Let Them Fall in Love With the Library Before They can Even Read!

Do you realize how much our local libraries have to offer children these days?

Many local libraries house kid-friendly spaces filled with learning activities, toys, games, and of course, books. With so many different library branches in our city and surrounding communities, there is never a lack of options for fun and learning at the library.

Be sure to ask your local library staff about children’s programming like story time or play groups! Most libraries offer additional educational resources aside from entertaining play areas and great books.

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Grand Rapids Public Libraries Children’s Areas

Main Branch

This branch offers a separate area for babies with board books, puzzles, blocks and other items to help babies grow and develop. There is also a large play area for toddlers and older kids, including a play kitchen, dress up clothes, a puppet theatre, a train table, blocks and LEGO bricks, things that go, and an art station. Parents can check out the Parenting section right next to the play area. 111 Library Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Ottawa Hills Branch

This branch features toys, early literacy activities, puzzles and books. 1150 Giddings SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Seymour Branch

This branch offers children early literacy computer stations, blocks and other building materials, books, puzzles and more. 2350 Eastern SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Van Belkum Branch

This branch gives children several options for creative play including a kitchen, puppet theatre, an art area, books and puzzles. 1563 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

West Leonard Branch

This branch has a play area for kids that includes a train table, a creative play area, things that go, books, puzzles and much more. 1017 Leonard NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

West Side Branch

This branch has a space for creative play, puzzles, books, and other activities related to early literacy. 713 Bridge NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Yankee Clipper Branch

This branch features cozy reading nooks, puzzles, blocks and a play kitchen, as well as early literacy play stations. 2025 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

Kent District Libraries Children’s Areas

Alpine Township Branch

This branch features an imagination station for pretend play, a rocker for reading, and a shelf of toys which includes puzzles, blocks and toy trucks. 5255 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, MI 49321

Alto Branch

This branch offers many educational table activities, an imagination station, and a magnet wall. 6071 Linfield Ave, Alto, MI 49302

Byron Township Branch

This branch features a play kitchen, toy bins and magnet board, a play grocery store stocked with pretend produce, a LEGO wall, and a dress up station. 8191 Byron Center Ave SW, Byron Center, MI 49315

Caledonia Township Branch

This branch offers an iPad and writing center, a large magnet wall, a play counter for puzzles and other educational activities, fine motor toy bins, and a play kitchen. 6260 92nd St. SE, Caledonia, MI 49316

Cascade Township Branch

This branch offers a spinning dress-up island, several activity bins, a playhouse known as the ‘Space Lab,’ and activity tables to keep your little ones busy. 2870 Jacksmith Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

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Comstock Park Branch

This branch features a train table, a large activity cube with several options for play, and shelves filled with toys. 3943 W. River Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321

East Grand Rapids Branch

This branch offers a child-sized pirate ship, a magnet wall, a bean bag toss game, a light table, and a shadow puppet screen, as well as many rotating activity centers. 746 Lakeside Dr SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Englehardt (Lowell) Branch

This branch features a child-sized log cabin and pretend fire, a fishing hole game, farm toys, an art activity table, and activity bins and magnet wall. 200 N. Monroe St, Lowell, MI 49331

Gaines Township Branch

This branch offers a play kitchen, an imagination station, an art cart, a toy barn, and a cozy cube for reading and playing. 421 68th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Grandville Branch

This branch offers a LEGO table, a technology table, a play tool bench, a car rug, and a shelf stocked with toys. 4055 Maple St SW, Grandville, MI 49418

Kentwood (Richard R Root) Branch

This branch offers children a light table, toy bins, a play area filled with toys, and an imagination station for limitless pretend play. 4950 Breton SE, Kentwood, MI 49508

Krause Memorial (Rockford) Branch

This branch gives children many options for play with a LEGO table, puzzles, a light table, and an imagination station, as well as a chance to work on writing skills at the writing center. 140 E. Bridge St, Rockford, MI 49341

Nelson Township / Sand Lake Branch

This branch gives children the opportunity to participate in several outdoor play activities, but all while they are indoors! They can camp in a tent and play by the pretend fire, walk along the stepping stones or plant a pretend garden. 88 Eighth St, Sand Lake, MI 49343

Plainfield Township Branch

This branch offers a children’s-sized play house, a puppet theatre, a dinosaur-themed imagination station, an activity table, a colorful play rug and shelves full of activity bins. 2650 5 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Spencer Township Branch

