New imaginative fun at Calvert County’s Twin Beaches Library

ImaginationStation2WThere's a new way for kids to play and explore at the Twin Beaches Library in Calvert County. The library now has an Imagination Station similar to the one at the interim Southern Branch.

Thanks to a $5,000 Grow Up Great grant from the PNC Foundation and $10,000 from the Calvert Library Foundation, a Play and Learn Island was installed earlier this winter.

Twin Beaches Branch Manager Joan Kilmon describes the station as a "flexible oasis for learning," as it can be set up as a "Farmer's Market," "Discovery Dig" or a "Big Build." It is scheduled to be a Farmer's Market during March, fashioned after the popular market in nearby North Beach.

"Children can sort, learn to recognize colors and letters, practice counting and weighing, learn the vocabulary for fruits and vegetables, learn about healthy food choices and develop motor skills," she says.

There are different learning toys that can be swapped out to keep the space fresh and exciting. And because space at the library is limited, the station is on wheels and can be moved when necessary.

The interim Southern Branch was the first in Calvert County to get an Imagination Station in May 2013. That space includes a wooden kitchen complete with oven, stove and refrigerator as well as a variety of manipulatives.

"Parents bring their kids in to play when it's too hot or cold for the playground, and often just because they were in the mood for great imaginative play," says Colleen Cano, Southern Branch manager.

"We have seen the benefits of imaginative play on early literacy skills and we know that libraries are one of the main places parents of young children take their children for fun, educational activities," says Calvert Library Director Carrie Plymire. "We all love watching children discover and learn, especially at the library."

The Twin Branches Library is located at 3819 Harbor Road in Chesapeake Beach. For details visit calvert.lib.md.us.