Monday, 20 January 2020


The hands-on activities at the Thames-Coromandel District libraries

The Thames-Coromandel District libraries, including the Mercury Bay Library in Whitianga, run throughout the year a fantastic range of fun, hands-on activities for children.

Shori Allan, the Thames children’s librarian, is in charge of coming up with activity ideas, with Christine Towgood of the Mercury Bay Library and Jennifer Hutchinson of the Tairua Library often contributing suggestions. This summer, a list was put together of ideas that were simple and enjoyable and would suit the age differences of the children who attended the activities.

Each library developed the ideas further and put their own spin on it. Some activities took only 20 minutes to complete, so extra activities were planned to keep the children occupied.

A lot of preparation always goes into making sure there are enough resources available to enable each child to successfully enjoy and complete the various activities. This usually means collecting a range of different supplies, such as leaves, shells, felt markers and craft materials.

On Thursday last week, the Mercury Bay Library held a “Make Your Own Bath Bomb”  session. The activity was a huge hit. Twenty children and 13 adults enjoyed a very messy morning, measuring and preparing ingredients for their very own colourful creations. Using measuring cups and spoons was a new experience for many, as well as learning to combine wet and dry ingredients to reach a desired consistency.

A big thank you from the library to all the mums and grandmas who stayed to assist the children and a special thanks to those who helped to clean up after the session.

Some of the other activities held over the last month include shell art creations, kite making, the building of natural wind chimes, giant bubble making and the construction of origami flying discs.

Parents are welcome to join in the library activities with their children if they are under five years of age, otherwise children are encouraged to complete the activities as independently as possible, in order to gain newfound skills and a sense of self achievement. It is always a bonus if there is a grandad on hand who can grab a drill or hammer to help out.  

To find out about upcoming activities, you can check out the Thames Coromandel District Libraries Facebook page or the Thames-Coromandel District Council website (search for “Libraries” under “Our Services”) or enquire in person at any of the libraries.

Picture: Cale Field enjoyed getting his hands dirty during the “Make Your Own Bath Bomb” session at the Mercury Bay Library on Thursday last week.


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