December top 5 for under 5 – 2023

We invite you to check out this month’s PPL Youth Services recommendations for activities, resources and new books in the library collection for children up to five years old and their families.

The Gift of Books 2023: Books for Younger Children
It’s the gift-giving season and there isn’t a more perfect gift for a young child (or anyone) than a book. Be sure to check out our list of recommended picture books, early readers and early chapter books published in 2023 that not only are available for borrowing from the library, but would also each make a special gift for building a child’s own home library.

Little Thinker Kits
The library’s latest addition to the Library Of Things collection, Little Thinker Kits, have been a big hit with families with children ages 2-8 years old. Little Thinker Kits help children develop critical early literacy skills, foster creativity and gain independence, both at home and on the go. All Little Thinker Kits include a Toniebox and a curated selection of Tonie figurines to provide an imagination-building, screen-free digital listening experience. Portable and interactive, the Toniebox plays stories, songs and more. Select kits also include a set of 40 magnetic tiles in a variety of shapes to enable children to engage in STEAM-based free play inspired by their own song and storytelling experiences. Also available are Tonies Variety Packs for those with their own Toniebox at home.

Palmer Square Holidays
There’s so much fun for the whole family to experience on Palmer Square in downtown Princeton during Palmer Square Holidays in December. Events include Strolling Music and Strolling Santa in the Square every weekend from 12-2 p.m. until December 24, Breakfast With Santa in the Yankee Doodle Tap Room Sunday mornings from 9-11 a.m. December 3, 10 and 17, and the Annual Menorah Lighting on December 12 at 4 p.m. And don’t forget the return of Skating On the Square this winter. An “eco-friendly” outdoor skating rink is located on Hulfish Street behind the Nassau Inn until February 25. Hours are Thursday – Friday, 4-7 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday, 12–3 p.m. & 4-7 p.m. All ages are welcome and the younger you are, the less distance to fall while you learn to skate!

Festival of Trees at Morven Museum and Gardens
Visit Morven for the time-honored holiday exhibition, Festival of Trees, which runs now until January 7. After viewing the collection of ornamental trees and mantels displayed throughout the museum’s galleries, visitors can vote for their favorite holiday display.

Holiday Lights At Turtle Back Zoo
Take a nighttime stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo to see more than 50 illuminated winter scenes and animal characters during the Holiday Lights Spectacular. Open nightly 5-9 p.m. and running from Friday, December 8 – December 31. Santa makes an appearance on the weekends. Admission is free, but donations of non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys, and new or gently used winter coats are appreciated. Some areas of the zoo are open, including the Reptile House, Touch Tank, Farm, and Train. Face painting and the carousel are also available for a small fee.

Photo by Zara Walker on Unsplash

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