This fall, the library added a new program that simultaneously offers something for adults and children, called “Take a Break.”
Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., grandparents, parents and babysitters can drop by to talk with other adults while the children do age-appropriate activities. Annette Clark, the youth librarian, and Mary Kay Johnson, the adult services coordinator, co-plan and lead the program. Either one might interact with the adults or the children.
The session starts with a read-aloud story with coffee break — the kids get a small snack and drink — the adults have coffee, tea or water. After the story, the tiny children stay with the adults to play with baby and toddler toys while bigger children move to a dramatic play area. For the first few weeks, the kids played “camping,” which included a pup tent, fishing pond, stuffed animal wildlife, tissue paper fire, camping storybooks and other outdoor activities and materials. During one pretend night, we dimmed the lights, closed the blinds and the kids used their pinch flashlights to make lightning bugs.
For the weeks of Sept. 25 through Oct. 16, the kids explore the theme of Farm, Harvest, and Fall. The centerpiece is a kiddie pool full of corn and a cardboard play barn. We gather eggs, feed livestock, read books and play with farm-related toys and materials. Each week new elements add interest to the play area.
While the kids play, the adults have an opportunity to use some of the library resources. They preview new materials, ask questions about services, explore a specific topic area through a topic study or even bring in resources and share their expertise with others. There are usually take-home handouts for the adults to use in thinking about dramatic play at home, as well as an activity to do with their kids. The topic of discussion for Sept. 25 was “Six Steps for Getting Your Child Ready to Read,” presented by Annette Clark.
Participation and interest are growing for this new program, and with that comes the need for more adult volunteers to help with the kids play area. This is an active place where imagination, pretend role-modeling and fun are key to keeping kids engaged. We welcome anyone who wants to help. We appreciate the busy lives of the people who care and nurture the lives of children and are happy that we can enable them to “take a break.”
Norwalk Easter Library
1051 North Ave.
Mon. – Thur.: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m.