If you have been a follower of our blog for even a short amount of time, you know how much we love and appreciate our wonderful Connecticut public libraries. I think it was one of our most surprising discoveries that our public libraries offer so many incredible resources for parents with young children– from drop-in storytimes and playgroups, to registered programs to special events for kids ranging in age from birth through their school years. And all of these offerings are FREE!
So with the 5th annual “Take Your Child to the Library Day” coming up on Saturday, February 6th, we thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on some of the amazing library adventures we’ve had here at Out and About Mom over the past 4+ years.
So what’s so special about February 6th, you may ask?
As ctlibrarians.org explains:
“Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library. Launched in 2011 right here in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, TYCLD raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child, and promotes library services and programs for children and families.”
And in celebration of this annual day of library recognition that falls on the first Saturday in February, many libraries across the country have planned special events including games, music, entertainment, and more. As of this post, nearly every town in Connecticut is reporting that it will have at least one library participating.
For example, here’s what my local library in Glastonbury is planning for the day:
So be sure to check with your local library to see what special festivities might be planned on Saturday, February 6th. Or, perhaps challenge yourself to visit a new-to-you library in a neighboring town. Libraries are really one of our greatest resources for family fun and an important part of the lives of both parents and children!
Can’t make it out on the 6th? No worries. Many libraries have a wide range of monthly or even weekly events and activities to discover, so just a little time spent perusing a library’s website can yield tons of great outing ideas!
Here are just a few of our favorite drop-in library activities that happen EVERY WEEK, so you can check them out whenever it fits your schedule.
Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester Tiny Tots Table
Cragin Memorial Library has lots of wonderful programs plus a beautiful children’s library space that’s a pleasure to explore. But one thing we really love is their Tiny Tots Table that’s open every Friday from 10:00am-1:00pm. It’s an engaging sensory table that’s set up in a special room just for little ones ages 3 and under, and it’s a great opportunity to let the kiddos (and the grownups!) socialize and play. But make sure you leave plenty of time to check out the other activities and play areas as well! OAAM POST; Website
Farmington Library Tots and Tunes Class
This drop-in music and movement class for kids ages birth to 3 is the perfect way to “shake your sillies out”. It currently meets three times a week (two sessions on Friday mornings and one Tuesday evening session) and you can go to as many sessions as you please. The kids love to wiggle and giggle their way through this energetic program, and afterwards grownups can converge fireside in the lobby and enjoy a cup of coffee. OAAM POST; Website
South Windsor Library Family Stories
This Saturday morning storytime program is recommended for children ages 3 and up (though younger children who are able to site still and pay attention are welcome) and is perfect for busy families that can’t make it out to classes during the work/school week. It meets most Saturday mornings at 10:00 am and includes a story, songs and a craft/art activity. Be sure to leave plenty of time for exploring the spacious children’s library area as well! OAAM POST; Website
But don’t stop there, it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Be sure to check out ALL the libraries we’ve visited over the years:
- Avon Free Public Library – 2012 visit and 2014 visit (Avon, CT)
- Bishops Corner Library (West Hartford, CT)
- Cragin Memorial Library (Colchester, CT)
- Enfield Public Library – Vehicle Day (Enfield, CT)
- Farmington Main Library and Tots and Tunes Class (Farmington, CT)
- Faxon Branch Library (West Hartford, CT)
- Hartford Public Library, Downtown Branch (Hartford, CT)
- Noah Webster Library – Baby Play Area and Baby Time Class (West Hartford, CT)
- Ridgefield Library (Ridgefield, CT)
- Rocky Hill Library (Rocky Hill, CT)
- Russell Library First Saturdays Story and Craft Time (Middletown, CT)
- Simsbury Library (Simsbury, CT)
- Welles-Turner Memorial Library – Children’s Section and One is W-One-derful class (Glastonbury, CT)
- South Windsor Public Library (South Windsor, CT)
- Wethersfield Library (Wethersfield, CT)
- Windsor Public Library Second Saturdays Playgroup (Windsor, CT)
And if you have a fantastic library near you that we haven’t explored, we’d love to know about it! Please leave us a comment on this post or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with more information.
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