Libraries offer great February programs for kids


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  • " Bunny" and "Squiddy" are all prepared for the Stuffed Animal Sleepover Photo by laurie Gordon



By Laurie Godon

— Sign up for some great children's programs planned by The Sussex County Library including a Valentine Craft this weekend, many events throughout the month and even a “Stuffed Animal Sleepover.”

Lapsits are for the youngest children, ages six months through two years, and include silly songs and rhymes, simple stories and fingerplays. Read & Plays are targeted to families with multiple young children, with age-appropriate books and activities for ages six months through four years. Preschool Storytimes include more advanced stories and simple crafts to help children get ready for Kindergarten.

For older children the Sussex-Wantage Branch is hosting a Valentine Craft event at 10:00 a.m. on February 3. Children ages eight through 12 are invited to make treasure boxes from clay with local artist, Sally Stansfield. The Main Library, in Frankford, will host Kids Can Cook! This hands-on program for children 8-10 meets on February 3 at 11:00 a.m. On February 10 children in grades one and up are invited to meetings of the American Girl Club at both the Louise Childs (10:00 a.m.) and Sussex-Wantage (2:00 p.m.) Branches.

“Our Children's programs are great for families for so many reasons, but it's certainly important to note that all of our events are completely free,” said Rachel Burt, Head of Youth Services for the Sussex County Library System. “It can be difficult to find activities to do with children that don't involve at least a small fee. Once we get families into the library, we hope they will take advantage of everything we have to offer in addition to our programming. Our collections of books, movies, and videogames is always growing, and we also offer lots of e-resources (like audiobooks and ebooks) that are free with a library card.”

On Monday, February 26, children are invited to the Dorothy Henry Branch Library in Vernon anytime between 10:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m. to drop off a stuffed toy for a very special night at the library.

Children are encouraged to bring a stuffed toy they feel comfortable leaving overnight. When the library closes for the evening the fun begins! Staff will take pictures of the plush toys enjoying their sleepover so the children can see what their stuffed animals get up to when they think no humans are awake.

“The stuffed animal sleepover program is one that we have been doing at the Library for many years and is always a big hit,” Burt said. “Children are fascinated by the idea of things going on at the library during nighttime hours. After they drop off their animals, they come back the next afternoon to see a slideshow of pictures of everything that the animals did at the library the night before. They see their animals reading books, playing with toys, climbing on bookshelves, and getting into mischief.”

Stuffed animal pick up is Tuesday, February 27 between 4:30-5:00 p.m. In addition to the happy reunion, there will be a slideshow of the fun the furry friends had while their owners were at home.

This program is limited to 20 children plus one plush toy each. Stop by or call the Dorothy Henry Branch at 973 827-8095 beginning February 13 to register, or sign up online through the Events Calendar link at sussexcountylibrary.org.

Looking forward, Burt said, “The Library will be participating in New Jersey Makers Day on Saturday, March 10, where we will be offering lots of demonstrations and workshops for people of all ages. The Main Library will also hold its annual Touch A Truck program on Friday, April 6. All branches will also offer a four-week storytime session in April.”

All program information can be found on the library's website.

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