Sydney's Most Kid-Friendly Libraries
By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist
A kid-friendly venue that is full of creativity, education, music, imaginative fun - and free! We, of course, are talking about libraries. It might not be the first thing you think of when you're looking to fill your days with young kids, but if you look a little closer, you'll find that your local library is a treasure trove of fun that will fill your child's mind with the good stuff and set up some healthy habits for life. Here are some of our favourite kid-friendly libraries and what they offer your family - a hint, it's more than just books!
Woollahra Library, Double Bay
Let's be honest, this one stands out because it has a slide. A slide in a library!! But really, you can just go to a park or shopping centre if you want a slippery dip. What the Double Bay Library offers little people is much more than that. The brand new, state of the art library is full of wonder including a "living wall" of greenery and a conveyer belt to return your books. The secret garden is the most enchanting kids area of the library, where they hold their children’s program. In terms of what's on there is Rhymetime for 0 to 2-year-olds, held Tuesday at 3:30pm and Wednesday at 10:30am; Story Time for 3 to 5-year-olds on Mondays at 10:30am, and if you can’t make it during the week they also have a Story Time once a month on a Saturday at 10am. On the last Thursday of the month they have a Kids’ Club for school-aged children as well as school holiday activities. When there are no classes, it is a great place for kids to play (quietly) and sit and read, just watch out for little ones shooting out the end of the slide....
This library underwent a huge $16m makeover last year and redefines what you think a library is - for starters the kids section looks like something out of a Lewis Carrol novel! There are lots of spaces for all ages, lots of vibrant colours and greenery. At Rockdale Library you can attend Baby Rhymetime on Mondays at 10:30am; Tuesdays at 11:00am you have Storytime which is for pre-schoolers and includes stories, songs, craft and a movie; and Thursdays at 10:30am there is Toddlertime which is half an hour of songs, games and stories. ellaslist reader, Madeline loves taking her kids, "it has a phenomenal reading space for kids. There are heaps of little hidey holes for my kids to curl up with a book and read. They would stay there for hours if I’d let them."
South Hurstville Library
It's big, it's clean, you can borrow toys as well as books! At South Hurstville Library there is so much offered that will help instill a love of books in your child. As well as story time for younger kids, this library also has a dedicated after school program for children aged 5 -10 years. The Treehouse Book Club brings great stories to life with craft, games and acting - held during school term (Thursdays 3:45 – 4:45pm). ellaslist reader Sui says, "Hurstville library is very big and the customer service is friendly and helpful too. In this library, you can also borrow variety of toys. The library is clean too. My kids enjoy and always want to go to the local library.”
Max Webber Library, Blacktown
Go for the books but enjoy the outdoor ping pong table too - this library lends you paddles and balls to play on the free table just adjacent to the library! As well as the traditional rhyme times, at Blacktown Library there is also a multicultural storytime featuring songs and stories from a different country each week. ellaslist reader Michelle says, "Blacktown Library is our favourite. I remember the excitement as a child going there with my parents every week to borrow a special book , the smell of the books the quietness & the special places to just sit and read, and now i can take my own 3 daughters there , they too are book worms and love reading and love borrowing books just as much as i do, they describe it as a special world they go to."
Baby Bounce, Rhyme Time, Wiggle and Jiggle plus school-aged programs - this library in the inner west has something for everyone. At Balmain Library each month they also have an after school program called All Sorts with a new theme each time, past events include make your own jigsaw puzzles and sport in fiction programs. ellaslist reader, Deborah says, "We love Balmain Library - there's a whole kids section out the back, where they do stories, songs & rhyme time for the kids. There are toys, kid-sized tables & chairs & a chillout area. The books look very inviting. School holidays always entail craft activities for kids & sometimes even a movie."
Randwick City Library
This family friendly library knows that books will always be the calling card but sometimes it takes a bit more to get people through the doors. They run special events like gaming and 3D printing workshops, science clubs and encourage kids to write book reviews for other guests to read. Randwick City Library also run summer reading programs with incentives for kids to read during that school break. Plus a huge toy and game library so you never have to buy your kids toys (that they only play with for a few days) again.
There are so many amazing libraries in Sydney with lots on for families. Let us know if you have a particular favourite in your area!
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