March 16, 2022
By Rachelle Golde, Children’s Librarian
The Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) recently awarded grant funding to the Litchfield Public Library. SWIF is a nonprofit organization that represents eighteen counties in Southwest Minnesota, working to create a better Minnesota through a variety of projects including the Grow Our Own grant. The Grow Our Own grant has made it possible for the Litchfield library to create ten educational kits for children and families to check out. The Litchfield library is very excited to share these kits with our library families and community. The kits are full of hands on, interactive materials and books to help children learn through play and exploration. These educational kits have been named Discovery Boxes and include five early childhood concepts and five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) concepts.
The early childhood Discovery Boxes include:
- Rhyme & Rhythm: This box includes child-safe percussion instruments such as wooden egg shakers and a tambourine, three DVDs that feature preschool songs and rhymes, and three books about rhyming.
- Letters: This box includes a wooden alphabet puzzle, foam letters, sandpaper letter cards, two DVDs about letter sounds and the alphabet, and two alphabet books. The sandpaper cards are a great way to include sensory experiences with learning the look and shape of a letter or number.
- Numbers: This box includes a wooden number puzzle, foam numbers, two counting books, a set of sandpaper number cards, jumbo counting and sorting bears with cups, and a DVD about colors, shapes and counting. The jumbo counting bears and cups can also be used to teach counting, colors, patterns, and sorting.
- Money: This box includes materials to help children learn how to count money. A wooden toy register, play money, flash cards and two books are included. This kit includes a variety of play money. The smaller coins can be left out of reach of a younger child while the rest of the materials are explored.
- My Community: This box includes a wooden play city, a large set of wooden people, and a set of community helpers paperback books. Create towns and families, and learn about people and community helpers through play.
The STEAM Discovery Boxes include:
- Astronomy: This box includes a child-friendly telescope, a star map, a wooden solar system model and books about exploring and understanding space.
- Microscope: This box includes a microscope, a large set of prepared slides and books about the microscopic world.
- Magnets: This box includes a magnetic robot building kit, a set of magnetic blocks, and a set of magnet movers to help your child explore the concepts of magnetism. This box also includes two books about magnetism.
- Fossils: This box includes a fossil collection with twenty different fossils, ID cards, a time-period scale, two books about fossils and six insects in amber.
- Gravity: This box includes a marble run set and two books about gravity.
The Discovery Boxes will be available for families to check out from the Litchfield library soon. Contact the library for more information about the new Discovery Boxes, as well as other kit options available at the Litchfield Public Library. Until next time, happy reading!