LeClaire Community Library is offering a new format for Storytime, called “Storytime in a Bag.”
Parents tend to worry about too much screentime for their children, yet during the pandemic, so many programs were offered only online. We have decided to replace our virtual Storytimes with interactive materials in a take-home kit, which are selected around a theme and centered on early literacy. These kits encourage engagement between family members and are accessible even to those who don’t have internet at home.
The important aspect of Storytime in a Bag is early literacy. This has been long recognized as a major component in preparing children to succeed in school. Research shows early literacy is linked with academic achievement and enhanced productivity in adult life.
Everything in the Storytime in a Bag kits will revolve around a theme (for example, our first one was Farm Animals). Each kit contains a craft associated with the theme and instructions to make it, two coloring sheets, stickers, a themed activity sheet on early literacy, and words to either a song or rhyme related to the theme. The activity sheet also includes a YouTube link where families are free to sing along with Youth Coordinator Haidee Cardoso.
Each kit also contains a list of recommended books in the form of a bookmark (all books featured are books LeClaire Library owns). Another really fun component to Storytime in a Bag is a monthly book display in our library featuring picture books that would work with the Storytime theme.
We are currently only putting together about 50 kits a month. Kits are recommended for ages 3 to 5. Our April Storytime in a Bag theme was Farm Animals, and our May Storytime in a Bag theme will be Gardening. Speaking of gardening, our butterfly garden along the south side of the library is beginning to bloom. And from time to time we are creating a fun Chalk Obstacle Course on the sidewalk next to the garden.
Summer Reading Program will begin in June and will include performers and activities staged outside our building. Look for favorites like Blank Park Zoo, singers Babaloo and Will Stuck, and Absolute Science.