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Voorhees Library to Stage Big Play Date for 1 – 3 Year-olds and Parents

NEWS RELEASE March 12, 2013
Contact: Mark Amorosi, Public Information Officer, 856-772-1636 ext. 7323

Learn how to aid a child’s development with simple, inexpensive activities at home

Parents and other caregivers in the area will have the chance to discover how they can use inexpensive materials at home to engage in meaningful play with their children at the Big Play Date scheduled for Sat. March 9. (Camden County Library photo)]

VOORHEES, NJ – March 12, 2014 – Ever watch a kid spend more time playing with the BOX than the toy that came in it? Most of us have probably watched a similar scene or done it ourselves for those of us who can reach that far back into our memories.

Did you know that one and two-year-olds who play blocks with their parents for just 20 minutes a day score 15 percent higher on language development tests? It’s when a child’s imagination can make the most of the simplest things, and it’s a prime learning time.

With this in mind, the Camden County Library is staging its biggest play date ever on Saturday, March 29, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Voorhees branch library.

“Librarians and other professionals will be available to show parents and other caregivers inexpensive and feasible ways to play with their children that enhance a child’s development,” noted Freeholder Ian Leonard, Camden County Freeholder Board liaison to the County Library System.

Event features five play stations, activity ideas, story times

The library will have five stations set up with activities that appeal to the different senses where children aged one to three and their caregivers can play. Activities planned include smelling stations, color sorting, tactile experiences like texture balloons, pools of shredded paper and more where kids can explore and play.

The parents and other caregivers will get to see and play with their children engaged in different activities using simple, inexpensive materials like cardboard boxes (cereal boxes, cracker boxes, paper rolls) commonly found at home. There will be a texture touch board and an emotion-expression station using a mirror with posters of facial expressions for the children to mimic and mime. Even a no-mess finger painting method will be available. Each of the stations will offer information tip cards with suggestions the caregivers can use at home in playing with their children.

Those attending the program can circulate and visit the stations in any order with no strict schedule between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the first floor of the M. Allan Vogelson Regional Branch Library in Voorhees.

Nutrition and Safety Specialist Available

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is sending injury prevention specialist Tracey Hewitt to discuss how to keep children active but safe during playtime while ShopRite Market of  Lawnside is sending registered dietician Jessica Molinaro to offer advice on healthy snacking and eating as part of the program. ShopRite will provide healthy snacks for kids at the event.

Freeholder Leonard talked about the library as an asset to parents and a place where community thrives in Camden County.

“This is another example of our library system taking a proactive role in the lives of our residents and providing stimulating programming for children and parents,” Leonard said. “The play date will provide an opportunity for parents to have access to professionals from several different sources to educate the public on an important, tangible topic.”

As Head of Youth Services at the Voorhees branch, Emily Moore is organizing the Big Play Date. “After reading an article about a similar event the Brooklyn Public Library’s done the past couple years, I was inspired to host a play date for Camden County,” Moore explained.

“I’m so excited to be offering parents and caregivers not only a morning of sensory and hands-on fun at the library for their children, but to share ideas that are cheap and easy enough to enjoy again and again at home.

You don’t have to have all the latest educational toys to encourage development in your child.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a morning – having meaningful fun with your child and connecting with your community at the library,” said Moore

The play date will include three brief story times to keep the children engaged. Stroller parking and a family break room will be available on first floor of the Voorhees library.

The event is free and open to any parents and caregivers in the area, but registration is required. Call the branch at 856-772-1636 or visit online at SignUp at


Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Bellmawr, Camden, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees.   The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission.


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