Madison Public Library Foundation recently granted Madison Public Library $31,000 from its budget surplus for We Read & Play materials that will boost literacy and educational play in the libraries. 

The sturdy, attractive new materials — which include rainbow rockers, Wobble boards, magnetic wooden Tegu blocks, Magna-Tiles, and Squigz and Stapelstein toys — will provide children with tools that help them grasp essential early literacy concepts, grow socially and emotionally, and develop physically, said library Youth Services Manager Tammy Ocampo.

Madison Public Library’s Anji Play approach — evident in the Pinney PlayLab and A Wild Rumpus programming — has helped it become an innovative leader in the intersection between libraries and child-led play. Anji Play embraces the idea that kids learn from all sorts of play, but especially play with minimally structured materials that allow them to come up with their own ideas and solve problems. The new materials will make the libraries a destination for families — especially during the winter months, when there’s a greater need for free, indoor, safe, warm locations for children to play.

Visit your favorite library to see some of these materials! If you’d like to support, We Read & Play, visit our Donate page and select “Other” in the dropdown menu, then enter We Read & Play in the comment field.

Pictured above: The Rainbow Rocker is one of many new items that will provide play opportunities for children in the libraries.