Let’s Play Librarian

Here is our library area at our house. A few cheap shelves, a throw rug, and bean bags in a small unused area of the house makes a great learning nook.

Since we have our own little library, we decided to “play” library. Just grab some books, double sided tape, small envelopes, index cards, a notepad, pen, and stamps.

Put a piece of double sided tape on the front of the envelope and stick it to the inside cover of the book.

To make it easier for my guys, I tore the flap off of the envelope like this.

Place an index card in the envelope.

When you go to check the book out, be sure to have your librarian take out the index card and stamp it. I made my kids take the card completely out and lay it next to the book. I did not want them getting tempted to stamp their books.

Any good librarian knows that you have to keep track of who has which book. So have your librarian stamp their notepad with the same stamp.

Be sure that they write the name of the person that checked out the book. Sometimes we play track down the overdue book, too. :-)

Even non-writers can do this fun activity. My daughter is two years old and loves to be a part of the library. She stamps and stuffs the index cards like a pro.

Now that I have my kids all trained, please do not tell them that all of the books are really scanned and monitored by a computer system in the library. They have too much fun with this!

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Pretend Play : Library

This was an impromptu activity, I didn’t plan it at all. I was finishing up a post for Parentella about school anxiety when my son decided that he had enough of Legos, and since it was pouring outside his beloved backyard was off limits too. I suggested we play library. By the time he was all set up my final proof read was done and we were playing.

  1. Gather your props. You will need LOTS of books, an old computer to be the check out , a cloth bag and” library” card . You could make a card as a craft before hand if you want or just use a old Starbucks card.
  2. Set up your library. Ours was set up on our family room couches. My son sorted the books by ones for big kids and ones for little kids. I couldn’t tell the difference but the fact that he initiated the sorting and classification was good enough for me. We popped my old laptop on the coffee table for check out.
  3. Next ask your librarian to help with book suggestions. This was eye opening for me he suggested some great books by title, this is a great way to get a sense of which books your child remembers and loves.
  4. Time to check out books. I had to pay a fine too. Isn’t it fun when you realize your kids is listening all.the.time.
  5. Next it’s story time!

Pretend play isn’t just fun, it’s an important component to early childhood education. It allows kids to practice social situations, learn by doing and develop storytelling skills as well. So grab some books and turn your living room into a library .

Author Showcase: Anne Rockwell

I have reviewed so many of Anne Rockwell’s books that I had to do a search to find them all, and there are too many to include in one post. I haven’t adored everything she has written but every time I go to the library ( any of the 3 nearby branches) I go straight to her section to see what’s in !  I particularly love her holiday books and my son loves the transportation ones.

Father’s Day I really liked this book, it is about a class full of students writing stories about their dads at school and ending with a party where they present the books to their fathers. What I enjoyed was the diversity of this book , it covered all different kinds of dads and children and all the things they most enjoy doing together. My son was rather attached to the dad and son playing soccer , and I had a mean craving for chocolate after reading the page with a dad and daughter making fudge! A wonderful activity after reading this book would be to write your own story!


Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell is the current favorite at our house. I found it at a thrift store for twenty five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my money’s worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Cute book for fire engine lovers!  Edited for 2010 – this is STILL a favorite and my son recently “read” it to his baby sister, it’s not yet clear if she will adore firetrucks as much as her brother but I am sure she’ll like this book.

Good Morning, Digger is not going to be put onto my must buy list. It just seemed flat and boring. The story follows a vacant lot and the digger that comes it to start construction on what will transform into a community center. There really weren’t any characters and the text seemed unenthusiastic, there was nothing to latch on to and make a real connection with. To make matters worse I think I have to pay a late fee at my library on this one.  Edited for 2010 - we recently read this book at the library and my son as I predicted loves it. I still stand by my review , and as much as I adore this author I am not a huge fan of this book.

Our Stars is another wonderful non fiction book from this author illustrator. The book shares the most basic facts about stars with the reader as well as more complicated facts about constellations, comets and meteors. I love that the facts are shared pretty independently on each page, so if something is above your toddlers head you can simply skip that page, until they are . The illustrations are fun enough to grab attention but detailed enough to help explain the facts being presented

Presidents’ Day is a perfect introduction to presidents, some of their major accomplishments and some major points in American history. The story follows a class putting on a play and we learn about some of the most significant presidents as the children do. Even if President’s Day is months away you can use this book while learning about money , linking the various presidents on coins and bills, or for Independence day too!  Very cute and age appropriate for older preschoolers.

Valentine’s Day by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell is a lovely book with a a cute twist. The story follows a class making special valentines for each other , some are very touching others goofy. The story doesn’t reveal who the Valentine’s are for. There are pictures of the same girl with the various students though so after a while you are clued into that they are for her we still don’t know why. I was so worried she was sick in the hospital, as it turns out the class goes to the post office to send it away to a classmate that is far far away! I like the idea of a class all writing to a friend far away, focusing on friendship and not candy! I also love any book that causes my son to say ” Let’s go see a map of where she lives mama!”

Whoo! Whoo! Goes the Train was another book I had to renew over and over at the library because my son refused to return it! When we went on vacation this year my son took his very first train ride just like Allan in this book and like Allan was excited and took every moment in! I like that this book captures the excitement of a little boy who is obsessed with trains but the end leaves readers hanging and had me wondering if there was a page missing in my copy! Still the illustrations are vibrant and my son loved this book.