You know story time is special when the librarian who led it when you were in preschool is still leading it today! Incredibly, this is the case at the Waukegan Public Library.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit in on Waukegan Public Library‘s Preschool Story Time. Still as energetic and enthusiastic as ever, Miss Sandy leads the story times with songs, books, and crafts. Story time is a drop-in event held in the Early Learning Center of the children’s section of the library. This space changes in theme and is currently set up to resemble a rocket (more on the ELC later). There is a special space just for storytime, complete with an area of carpeted risers to sit on (no need to sit on the ground, adults!).
Knowing little ones so well, Miss Sandy allows kids to get up and wiggle when they need to. But she keeps them busy and engaged throughout the thirty minutes anyway. The children sing and dance, help her with the alphabet song, and do finger plays. They also listen to short picture books on a particular theme.
The class ended with a related craft. This day’s craft was painting a polar bear paper-bag puppet with (washable) puff paint (aprons were provided). The preschoolers had a blast during story time as they learned about letters, numbers, science, and art. It was very age appropriate.
The Waukegan Public Library has classes for infants, two-year-olds, preschoolers, and six- and seven-year-olds. They also offer bilingual story times. Check out the schedule of classes for more details.
Be sure to leave time after story time to play in the Early Learning Center as well (see Little Lake County’s review of this space). Just to give you an idea of how wonderful a space the ELC is, while I was there, I chatted with a mother who lives in Chicago. She and her toddler drive all the way to Waukegan just to play there. She said many libraries don’t have a space where kids are allowed to “run around.” This space is conducive to toddlers being toddlers.
There is metered parking on W. Clayton St., N. County St., and N. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Thirty minutes of parking costs twenty-five cents (remember to bring coins!). Another option is the parking garage kitty corner from the library (entrance on N. County St.). Although the parking garage charges $1 per hour, the library will validate for up to three hours.
So if you’re looking for a fun time for your little one, check out Waukegan Public Library’s story time.