We all recognize that a child’s home is their first classroom, and their parents and caregivers are their first teachers. Adults who read to their children every day and talk about whey they are reading together, promote a joy of reading and help build strong literacy skills. To aid families’ efforts, the Library District offers take-home learning kits that can be used anytime, anywhere.
Don’t let the program name scare you; the Take Away Literacy Enrichment Skills kits, better known as T.A.L.E.S Kits, are all sorts of learning fun for families with toddlers and small children.
Each kit is designed to enhance young children’s early literacy development by providing parents and other caregivers with an assortment of books, songs, and activities to do with their child – similar to what you might experience at one of the many popular Library District story times.
“As a mother of two preschoolers, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate these kits,” one library customer commented after checking out a T.A.L.E.S. kit. “My kids love them. I just wanted to say ‘way to go Poudre Library’ for such a wonderful resource!”
T.A.L.E.S. backpack kits are easy to use at home, at a daycare center, on vacation or school break, or anywhere else your child wants to read, and they include instructions and suggestions for learning through words, music, and play.
Each backpack contains four books and four learning activities based around a particular theme like “Insects and Spiders,” “Fairy Tales and Folk Tales,” and “All About Me / Todo Sobre Mi.” Kits are available in both English and Spanish.
“My granddaughters are loving their T.A.L.E.S. Kit! They have the Five Senses kit and their mom tells me they have taken a listening walk, and played the tasting game, and they love what’s inside,” another library user commented.
The take-home kits are visual and interactive, so they quickly grab young children’s attention and keep them engaged with learning. However, all early learners are best served when a parent, caregiver, or other “teacher” is actively involved in reading the books, singing the songs, and playing with the toys and games. The T.A.L.E.S. kits provide an opportunity for directed learning and open exploratory play.
How to Check Out a T.A.L.E.S. Kit
Each of the three library locations – Old Town Library, Council Tree Library, and Harmony Library – has their own assortment of T.A.L.E.S. kits, so it’s a good idea to visit each one to see the themes and materials.
1. Visit the Libraries
Since the popular T.A.L.E.S. kits are part of the “Lucky Day” checkout procedure, cardholders are not able to put the item on hold or to renew it. Instead, families should visit the library and choose one of the kits from the shelf or hanging wall. If you don’t see any kits on the shelf when you visit, be sure to ask a staff member; sometimes there are more available behind the counters. Each kit can be checked out for up to 3 weeks.
Council Tree Library Children’s area
Harmony Library Kids’ media area
Old Town Library New Books area
2. Search the Online Catalog
You can also search the online catalog to see which kits are available: use the search term “T.A.L.E.S.” to find the kits; be sure to include the periods in between the letters. Another way to search is by a theme you’re interested in like “insects” and then sort your results by the format (“Kit”).
You can also sort the results based on language preference. Currently, the libraries have kits available in English and Spanish, but they are looking to add more world languages to the T.A.L.E.S. materials as it continues to expand.
With the holidays and school breaks coming up quickly, consider checking out a T.A.L.E.S. kits for your young readers. Each backpack is available for check out for 3 weeks. Not only are they a great way to spend time with your child reading, but it keeps little ones busy learning while you make that Thanksgiving feast!
For questions about T.A.L.E.S. kits, please call the Answer Center at 970-221-6740.
Have you and your reader used a T.A.L.E.S. kit?
Tell us about your experience in the comments below.