On Tuesday at the Douglas County Public Library in Minden, children sang, played loud instruments, created art projects and listened to stories without once being told to be quiet.
Every week the library hosts free storytime for toddlers and preschoolers at 10:30 and 11:15 a.m.
“It introduces young children to literacy, group activities, socializing and communication skills,” senior library technician Maria Pearson said. “It’s very educational for these young children. The preschoolers love them. They’re in a trance looking at the stories.”
For the last two years, Jennifer Northcutt has faithfully taken her 4-year-old daughter, Kira, to the library for storytime.
“It’s nice to get her out with kids her age and give her something to do,” Northcutt said. “She loves it. Once the car battery died, so we couldn’t come, and she cried.”
During storytime Pearson uses a feltboard to help the children interact with the story better.
On Tuesday, the children took turns changing the color of Pete the Cat’s shoes each time he stepped in something colorful.
“He’s a wonderful character who teaches kids if something goes wrong you can still sing your song,” Pearson said. “We don’t expect toddlers to sit still. We just want them to feel comfortable.”
Following the story, the children sang songs and did an art project to take home.
Minden residents Christopher and Maren Starks incorporate storytime into their home school curriculum for their sons DiMizio, 5, and DiMitri, 2.
“It teaches them to listen and sit still, and how to interact with peers,” Christopher said. “DiMizio loves it and DiMitri is getting to the point where he will sit and participate.”
Maren likes the diversity of the program.
“I like that it’s not just stories,” she said. “They do music and arts and crafts. It’s not just reading which is nice.”
Toddler stories for 18 months to 3 years old are 10:30 a.m. Preschool stories for 3-4-year-olds are at 11:15 a.m.
The Minden branch of the library is located at 1625 Library Lane.
For more information, call 782-9841 or visit www.douglas.lib.nv.us.