by Florence B.
After writing my first January post and fan-girling over The Bear Snores On series, I realized I absolutely needed to do a blog post on books! We all know that reading is great for kids so let’s skip the why and instead jump straight into the where-do-we-find-books part! In today’s blog post, I’m going to let you know about our own little fledging kids’ books trading library here at Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool, Scholastic Reading Club orders through the school, and some reading programs from some of the local public libraries in our area! Let’s get started, because there’s no hesitating when it comes to going after new books (well, at least for me!)!
1) Kids Trading Library at Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool!
Let’s start small and talk about our little growing library that was started a few months ago by our awesome outdoor teacher, Angela (by the way, if you missed her interview on the blog, you can find it HERE). This little collection is in the mud room in the blue bin labeled “BFCP Kids Lending Library.” Let your kiddo browse and find a new treasure to take home! When your family has outgrown a book, please consider donating it to this growing school program!
2) Scholastic Reading Club
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Scholastic Reading Club, go check it out now (don’t worry, I’ll wait). New users will be prompted to make an account; if you decide to, make sure you link your account to Teacher Kathy Foster by either searching for her name or using the code NT8WP.
So what’s the deal with this club? If you love books (and who doesn’t?!), the program gives great discounts since they offer paperback versions of popular children books, megapacks for bulk deals, and save on shipping since they don’t send to your home—they ship to the school. That last point also means that to be able to order through this program, you have to be affiliated with a school/classroom/teacher that’s signed up to be in the program AND you have to wait for the class order to come in (so keep an eye out for class order deadlines, since there’s no 2-day insta-shipping here!). Luckily, Bothell Family Cooperative Preschool is in the program! Personally, my family has built up our own mini-library at home for the kids by ordering the megapacks and taking advantage of dollar deals!
If you’re wondering why teachers take part in the club, the class (or school) collect points for every purchase made by the parents in the class order, which can then be spent to earn free books for the classroom and school! So, by ordering from the Scholastic Reading Club, you have the benefit of great deals that allow BFCP to earn more and more points to earn free items! Note that the best deals in the club are for the paperbacks, megapacks, and dollar books. Some of the hard cover books, board books, and cloth books sell close to retail, so shop wisely if you’re hunting for the best prices!
Just to give an idea of what you can find, check out the image of some of their January Special Values offerings. I also included a screen shot of what you’ll find when you click an item for more info. For those of you who love the nitty-gritty details, you can find out the target age audience for a book as well as the reading level (GRL - don’t worry, the reading level didn’t just
growl at you. That really is a reading level indicator with “A” being the easiest and so on!). And of course, since the Bear Snores On series is available as a megapack, I had to use that as an example! Well, I actually had waaaay too many examples to show, but to keep this section from going crazy long, let’s just summarize by saying: Go check it now (go go, this post will still be here when you get back!).
3) Public Library Reading Programs
Well, I can’t even begin to express my love for public libraries! First of all, you can go check out pretty much any book you want, and they even have ebooks for you to check out without leaving the comfort of your home. BUT, they also have THE. BEST. KIDS. PROGRAMS. EVER! So, go ahead and leave the comfort of your home to check out your local library kid programs—especially the Story Times, which are basically really long circle times. And then, when the program is over, you’re at the LIBRARY with sooooo many books for you and your little one(s) to choose from! Some of the story times also include a craft or bonus activity so you’ll definitely want to explore different libraries to see what they all have to offer!
This section is definitely the hardest of the three to write since there’s so much I want to share with all of you about the local public libraries! Alas, the King County Library, Sno-Isle Library, and Seattle Public Library Systems are so large that I can’t cover all of them (which is a VERY good problem to have, amirite?!?!). So, I’ve picked out several libraries from each system that are in reasonable driving range of the school to give a quick-at-a-glance summary so you can hopefully find a program that’s interesting to you! Note that I found these using the libraries’ event search features, so these may change at any time (but hopefully this will still give you a head start for finding a program of interest for you!). Also, although there’s a target age listed below, many of the programs allow siblings, and all of the programs need an adult to accompany (i.e. no drop off story times!).
I) King County Library System
All right, let’s start off with good old KCLS since that’s the library system I’m most familiar with! BTW, notice that I had to move to Roman numerals for my sub heading?! *Yikes* lots of incoming info coming your way!
Young Toddler Story Time: ages 12 to 24 months; Wed 11:30AM - 12:00PM
Toddler Story Time: ages 2 to 3; Wed 10:30 - 11:00AM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 to 6; Tues 10:30 - 11:15AM
Family Story Time: all ages; Thurs 7:00 - 7:45PM
Spanish - all Ages; Tues 1:30 - 2:00PM
Insider Tip: This is one of my favorite libraries since they have an amazing outside exploration area targeted for young children that’s so much fun! You have to see it to really appreciate it; there’s a little “club house” with windows of different shapes and a tree growing inside (*wow* talk about a house plant!), little planters filled with edible plants, little paths (one with a little bridge), and more — definitely check out this library!
