What is the PlayLab?

The PlayLab at the new Pinney Library will support and encourage early literacy through child-directed play, especially children ages birth to 5. The 435-square-foot space will feature a play area with open-ended play materials for children and their parents or caregivers; a reading nook; a baby-friendly crawling space; comfortable seating for adults; and a family study room. Through play, children grow both physically and mentally by developing their gross and fine motor skills, and gaining exposure to literacy activities. The PlayLab will thrive on community-led partnerships.

What will you see in the PlayLab?

  • a child-centered environment that highlights play, family literacy and community support
  • many books for reading, sharing and exploring
  • a nook for adults and children to connect and to read together
  • a crawling area for babies to safely move about and explore the world
  • open-ended play materials like blocks, climbing tube and crash mats
  • comfortable seating for parents and caregivers, who can access library and community resources while their children play
  • large windows that connect the indoor environment to the outdoors

What kinds of programs will be available in the PlayLab?

Morning play groups will include:

  • Anji Play, a form of true play in which child-led play is observed closely by grownups and then reflected on to allow for deeper learning. The program will take place indoors as well as outdoors when weather permits. Library staff will greet patrons and invite children to play freely while encouraging parents to take joy in watching their children’s accomplishments and learning. Staff will provide parents with support tips,
  • Community Playdates, a casual playtime session in which families can connect with each other and library staff. Adults can share their joys and challenges as parents and caregivers, discuss their favorite library books or materials, and learn about parenting programs or resources from library staff. Coffee and tea will be available.
  • Early Childhood Support, a program designed and led by a local early learning leader that provides professional development and resources for early childhood educators. While educators are meeting, they have the chance to observe families in the PlayLab for learning opportunities. Library staff may lead early literacy training activities, provide library resource information and build relationships with local child care centers.

Visit the Pinney campaign page to learn more about the new facility, opening in spring 2020.