Parents and grandparents looking for ways to keep kids occupied over the summer should make plans to visit the Rock Island Public Library. The library’s Reading by Design summer reading and learning program offers a blueprint for family learning and fun with a wide range of free events for children and families.
Summer activities for children from ages birth to 12 include a combination of ongoing events, drop-in activities, special events, and performers:
Toddler Tale story times, offered three times per week for infants through age five at the Rock Island 30/31, Southwest and Downtown Library location. Each week features different stories, on such summer themes as ice cream, swimming, and zoo animals, along with songs and a craft. Toddler Tales is offered 10:30 am to 11:30 am at the following locations:
At the same times and locations as Toddler Tales, older siblings can enjoy the library’s Engineer-a-Story program. The 10:30 am program offers fun activities, projects, and books for older kids, ages kindergarten through 6th grades. Offering the programs at the same time provides activities for everyone in the family.
Kids from kindergarten through 6th grades can also take part in Lego block building challenges this summer. Participants will design a LEGO-brand world with challenges and inspiration at the following locations: Southwest Community Room: 4:00 to 5:00 pm, June 20 and July 18; Downtown Children’s Room, 4:00 to 5:30 pm, June 28, and the 30/31 bookstore room: 4:00 to 5:00 pm on July 5.
In July, the library’s monthly Play and Grow times return to offer learning and play activities for children three and under with caregivers. Play and Grow is offered from 10:30 to 11:30 am on Wednesday, July 5 at the Southwest Library and on Friday, July 7 in the Downtown Library Children’s Room. (Due to the July 4 holiday, there is no Play and Grow at 30/31 Library in July.) Each free session includes learning centered around the talk, sing, read, and play literacy model.
Other learning events include an ongoing series of drop-in events for parents and children entering kindergarten in the fall. Ready, Set . . . Kindergarten! sessions are offered on Thursdays, July 6, 13, 20 and 27, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, in the Downtown Library Children’s Room. Families can drop in anytime during event hours to take part in 12 fun activities designed to help children get ready for kindergarten, from holding a pencil to following instructions, identifying colors, numbers and shapes, using scissors, and more. Stop by to get your child (and you) ready for that first school experience in August.
Special summer events for children and families include:
Interactive Movie Night: Tuesday, June 27, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Downtown Library Community Room. Come in for a whole new type of movie experience at the candy factory. We’re showing the original 1971 version of the beloved movie based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Interact with the action on screen, use props, sing along with the oompa loompas, see what’s in your golden egg, blow bubbles and more. Yes, we’re encouraging you to talk back to the movie screen! This event is family-friendly and open to all ages. Registration is required (we want to make sure there are enough props for everyone!) Call 309-732-7360 or go online.
Absolute Science! 10:00 am, Thursday, June 29, Downtown Library. Watch and take part in fun, awesome experiments while learning the science behind them. Absolute Science is an fun and educational program aimed at helping children of all ages become engaged in the world of science through hands-on demonstrations and experiments. Absolute Science mixes an interactive live program with an array of "Creation Stations" where kids make and take awesome experiments. Registration is not required.
Babaloo Music and Comedy Show, 10:00 am, Monday, July 10, Downtown Library. An energetic and interactive show from one of St. Louis’ favorite children’s entertainers. Babaloo’s one-man musical comedy act for all ages brings in controlled musical chaos and tons of fun for kids. No criss-cross applesauce here - kids get up and moving with musical fun.
Creepy Crawlies and Snakes Alive - Two shows double your chances to catch a free presentation of science and educational fun. A traveling science educator from the Grout Museum of History and Science, Waterloo, Iowa, will present a show of live bugs, creepy-crawly critters, and snakes on Thursday, July 13 at 10:00 am at the Downtown Library, and again at noon, at the Southwest Library. Both performances are open to all ages.
Library locations are Downtown, 401 19th Street; 30/31, at 3059 30th Street, and Southwest, at 9010 Ridgewood Road.
The library’s summer reading and learning program runs until Saturday, July 15. Participants may register now for summer reading contests for kids, teens, adults, and families, either online or at any Rock Island Library location. For information or to register online, visit the library website. For details about more events for all ages in June and July, pick up or download the library’s Summer Guide, call 309-732-READ, or follow the library on Facebook and Twitter.