Infant Story Time: ages newborn to 12 months; Wed 11:00 - 11:30AM
Young Toddler Story Time: ages 12 to 24 months; Wed 10:00 – 10:30AM
Toddler Story Time: ages 2 to 3; Tues 11:00 – 11:30AM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 to 6; Tues 10:00 – 10:30AM
Russian - all ages; Thurs 11:00-11:45AM
Spanish - all ages; Sat 11:00 - 11:30AM
Insider Tip: This library is soooooo close to the preschool so you may as well stop by!
Infant Story Time: ages 3 to 11 months; Tues 10:00 – 10:30AM
Toddler Story Time: ages 12 to 36 months; Wed 10:00 – 10:30AM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 to 6; Wed 11:00 – 11:45AM
Japanese - ages 2 to 6; Mon 10:00 – 10:45AM
Insider Tip: Here’s a heads up that since the library opens at 10:00AM, if you like to get to story times early, you’ll be out of luck since you’ll have to wait outside until the library opens. They have a little outside area on the other side of the building, but it’s pretty small and not meant for hanging out for a long time—but it is still there!
Infant Story Time: ages newborn to age 2; Thurs 11:00 – 11:30AM
Toddler Story Time: ages 2 to 3; Thurs 10:00 – 10:30AM
Foreign Language: Spanish - all ages; Tues 3:30 - 4:00PM
Insider Tip: They have a fenced-in, outside rooftop area to explore that’s over the parking area — enough said!
Infant & Young Toddler Story Time: ages 6 months to 2 years; Tues 10:00 – 10:45AM
Toddler & Preschool Story Time: ages 3 to 5; Tues 11:00 – 11:45AM
Family Story Time: all ages; Wed 7:00 – 7:45PM
Foreign Language: Spanish - all ages; Fri 12:30 – 1:00PM
Insider Tip: They have an underground parking lot (and are also next to the Kirkland transit center if you feel like going on a bus ride!) and are right next door to a HUGE park!
Infant & Young Toddler Story Time: ages newborn to 24 months; Tues 11:00 – 11:30AM
Toddler Story Time: ages 2 to 3; Tues 10:00 – 10:30AM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 to 6; Wed 10:30 – 11:00AM
Family Story Time: ages 3 to 6; Mon 6:45 – 7:30PM
Foreign Language: ages 3 to 6; Thurs 11:00 – 11:30AM
Infant Story Time: ages newborn to 12 months; Thurs 11:30 – 12:00PM
2 Toddler Story Times: ages 12 months to 3 years; Fri 10:15 – 11:15AM & Fri 11:15AM - 12:15PM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 to 5; Thurs 10:30 – 11:00AM
Family Story Time: all ages; Wed 7:00 – 8:00PM
Hindi - ages 1 to 6; Sat 10:30 – 11:00AM
Russian - ages 1 to 6; Mon 11:00 – 11:30AM
Spanish - all ages; Tues 11:00 – 11:30AM
Chinese - ages 2 to 5; Wed 10:30AM – 12:00PM & ages 6 and younger; Tues 11:00 - 11:30AM
Arabic - all ages; Mon 11:00 - 11:30AM
II) Seattle Public Library System
Yes, yes. Those with observant eyes will notice I’m writing ‘branch’ instead of ‘library’ (good eye by the way) in this section, but that’s because I’m going by how each library system refers to them on their webpage. So, when in Rome…
Lake City Branch
2 Family Story Times: ages birth to 8 yrs; Mon 10:30AM - 12:00PM & ages birth to elementary school; Thurs 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Spanish - all ages; Mon 6:00 - 6:30PM
Mandarin - all ages; 11:30AM - 12:00PM
Somali - all ages; 4:00 - 4:30PM
Little Makers (Science Emphasis): ages 3-5; Thurs 6:00 - 7:00PM
Preschooler Story Time: all ages; Tues 10:30 - 11:30AM
Infant Story Time: age 0-12 months; Fri 10:15 – 10:45AM
Toddler Story Time: no age range specified; Thurs 10:15 – 10:45AM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 - 5; Thurs 11:15 – 11:45AM
Family Story Time: all ages; Sat 10:15 – 10:45AM
Foreign Language: Spanish - all ages; Tues 11:30AM - 12:00PM
III) Sno-Isle Library System
2 Infant Story Times: ages newborn - 18 months; Tues 9:30 - 10:15AM & 10:30 - 11:15AM
Toddler & Preschooler Story Time: ages 2 - 6; Thurs 10:00 - 11:00AM
2 Preschooler Story Times: ages 3 to 5; Wed 9:30 - 10:15AM & Wed 10:30 - 11:15AM
Mountlake Terrace Library
Infant Story Time: ages newborn - 18 months; Thurs 10:00 - 11:00AM
Toddler Story Time: ages 19 - 35 months; Thurs 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3 to 5; Wed 10:30 - 11:30AM
Foreign Language: Russian - ages 2 to 5; Mon 6:00 - 7:00PM
Toddler Story Time: ages 18 months to 3 years; Fri 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Preschooler Story Time: ages 3-5; Thurs 11:00AM - 12:00PM
So there you have it: three ways for some reading fun for us and our little learners! I hope you enjoy seeing what books our little trading library has to offer (as well as helping it grow), shopping with the Scholastic Reading Club, and exploring the many libraries that are an easy drive from the preschool! If you have any insider tips for any of the libraries above, shout out in the comments below! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional comments or ideas for future blog posts!