This branch features a doll-sized tree house and a dress up area for children to play make believe, a car rug to race cars on, and a writing center for children to practice their writing skills. 14960 Meddler Ave, Gowen, MI 49326

Tyrone Township Branch

This branch offers a variety of educational toys for children, such as puzzles, puppets, dress up clothes, shape sorting buckets and a pretend kitchen. Children can also practice their fine motor skills at the writing station or at the children’s tables stocked with paper and crayons. 43 S. Main St, Kent City, MI 49330

Walker Branch

This branch offers children the opportunity for play with a checkers game and a train table. 4293 Remembrance Rd NW, Walker, MI 49534

Wyoming Branch

This branch features a puppet theater, a reading cottage, a train table, and a canopy tent, all inside the ‘Toddler Tower’. 3350 Michael Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509

READER RECOMMENDED LIBRARY CHILDREN’S AREAS

Gary Byker Memorial Library (Hudsonville)

“Great kid’s area with a train table and light table, plus lots of great programs.” 3338 Van Buren St., Hudsonville, MI 49426

Herrick District Library – Main Library (Holland)

“The Herrick Library in Holland has a wonderful children’s area. Lots of games, a merry-go-round, and story times all on their own floor.” 300 S. River, Holland, MI 49423

Leighton Township Library (Moline)

“Leighton Township Library in Moline has a really great play area.” 4451 12th St, Moline, MI  49335.

Loutit District Library (Grand Haven)

“The Loutit District Library also has a great children’s area. Books, games, puzzles, a puppet stage and children’s computers.” 407 Columbus Ave, Grand Haven, MI  49417.

Did We Miss a Library?

If you know of a library with a children’s area that should be added to our list, please leave us a comment below. If you have a picture of the children’s area we can include, you can submit it here. Thanks for you help!

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By |2019-01-07T21:59:33+00:00January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Communities, Education, Free, Homeschool, Learning Opp, Parent Info, Play Fun, THINGS TO DO|14 Comments

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14 Comments

  1. Riyadh January 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Madison Square and Seymour branch
    Both have play areas.

  2. Kelly January 23, 2017 at 7:03 am - Reply

    We like the Sparta library. They have a car rug with cars, blocks, kid size furniture, puzzles and games, coloring pages, and a few large motor activities (such as hula hoops)

  3. Sheryl VanderWagen February 17, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Leighton Township Library in Moline has a really great play area. I dont have a pic but I have been there. Contact Karen McKinnon, the library director. Allegan county, just south of GR.

    • Emily January 23, 2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

      We love Leighton’s play area, and I like that it’s closed off from the rest of the library so you don’t have to worry about being too loud or your kids wandring off. They also have activities for older kids through out the library.

  4. Katie February 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Jill, thanks so much for all your work on this! We are thrilled that you featured all the KDL branches. Our KDLville areas are always being updated, so some of the featured items may change, but we will always have fun, interactive activities for children at all of our branches. Thanks again!

  5. Sandie February 17, 2016 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Loutit District Library in Grand Haven also has a great children’s area. Books, games, puzzles, a puppet stage and children’s computers.

    • Jill Clarin
      Jill Clarin February 17, 2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Thanks Sandie! We’ll get it added to our list.

  6. Kate February 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    The library in Wayland offers a wonderful children’s area that’s on a seperate floor from the rest of the library.

    • Jill Clarin
      Jill Clarin February 16, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kate! Is this the Henika District Library or the Leighton Township Library? Would love to include it in our list.

  7. Willow Cramer February 15, 2016 at 7:57 am - Reply

    love this!! We love going to the library!! Way to do the research and take all thes great pictures!! Thanks!

  8. Erin February 15, 2016 at 6:26 am - Reply

    The Herrick Library in Holland has a wonderful children’s area. Lots of games, a merry-go-round, and story times all on their own floor.

    • Jill Clarin
      Jill Clarin February 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the tip Erin! Is this for the branch on S River or Riley St?

      • Erin February 15, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

        I’ve only been to the one on S River. I’m not sure wha the children’s area is like at the Riley St location, although they do have story time there, too.

        • Jill Clarin
          Jill Clarin February 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

          Thanks Erin! We’ll get it added to our list.

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