Ballina, Lennox Head and Alstonville public libraries are rolling out a big program of free, school holiday activities this month. Ballina Area Librarian Taryn Kelly sat down with The Echo to explain what parents and kids can expect.
She said there would be scheduled activities at each library during the summer school holidays, as well as ongoing activities. ‘So you can just drop into the library at any time during the holidays, and there will be something happening!’
The Bollywood Sisters will be shimmying in with their fun, interactive dance workshops for children 5 years and older at Ballina Library on 17 January, then at Lennox and Alstonville Libraries on the following days (10am each day, bookings open now).
Lennox and Ballina libraries are also running Summer Bingo Cards all this month, with challenges ranging from Lego to scavenger hunts, from stick insect naming to Summer Reading Club.
‘Each card has got six different activities for kids,’ said Ms Kelly. ‘They do each of the activities while they’re here and mark them off. And once they finish, they can go into the draw to win a prize.’
New cards are available each Monday from the libraries.
Lennox Head Library
Special activities at Lennox include DIY Summer Craft (until 27 January), for a chance to escape the heat and get into some crafty fun.
There’s also Pop-Up Storytime in the recently re-opened Ross Park on Thursday 12 January at 10am. ‘That’s the first time we’ve done something outside the library,’ said Ms Kelly. ‘So that’s exciting.’ She said the storytime would be suitable for children up to about eight years.
On Tuesday 24 January at 10am there will be Children’s Yoga with local yoga instructor Jess Daisy, for kids aged 5-8. Bookings essential!
Taryn Kelly said this will hopefully become a regular event.
On Wednesday 11 January at 2pm there will be tie-dyeing for ages 10+. Bring along a white cotton T shirt to dye, and don’t forget to book.
The next day at 10am there will be a great event for young dinosaur enthusiasts, with ‘dino-rama’ building for ages 5 and up.
Already booked out is the Scratch Junior Coding Workshop on Thursday 19 January, where kids will be learning how to program their own interactive stories and games. ‘That’s something that we’ll also look at running a bit more regularly during the term because so many people are interested in it,’ said Ms Kelly.
There are still a few spots left for the Claymation Workshop on Wednesday 25 January at 10am. Ms Kelly said this one was suitable for ages 10+, with the chance to create plasticene animals and then bring them to life with animation.
The Under the Sea sea creature workshop was last week, but it’s not too late for the Sand Art workshop on Friday 13 January at 10am, for 4 year olds and up.
There’s also a chance to learn how to decorate your own photo frames on Tuesday 24 January at 10am, using collage and other techniques to help enhance treasured memories.
‘And the one that they’ve got running for the whole time is the chill out zone,’ said Ms Kelly. ‘So you can just drop in at any time. There’s games, bubbles, bean bags, even a graffiti wall.’ Parents need to be in attendance!
But wait, there’s more
If you want to party at home, all three Ballina Shire libraries have complete party kits available to loan. Just wash everything after the party and bring it back.
Taryn Kelly also wants people to know about The Summer Reading Club, which kids can sign up for and then complete their reading logs, with a Samsung Galaxy tablet available to be won by one lucky reader at the end of the school holidays.
‘Yeah, we have a big party in February,’ said Ms Kelly. ‘And everyone who’s joined the club gets invited to the party, and we draw out a name.’
You can find out more and book for any of these creative, fun events by dropping in or ringing your local libraries: Ballina 6686 2831, Alstonville 6628 5527, Lennox Head 6687 6398.