One of our favorite features in Kids & Teens is our 3-sided Discovery Play Center, which includes a LEGO wall, a felt wall, and a magnetic art board.
LEGOs are a wonderful, popular toy that have been around since 1940. One side of our discovery play center is a LEGO wall. We have several bins of LEGO pieces with which children are invited to build and create to their heart's content. LEGOs can help improve your child's STEM (Science, Technology, Engeineering, Math) skills:
- Kids develop lateral thinking in a fun environment
- It teaches kids to think in three dimensions
- Kids develop problem-solving, organization, and planning by construction
- It improves creativity
- It enhances communication and critical thinking
- It boosts kids motor development
And LEGOs are just, plain fun! Even adults still love play with them (go ahead, we know you want to).
Our felt wall provides fun, educational opportunities to build important, basic skills in readiness, reading, math, and understanding spatial concepts. With our assortment of Velcro blocks, shapes, letters, and numbers, children can make designs, match upper and lowercase letters, form words, build short sentences, and even create simple equations, as well as more.
Magnetic Art Board
Kids can have even more fun with our magnetic art board. With magnetic shapes, gears, and building blocks, children can explore spatial concepts and pattern matching to create fun mix & match animals and people, as well as simple to complicated structures and designs.
The Early Literacy Station™ (ELS), designed specifically for ages 2-8, and features over 4,000 localized learning activities, providing hours of education and fun.
These stations are engaging and full of child-friendly images, sounds, songs, and videos. It is also a safe environment, as these stations are self-contained computers not connected to the Internet, keeping children away from unwarranted websites and content.
The fun, interactive, and engaging content spans all seven curricular areas: math, science & nature, social studies & geography, reading, art & music, writing & computer skills, and reference. The award-winning content is also aligned to STEM/STEAM and correlated to academic standards. These stations are ideal for all learning styles: auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic learners.
View the Content List of our AWE Early Literacy Stations.™
You and your child are invited to make use of our puppet stage in the Picture Book Room, along with our large selection of animal and people puppets.
Learning through play is an important aspect of childhood. Puppets are a fun way to help promote language, social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development:
- Language Skills - As your child makes the puppets talk and interacts with other puppet players, they are developing their language skills: making the puppets talk back and forth; making the puppet ask and answer questions; imitating words and language patterns your child has heard, which practices annunciation and sentence structures; your child talking with other kids helps increase their vocabulary and even encourages a shy child to open up.
- Social-Emotional Development - When playing puppets with a friend, your child must learn to share, take turns, be patient, and share space. Puppets are used by your child to recognize and relate to their feelings and the feelings of others.
- Cognitive Development - Stories can be told and ideas acted out with the puppets. This kind of play helps foster creativity, imagination, abstract thinking, and sequencing. Hand puppets even help your child make the spatial connection between their hand and how it fits inside the puppet.
- Physical Development - Fine motor skills are worked as your child moves the puppet’s head, arms, and body. Gross motor skills are strengthened when moving arms around, crouching below a puppet stage, and standing back up again. Balance and hand-eye coordination are learned as your child moves the puppet where they intend it to be located.
Our puppet stage was a generous donation made by the Friends of the Elmwood Park Public Library. Thank you!
Cool glass, sparkling light, gentle noise! You get it all with this Marvelous Marble Panel. Your kids will be entranced with this sensory panel, with more than 1,000 iridescent marbles illuminated by diffused lighting. As your kids turn the marbles, they receive visual, tactile, and aural sensory input, and experience a calming sensation.
Built for kids 18 months and up, these activity centers in our Picture Book Room have no loose parts, and encourage cooperative play with different activity panels. Your child can practice color recognition, hand-eye coordination, and even counting.
Our activity centers were a generous donation made by the Friends of the Elmwood Park Public Library. Thank you!
An important aspect of your child's growth is developing self-awareness, and in a mirror your child can begin to recognize their self in their reflected image.
Visit the fun house mirror along our upstairs balcony for a silly take on self-identity. It captures the attention of both children and adults, as we laugh at ourselves and others with bodies that look short and round, long and tall, or twisted and squiggly. Life is so much better when you can learn to laugh at yourself a little.
In our upstairs balcony area we also have two bulletin boards where we happily showcase little ones' art. Take a look and ask at the Kids & Teens Desk to see how to get your child's art on our boards.