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In observation of Memorial Day, all Dayton Metro Locations will be closed on Monday, May 25th. Normal hours resume on May 26th.


Activities that build the early language and literacy skills of babies and toddlers:
  1. Talk with a children's librarian about your child and get a recommendation of a book just right for your little one.
  2. Attend a library program
  3. Read a book that matches with a recent experience your child has had (taking a bath, petting a dog, trip to the doctor etc.) Talk about the experience when you read the book
  4. Find an example of a real thing that looks like a book illustrator's picture and point out that they are the same....
  5. Check out some children's music from the library
  6. With your child, use a ruler or spoon to tap on various surfaces and materials to explore sounds
  7. Find a new bouncing rhyme and use it everyday until you've learned it.
    Dickery, dickery, dare (bounce baby on knees)
    The pig flew up in the air (lift baby up)
    The man in brown soon brought him down
    Dickery, dickery dare! (bounce baby on knees)
  8. Read a book of nursery rhymes aloud. Even if your child doesn't understand the words, he or she will enjoy the rhythm and sounds.
  9. You and your child shake a rattle or a jar of dried beans in rhythm to a song.
  10. Hide behind a chair, letting your child see part of you. Call out, "Where am I? Come and find me."
  11. Read a "Peek-a-boo" book. Ask your children's librarian to help you find a good one for your child.
  12. Take a picture of your child "reading" a book and look at it together and talk about it.
  13. Read a familiar book aloud using the silliest voices you can
  14. Talk about what you are doing. "I'm going to put you down." "I'm going to change your diaper." "I'm going to give you a kiss."
  15. Check out the library's enewsletters, there's one called Babies and Books that features board books:
  16. Sing a book to your child. Lots of children's books are actually songs.
  17. Place your child in a cardboard box or laundry basket and prop her up with a small pillow. Gently push her around the room. Talk about where you are going. Make car sounds as you go.
  18. Read a book about vehicles and the sounds they make.
  19. Bring a blanket outside and read books in the shade.
  20. Make a book about what your toddler does everyday
  21. Make talking a part of daily rituals. Play "goodnight, elbow" at bedtime. Tell your child, "I am going to say good night to your hair, your ears, your chin, your thumb, and so on." Touch each part as you say it.
  22. Read a book about body parts and point to the body part on yourself and your baby
  23. Point out words on signs at the park, in the grocery store, or when walking outside
  24. Read a newspaper, adult book or magazine aloud when your child is nearby
  25. Visit a fire station and read a book about fire fighters
  26. Visit a zoo, farm or animal rescue organization and then look at a book of animal photos together. Talk about your recent visit.
  27. Attend a library program. Take a picture of your child with the children's librarian and help him learn her/his name.
  28. Learn a new fingerplay to do with your child. The library has resources and this link has lots of ideas:
  29. Dance with your baby using scarves (or ribbons). Thrift shops often have cheap lightweight scarves that are perfect for this
  30. Borrow a CD of lullabies from the library
  31. When your child can sit up pull him or her around on a blanket or sheet and label the rooms and items you see
  32. Bang rhythmically on pots/boxes with your child and sing a song
  33. Read a book and make sound effects. Talk about the pictures in the book.
  34. Ask your child to point to objects illustrated in books. If he or she is too young, move their finger to the object yourself
  35. Gather a collection of things with holes: (berry basket, spoons with holes, large mesh bag, etc) and give your toddler a straw. Help him or her to discover the holes using the straw.
  36. Read a book with holes. Your children's librarian can help you find one.
  37. Make a book with pictures of the words your child knows. As new ones are added to his or her vocabulary, add new pictures to the book. Your child will enjoy looking through the book and saying the words.
  38. Crumple pieces of paper and let your toddler put them into an empty 2-liter bottle. This will build his or her finger skills needed for later writing
  39. Create a spot for a box or basket of board books that your child can easily access
  40. Get a book with pictures of everyday household objects and go on a scavenger hunt with your child looking for these objects in the house
  41. Join your child's play imitating his or her sounds and actions
  42. Bring a stuffed animal or doll along with you to a visit at the library and have the toy engage in library activities with you and your child. (read a book, choose a book from the shelf, check a book out, listen to a story)
  43. Read a book with different textures to feel
  44. Sing a song about your activity as you do it: "Walking down the sidewalk, sidewalk, sidewalk, walking down the sidewalk on this sunny day"
  45. Set out several books and ask your child to choose one to read together
  46. Support your child to turn the pages of a book that you are sharing
  47. Read a rhyming book and bounce your child on your lap to the rhythm of the text
  48. Fill a washtub or big pot with clean rice and let him or her play in it
  49. Borrow an Old MacDonald book from the library
  50. Read a book with flaps or other movable parts
Join us for 10 weeks of activities, literature, art, hands-on learning and fun for everyone in the family. Experience, learn and explore at your Library this summer, where EVERYONE'S A HERO! Click a club below to get started, or visit YOUR library!





