With the exception of a brief period in January, the Children’s Programmes have been largely suspended since August last year due to COVID restrictions.
Multiple events are currently kicking-off, initially at larger branches so new personnel can gain valuable experience working with colleagues to take knowledge back to home libraries and share with their communities.
Laurinda Thomas, Manager Libraries & Community Spaces, says: “After such a long wait, it’s wonderful to be able to bring our Children’s Programmes back into the libraries. At all times we will adhere to New Zealand Government COVID guidelines to make our libraries a safe place for children, caregivers and our staff.
“We will be continuing, as far as possible, to encourage physical distancing between groups of attendees, and it remains mandatory for anyone 12 years of age and over to wear a mask. In addition, we will carefully clean the spaces and equipment that are used for the programmes between each session.”
Stephen Clothier, Children & Youth Services Coordinator at Wellington City Libraries says: “We are so excited to be welcoming back our Storytimes and other events for our tamariki and their whānau.”
The Children’s Programmes cover all ages, starting with Baby Rock and Rhyme, a fun session for parents and carers to interact with their babies through songs and stories.
For children a little older, Preschool Storytime inspires children aged 2 – 4 years with interactive stories, songs, and rhymes to grow their love of literacy. Through stories and play, children learn how to express themselves and understand the world around them.
Meanwhile, at Kōhunga Kōrero children aged 2 - 6 years and their caregivers learn stories, rhymes and songs in te reo Māori. Whāngaia tō Tama Toa ki te pānui pukapuka. Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori.
Pre-schoolers can also have fun at Tinker Time, with an introduction to the fascinating worlds of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. The interactive play utilises fun tech and craft equipment from the wonderful resources at the HIVE.
In Code Club, young software coders aged 9 – 13 can work their way through a range of fun Scratch coding projects supported by coding experts, to begin their coding journey.
Children aged 5+ and their caregivers can put their creative skills to the test to design and build LEGO™ masterpieces in Let's Go LEGO™. Each session has a different theme and building challenge, which spark natural curiosity.
Social Board Games afternoons are also returning to libraries. Whether newbies or board game aficionados of any age, people can choose from a wide selection of board games, or bring their own to share!
Playlists of special storytimes and Baby Rock and Rhyme can be found on the Libraries’ YouTube channel, thanks to the generosity of New Zealand publishers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the Johnsonville Library Facebook page is a great place to find videos for sensory activities, as well as musical and crafty sessions to keep your little ones engaged.
For more information on the Children’s Programmes at Wellington City Libraries, keep an eye on the event calendar and social media platforms to keep up to date with programmes resuming at the various Library branches.