One of my favorite things about summer is having more free time with my kids. One of my least favorite things is not knowing what to do with that free time! I’m sure you know the feeling -realizing that everyone is whiny because they don’t know what to do with themselves.
For those moments, I love the library. Pikes Peak Library District does a fantastic job with its children’s programming across its 14 branches. Even just going to a new branch and checking out their children’s room can be exciting for my two kids. But, I have found that they really step it up over the summer.
My biggest tip is to stop by your local branch and pick up a copy of their summer brochure. Can’t make it to your library? The brochure can be found online here!
In one convenient booklet, they have the whole summer laid out by activity and calendar date. The calendar is color coded, and lists each branch so you know when and where everything will be happening. It makes it easy to wake up in the morning and see what is available.
Something I noticed is that their new programming is directed at the school-aged crowd. My kids and I are looking forward to checking out Stories and Stuff, a weekly themed story and craft time for kids up to age eight. This is a weekly activity at most libraries, so check their calendar to find one near you! There is also a new program called 7-up. The current calendar for this includes various art projects and Wilderness Readiness. Again, check the calendar to see when and where!
They have a full calendar of Morning Fun Programs. Most mornings this summer you can attend a “show” at 10:30 am. The branches rotate these special events throughout the summer. I have found that these can sometimes be on the crowded side even when held in a larger venue, so be aware if your kids don’t handle crowds well. This year’s lineup features magic, science, chickens, and Zumba for kids.
If a full story time is too much for your kids, as is often true for mine, check out a Book Break. A children’s librarian will select and read a few books for anyone who wants to sit and listen. It’s super informal. I love that they are often in an area where you can supervise kids who don’t want to listen to a story as they play with toys or on a computer instead.
One year-round activity that my kids love is Paws to Read. My daughter is shy and it always amazes me how willing she is to read a book to a furry friend! Each library has their own schedule for this activity, but they typically occur in the afternoons and last for an hour or two. This is a drop in activity where the dog sets up camp and kids can visit with them for as long or short as they want. Sometimes they have coloring pages as well.
The Summer Reading Program winds down this month. If you haven’t signed up, it isn’t too late. More information is located here. Kids can earn some awesome prizes this year. PPLD also throws parties to celebrate the end of the program. We attended last year at the East Library and had a blast. They even landed a helicopter in the park behind the library! A librarian told me she really enjoys the party at the Monument and Palmer Lake branch, so we will check that one out as well this year. They stagger the parties so you can attend any and all if you choose! Check their calendar for one near you.