Toy-filled "Play Kits" for Check Out

Saturday, June 4, 2016


May 30, 2016

Gillian Ream Gainsley                                                 Jodi Krahnke
Communications Coordinator                                     Head of Youth Services
Ypsilanti District Library                                             Ypsilanti District Library
(734) 879-1303                                                               (734) 482-4110 x1322                                        

Check Out Toys at the Ypsilanti Library

Play Kits will launch at Ypsi Play Date June 4

Parents have often heard about the importance of reading to children, but new research shows that reading is just one of five key areas.

At the June 4 Ypsi Play Date, the Ypsilanti District Library will introduce new “Play Kits” that can be checked out for up to 3 weeks at a time. Each kit comes with games, toys, and at least four books as well as music CDs and DVDs, and parent tips for encouraging creative play. Library staff expect that these kits will give area parents and children better access to educational toys.

“Young children go through new developmental phases so quickly, it can be hard for parents to keep up and offer toys that are stimulating at every age,” says Jodi Krahnke, head of Youth Services at the Ypsilanti District Library. “Even for kids who have a lot of toys, you can’t buy everything. The kits let kids explore different kinds of educational toys so parents can see what their child is interested in and decide what to buy.”

Play Kits are available for infants through age 7, with age-appropriate kits available for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary. Each kit also has a theme, so children can explore a particular topic. Early kits focus on shapes, colors, numbers, and ABCs while kits for older children explore fairy tales, “community helpers” like fire and police, and dinosaurs.

“Starting with something a child is interested in is a great jumping off point for more learning,” says Krahnke. “For example, the dinosaur play kit includes toy dinosaurs, books and songs about dinosaurs, and a reading list of more books and DVDs you can check out at the library when you’re done with the ones in the kit.”

The Play Kits will be available starting at the Ypsi Play Date event on Saturday, June 4 from 11am-1pm at all three Ypsilanti library locations. Each location will have play stations where children can try out different toys, and will be staffed with experts who will talk to about the importance of play and how parents can encourage children to use props and tell stories as they play—which builds literacy skills—without stifling their creativity.

·         Althea Wilson and teachers from Early Head Start through Washtenaw Success by Six

·         Crystal Wise, University of Michigan School of Education, early literacy specialist

·         Jenny Koppera, Eastern Michigan University Theater Arts lecturer, dramatic play specialist

·         Caroline Jacob, Perry School, kindergarten teacher

·         Aron Kaufman, percussionist and early elementary teacher, music play specialist

The Play Date and the Play Kit launch are both part of the Ypsilanti District Library’s new Read Play Grow initiative, a research-based program that emphasizes five components of early literacy development: Read, Play, Talk, Write, Sing.

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Ypsi Play Date
Saturday, June 4, 11am-1pm
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti MI 48197
YDL-Michigan, 229 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti MI 48197
YDL-Superior, 8795 MacArthur Boulevard, Ypsilanti MI 48198

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As a community resource, the Ypsilanti District Library's mission is to enrich life, stimulate intellectual curiosity, foster literacy, and encourage an informed citizenry.

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