Of course our Children’s Department has books. We also have early literacy computers, internet computers, CDs, and DVDs. But one of my favorite things that we have in my department is a wooden box filled with foam blocks.
What I love about these blocks is that they inspire kids to be creative. Almost every day, I walk past castles, cities, towers, and other wonderful creations.
I’m not even sure where we got these blocks – they’ve been there longer than I have – but they’re nice because they’re lightweight enough not to hurt when someone inevitably uses one as a sword or throws one at her brother (behavior to which we quickly put a stop). They’re not easy to clean and they tend to invite biting, but they are sturdy enough to hold up to moderately heavy use.
And they’re different colors and different shapes. Working with different shapes and discussing how they’re similar and different helps kids with letter recognition down the line. And I can only imagine the happy time a child had corralling all the squares:
As I pick up the blocks for the millionth time, I remind myself of all the good they do in our department. They give kids a chance to use their imaginations and create something unique. And now I wonder, what do you have in your library that allows kids to be creative or express themselves?
— Abby Johnson
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN