Fri-YAY Featured Inclusive Playground

Frederick County Public Libraries

Welcome back to school! I hope everyone had a great summer! I love summer and the adventures I get to have with my kids, but honestly, summer is exhausting for me! My son thrives on structure that I am not good at providing. My kids LOVE to be on the go and always doing “fun things”, I have trained them well for running around, so it’s all my “fault” but I guess it will benefit us when we go to Disney! I’m really lucky that generally (besides the usual complaining, and a little anxiety) my kids love going to school! We didn’t do any worksheets over the summer, but we did keep up on reading! My kids both sleep in bed with at least six books each, and I’m so glad they both love to read! They love media at school, and we’ve been utilizing the Frederick County Public Libraries since my eight year old was a baby and continue with the summer reading program every year!

I can’t say enough good things about our library system! When the new Bookmarks magazine comes out quarterly, I spend hours going through it adding any potential events to my calendar. Almost daily there is something for everyone! We have done messy crafts with glitter that I hate doing at home, STEM crafts that explode, LEGO robotics and coding, creating instruments, painting kindness rocks, and more! I love that they have off site programs like story times at Surreybrooke Gardens, Brusters to learn how to make ice cream, or the Appalachian Trail! Every year, the summer reading program has a challenge to visit all nine of their branches. Every year, I make this my goal, but every year we mostly stay at our local branch, Walkersville, downtown Frederick branch, and Thurmont.

One of the greatest aspects of our library is that they are very accessible and inclusive! Earlier this year, they hosted a Human Library where members of the community were invited to meet with others and discuss their life experiences. I took my kids to “Meet Your Muslim Neighbor” at our local branch where we got to learn about Muslim culture today and through history, as well as try different foods, crafts and henna! I think Avery’s favorite was reading to the therapy dogs from Go Team, and I love the donation based yoga from Sol! They embrace the Choose Civility initiative believing that the little things we do throughout the day can make our community stronger and inspire others to pay kindness forward. There is really something for everyone!

Another great example of inclusivity and accessibility are the children’s department play areas! All of the branches are different, so I’m going to speak specifically on the Walkersville branch of FCPL. Walkersville’s play structures are modeled after “The Dairy” and it features many aspects to strengthen early literacy in a play and learning area. The general theme is dairy farming because of Walkersville’s agricultural heritage. The main feature is a large dairy truck where kids can engage in imaginary play and people in wheelchairs can enter the truck to drive or sell ice cream right besides their friends! There is also accessible room at the iPads and the LEGO table! Other inclusive features are areas to talk about feelings, lower shelves and baskets of blocks or toys to build and everyone can reach, quieter spots away from the main area and a carpet on the floor to sit and play city! The employees have always been very welcoming and helpful with anything we need! FCPL may not be a playground, but in hot temps, rain, or snow, they’re a great place to play and meet friends!

When Sophie and Madigan Lillard Memorial Playground is open, we would love to partner with the libraries and have story times and fun activities for the kids as regular events at the park! If you would like to read more about the future of the playground click here or for ways to sponsor or volunteer email libby@sophieandmadigansplayground.com If you want to learn more about Frederick County Public Libraries, click the link or pick up a Bookmark guide at your local branch!

1 thought on “Fri-YAY Featured Inclusive Playground”

  1. Such fun activities! Arts and crafts can go a long way in cultivating cognitive and creative skills in kids. It also makes them aware of their surroundings. Group activities like these can foster friendships and team building skills too.

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