Photo of learning gardenThe Learning Garden

Explore, Learn Grow: Benefits of Exploring The Learning Garden with Your Child

The Learning Garden was created for children aged birth to six, to foster early literacy, a love of reading, and school readiness skills.

Toys, puppets, puzzles, books, and activities in The Learning Garden are provided to foster early literacy, as outlined by the program Every Child Ready to Read.* These materials should stay in The Learning Garden.

Here are six pre-reading skills your child can start learning from birth:

  • Narrative Skills: Being able to describe things and events and tell stories.
  • Print Motivation: Being interested in and enjoying books.
  • Vocabulary: Knowing the names of things.
  • Letter Knowledge: Knowing that the letters of the alphabet are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere.
  • Phonological Awareness: Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
  • Print Awareness: Noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the words on a page.

* “Every Child Ready to Read” is an initiative of The Public Library Association, The Association for Library Service to Children, and the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

Focus on Kids: Play, Explore, and Learn Together with Your Child

  • Children learn best by doing things –and they love doing things with you.
  • Show interest and curiosity, and follow your child’s lead.
  • Encourage your child to talk about what he or she is doing. Listen patiently.
  • Ask questions that help your child describe, imagine, predict, count, observe and compare, or solve a problem.
  • Make reading a book part of each visit.
  • Talk about the letters of the alphabet and the sound each letter makes.

A Message to Parents: Make The Learning Garden a Good Experience for Everyone

  • The Learning Garden is for children aged birth to six years old. Children must be supervised by someone who is at least 12 years old, and that person is responsible for the children’s safety, comfort, and behavior.
  • There must be at least one adult for every four children. Older siblings may accompany younger siblings when an adult is present. Adults unaccompanied by a child aged birth to six are not admitted into The Learning Garden.
  • Keep the focus on your child. The use of cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices is not allowed in The Learning Garden.
  • Everyone is asked to wear shoes at all times and use “inside voices.”
  • For your convenience, changing stations are available in all of the library’s restrooms.
  • Help keep The Learning Garden clean. Food, drink, candy, and gum are not allowed. Please help your child put away puppets, toys, and other materials when you are finished playing with them.
  • Park strollers outside The Learning Garden without obstructing the door.
  • For children’s safety and comfort, a maximum of 30 people are allowed in The Learning Garden at one time. Large groups, such as daycare and camp groups, should make arrangements with library staff before visiting The Learning Garden.
  • Wireless and plug-in Internet access is available in both rooms. Computers may be used in these rooms as long as they do not make noise that would disturb others in the room.