety of the program.

And of course I had a station of comfy bean bags and books for caregivers to read with their kids.

This was such a fun program! Other than the ball pit balls (which are obviously reusable), we already owned all of the supplies. We had over 50 participants at each program and numerous requests to add more in the future. It was non-staff intensive, since the stations were meant to be done at everyone's own pace. It allowed our storytime families a chance to chat with one another, plus it helped our circulation on non-storytime weeks. 


  1. Definitely using these ideas at an upcoming program! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm new as a teen/children's program specialist and I have been looking for ideas for some of my youngest patrons.

  3. Thanks for the great ideas. May wrap a few boxes and place them in the early literacy center. Saving bubble wrap for sure.



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