Library story hours are the best. Not only do you get out of the house with your little ones, but you get to do something that’s great for them in so many ways. Improving listening skills, learning new words, and singing songs are just a few benefits. Plus, there are the social skills they get to use when interacting with the other children, and it’s free.
Many people stick to their local library, but it’s also fun to go out and experience new places. Not only do you get a chance to hear different stories, play with different kids and toys, but you also get to know new cities and communities.
When my oldest was a toddler, we loved to go to library story hours all around the city. We lived on the Southside, and Tippecanoe was our local library. Cudahy also had a fantastic librarian and kids area, and we enjoyed going to the Central Library downtown. Then, we would head to the suburbs and visit New Berlin, Elm Grove, and Brookfield since my parents lived nearby.
Now, my boys are in school, so we don’t get to take advantage of many library story hours very often. So, I asked my fellow Milwaukee Moms for their favorites to share with you.
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Milwaukee Public Central Library
The children’s area is beautiful. Named the Betty Brinn Children’s Room, it is a separate place for the whole family. However, you can still enjoy the whole library, which is a beautiful, historic building. The library story hours are very well organized and fun. They are split up into three groups, with ones for baby, toddler, and preschool. Each has about 20 minutes of songs and stories, followed by 20 minutes of open play.
*COVID-19 Note: MPL locations have currently moved their storytimes to a virtual format. Click here for their calendar.
Pauline Haass Public Library
Located in Sussex, the children’s area is set up with many different Early Reading Play Areas. All of the toys and activities are designed to get little ones excited and engaged in reading at a young age. There are family story hours, which are 30 minutes for babies through 4-years-old. Grade school kids can read one-on-one to a canine friend during Doggy Tales during the early evening hours.
*COVID-19 Note: The Pauline Haass Public Library has currently moved storytimes to their Facebook page. (Wednesdays, 10 am).
Elm Grove Public Library
Broken into two groups, younger children, birth to age three and age three to five (that are not in school yet), can enjoy storytimes. For the Baby and Me Story, Time registration is required. For the Preschool age group, registration is required the first time, and then you can just drop in. On Fridays, they offer refreshments during their Morning Coffee Break. Again, registration is required the first time you attend.
*COVID-19 Note: The Elm Grove Public Library now offers DIY Story Time. The play area is currently closed.
Shorewood Public Library
There are several different story hours, including one with early evening hours. Registration is required for all, but there is a Pop In & Play held both mornings and evenings when there is not a storytime that does not. Also, there is sensory playtime once a month.
*COVID-19 Note: The Shorewood Public Library is currently offering online storytimes on the first and third Thursdays of the Month at 9:00. In-person gatherings are still canceled.
Menomonee Falls Public Library
With rotating games and Ipads located in their Early Literacy Corner, you’ll find something for everyone. There’s even a large play tree that children can read inside. Library story hours are broken into three groups: Lapsit for Little Ones (birth to 2-years-old), Toddler Tales (18 months to 3-years-old), and Stories Alive (ages 3 to 5-years-old).
*COVID-19 Note: The Menomonee Falls Public Library is currently offering online storytimes on Tuesdays at 10:00. In-person gatherings are still canceled. After storytime, don’t forget to pick up a Storytime at Home Learning Kit. Learning Kits will be available at the curbside pickup table beginning at noon on Tuesday while supplies last. You can also download your kit from our website or Pinterest page.
Muskego Public Library
There are several storytimes and play options in Muskego. In addition, there is a Music Makers program and a Lego club. Plus, once a month, there is a Family Picturebook Brunch, which includes stories, activities, crafts, and donuts. Yes, donuts!
*COVID-19 Note: The Muskego Public Library is currently offering online children’s programming Mondays through Thursdays. Check their calendar for more info. In-person gatherings are still canceled.
So, I hope you’ll take advantage of all the wonderful, free programs our cities have to offer. Let us know if we’ve picked one of your favorite library story hours or if we’ve missed a great one in the comments below.