Birth to 3 Years

Our suggested activities are a fun and easy way to develop your child's early literacy and learning skills while sharing quality time together. Sign up at your Branch Library.
Preschool-Grade 6

School-age kids will be so busy having fun and earning incentives with activities, experiments and projects, they won't realize they're building their brain power too! Sign up at your Branch Library.
Grades 7 to 12

Teens and tweens will unmask their own skills and talents with creative, hands-on maker projects, crafts and activities, while earning incentives too. Register at your Branch Library or online.
Adults Age 18+

Experience something new at your Library! Find a new hobby, explore an interest and discover great books, movies and music. Register at your Branch Library or online.





Have a BLAST at Your Library this summer with awesome activities, cool crafts, great games, excellent experiments and SO MUCH MORE! Plus, earn SUPER PRIZES along the way!

  • Earn your first prize when you complete 1 hour of reading.

  • When you've read for 8 hours you can choose a prize from the POWER PRIZE VAULT.*

  • If you read for 15 hours, you're officially a Super Reader and you've earned an ACTIVITY AND COUPON BOOK and your own SUPERHERO CAPE!*

  • Keep reading, because if you reach the 30 hour goal, you'll earn a FREE BOOK* and be entered to win an AMAZING BOOKMOBILE PARTY for you and 10 friends!

Here's the best part - Read for 30 hours AND attend 5 Library Programs, and you'll be entered into a drawing for the most awesome grand prize - A BRAND NEW BICYCLE! A bicycle will be awarded to one lucky winner at each Dayton Metro Library locations.

Children who are not yet reading on their own may be read to by a relative or friend.

Celebrate the Summer Challenge at the PARTY IN THE PARK - Saturday, AUGUST 8, 1:00-4:00 p.m. in Cooper Park downtown. SUPER FUN for EVERYONE Games, crafts, performers, music and more, FREE! We hope to see you there.

The Summer Reading Club ends on Saturday August 1st. Entries will not be accepted after that date.

For younger children - birth to 36 months, ask us about joining our "Little Sidekicks" Challenge.

*while supplies last.



For little ones, each accomplishment is a victory. Each activity shared is a chance to learn, grow and bond. And with your Library's Summer Challenge YOU are your child's hero!

To join the Little Sidekicks Challenge, come into any Dayton Metro Library and pick up a folder to keep track of the activities you and your baby or toddler do together.

    • When you complete 1 activity, you'll win a Bottle of Bubbles.*

    • After 15 activities, your Little Sidekick wins a brand new Board Book.*

    • After 25 activities, they've earned an Egg Cha Cha.*

    • If you complete at least 25 activities AND attend 5 Library programs, they'll be entered into a drawing for a GRAND PRIZE - A LITTLE TIKES COZY COUPE! This classic rider encourages active play and imagination, indoors or out. (One Cozy Coupe will be awarded at each Branch Library.)

We encourage you to attend Library programs designed especially for babies and toddlers. It's never too early to start developing early literacy skills and a love of learning in your child!

The Summer Challenge ends on Saturday, August 1st. Entries will not be accepted after that date. Please remember you may sign up at only one Library. You will receive your rewards and prizes at that location throughout the summer. Need more ideas? Ask for an additional sheet of suggested activities at your library.

You can get QUICK TEXT TIPS of fun, easy things you can do with your baby or toddler this summer. Have fun together and help your little one learn and grow. Sign up on your Little Sidekicks registration form or here.
*while supplies last





glassAurora Red Ikebana with Bright Yellow Stems, Dale Chihuly (b. 1941), American, 2001, Blown glass. Artist Dale Chihuly was one of the original members of the Studio Glass Movement that moved glass-making from the factory setting to the studio. Ikebana is the traditional Japanese art form of flower arrangement. This piece is made from three separate pieces: one vase and two flowers.

Rationale for inclusion: Like the new library, this piece combines traditional usage and forms with new and exciting ideas, colors and outcomes.

For more information:


 rubensStudy of Heads of an Old Man, Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1641), Flemish, c. 1612, Oil on oak panel. Peter Paul Rubens' use of sensuous color and bold movement have made him one of the most definitive artists of the Baroque era. Study Heads of an Old Man was probably created in anticipation of a larger work, Christ and the Adulterous Woman, but when the museum received the painting it
showed only one face. A dealer had probably painted out the second face some time ago in order to sell the work as a portrait, rather than a study.


Rationale for inclusion: The fascinating story of this painting's surprise second face would make a great novel!

For more information: 

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