Posted by: instanthausfrau | October 5, 2006

Begin With Books at Seattle Public Libraries.

In addition to providing free internet, books, movies and music (not to mention Story Time for children and book groups for adults), your local library is doing something else to help make your parenting job a bit easier: the Begin with Books program. Theme kits for are available for toddlers and preschoolers, covering topics from the zoo, to seasons of the year, to pirates (Oh, come on. You knew if there was a pirate option, I would find a way to include it).

Moon and I grabbed the potty training Baby Box (because hope springs eternal) and the Dragons and Castles preschooler theme kit for a test run. A selection of books relating to the theme were included with each, along with some sort of media (the baby box on potty training included the “Once Upon a Potty” VHS tape, while the Dragons and Castles included a CD of medieval music), a guide for parents (the baby boxes all seem to include the same book, the moderately inane “Games to Play with your Toddler”, while the Dragons and Castles box included a book of crafts and activites centered around the Prince/Princess theme), and in the preschooler box we even found a dragon puppet! Be prepared for older media forms, as the CD seems to be a bit of a stand out, as most other boxes have included cassette tapes or VHS tapes, neither of which we can play.

The boxes have been a great success in our household, giving us a more in-depth way to look at something that has captured Moon’s interest. Before a recent trip to a farm-themed birthday, we were able to pick up the Baby Box on farms and talk about cows, pigs, ducks, and goats (These books have probably been the most popular with her, and will be the hardest to return. They have a great selection of “peek-a-boo” type books in this box, and Moon is enchanted by the little flaps to lift and holes to peek through). By the same token half of Seattle (a half that includes us) is still waiting on the box on Fall, so be wary of the subject everyone is ready to talk about with their kids.

To find the kits, simply head to this page and begin browsing. Those who already have a library card and pin number can even reserve a kit online. Not in Seattle? Check with your local children’s librarian to find out if your system offers a similar program (many do).



  1. Ah, the government-subsidized library system reveals its bias; Sure, they can have a pirate kit, but where’s the NINJA kit? Sure, it’s probably hidden in the shadows where you can’t see it until it’s too late, but it still ought to be listed in the online catalog…

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