Most families who come to the library know about our great selection of books and movies for kids, but did you know we also offer a variety of fun and educational take-home kits? Not only will the kits keep the whole family entertained, they'll also teach you a thing or two!
First, let’s talk about the kits for our youngest patrons: Smart Start Kits.
Smart Start Kits are bags filled with goodies specially designed to help pre-literate kids get a good start on their path to reading. Each kit comes with books, toys and other fun surprises that fit a theme. Some themes include ABCs, colors, numbers and animals. We even offer Smart Start kits to help develop bilingualism and kits with sensory toys for children on the autism spectrum. The kits may be checked out for three (3) weeks at a time, to give users plenty of time to play with everything inside. Patrons may only check out one (1) smart start kit per library card, though, and the kits must be checked out on adult library cards. Smart Start kits are currently only available at the Main library, and must be returned to the Main Library.
For kids who are slightly older and already have a good handle on reading, we offer STEAM to Go Kits.
These kits are best for kids ages 6-12 and are filled with books and projects to spark an interest in a variety of topics in science and technology. Themes range from robotics and coding to engineering and math concepts. Each library does have a few kits, though themes will vary by library. STEAM to Go kits can be checked out for three weeks at a time, but each patron may only have one per card checked out to them at a time. Also, STEAM to GO kits may only be checked out on adult or teen cards, and must be returned to the library they were checked out from.
If you’re looking for something that the entire family can enjoy, may we suggest our Citizen Science kits?
Citizen Science kits are available only at the Main Library and come in one of 4 topics: air quality, local wildlife, pollination and parasites. The air quality kit allows you to check for pollutants and allergens. The local wildlife kit comes with a special lens that will let you use your smartphone to take pictures of plants and animals you see every day. Our pollination kit comes with seeds you can plant to attract bees and butterflies. And the parasites kit lets you check in our community’s bees to help keep them from turning into “zom-bees.”
The interesting thing about these kits is that the information you and your family gather while using them will be used to help real scientific investigations, which are ongoing. Packets inside the kits explain how to turn in the data collected to the scientists behind the research studies. Citizen Science kits may be checked out by anyone for a three (3) week period, but are limited to one (1) per card.
So, if you’re looking for something fun to do at home with your kids, family, or even on your own, why not grab one of our fun kits today and learn something new!
by Elia Juarez, Youth/Teen Services Manager