Top 5 Under 5

A rotating list of activities, books, apps and more for ages 5 and younger recommended by Youth Services staff

August 2018

Mariana Iranzi in Concert at PPL

Join us at the library on August 16 at 10 AM as musician and educator, Mariana Iranzi, presents a bilingual, interactive concert for the whole family. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Iranzi gets her audiences up and dancing, playing and singing along with her music in both Spanish and English. For ages 2 and up with an adult.

Toddler Drive-In

Back by popular demand! This annual summer event at the library is always a fun time. Toddlers (ages 2-5) accompanied by an adult are invited to decorate their own cardboard-box car and watch a short drive-in movie. Limited to 30 children, so be sure to register here. Vrmmm vrmmm!

Sesame Street “One World, One Sky” show at the NJ State Museum Planetarium in Trenton

The planetarium at the NJ State Museum is a hidden state treasure any day of the week, but especially every Saturday and Sunday in August at 11 AM. Discover the awe of the universe with Big Bird, Elmo and Elmo’s friend Hu Hu Zhu from China during the Sesame Street “One World, One Sky” show. Recommended for children ages 3-6.

Bubbles by Kit Chase

What young child doesn’t love bubbles? This sweet, quiet new picture book brings two friends together through their mutual love of bubble play. Pair this with a bottle of bubbles for a fun read aloud with your little one.

Common Sense Media’s Best Kids’ Apps to Download Before a Flight

If your August plans include a long flight, train or car ride, check out Common Sense Media’s list of recommended apps for travel with kids. When books and I Spy run dry, these apps cover a wide variety of interests and ages to keep everyone happy and occupied.

July 2018

Rock n’ Rhythm at the library!

Get your groove on and join us in the Story Room on Wednesdays for a special summer session of Rock n’ Rhythm, which blends music, movement, rhymes, read alouds, fingerplays and other interactive activities while enhancing early literacy skills. This program is intended for children ages 18 months and older accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

Wednesdays @ 11:00 AM, July 18, 25 and August 1, 8, 15.

Play This Book by Jessica Young

Music loving preschoolers will be jammin’ along with this new interactive, super fun book. Illustrations and simple, rhyming text invite the reader to try various instruments and join a band.

Terhune Orchards Annual Blueberry Bash

Happening the weekend of July 7 & 8, this annual event at Terhune Orchards is a great way to enjoy the summer outdoors with your little ones. There’s plenty to do for families with young children, including blueberry picking, sampling blueberry treats, wagon rides, pony rides, games, live music, face painting, and even a puppet show! If you can’t make the Blueberry Bash, it’s always fun to visit Terhune Orchards any day for pick-your-own, the outside play areas, and feeding the farm animals. It’s a kid-friendly farm for sure!

The Watershed Institute

While open all year round, the Watershed Institute in nearby Pennington is especially fun to visit in the summer. The top two favorite annual summer events are the Fairy Festival on July 14 and the Butterfly Festival on August 4, with lots of family friendly activities. Along with preschool nature classes, a butterfly house, and educational nature center, the Watershed is lovely to visit any day you fancy a walk in the woods.

Summer Concert Series at Princeton Shopping Center

The Arts Council of Princeton and Princeton Shopping Center present the 35th annual Summer Concert Series, featuring the best in local and regional jazz, folk, world, rock and blues. Dancing with little ones is always welcome! Happening every Thursday, 6–8 pm, from June 21–August 23, 2018, at the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 N. Harrison Street, Princeton, NJ. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair!

June 2018

2018 Summer Reading Program: Libraries Rock!

Be sure to visit the Youth Services desk on the third floor of PPL to sign up for our PreSchool Summer Reading Program and take the 20/20 Challenge! Read with your little one for at least 20 minutes a day, and when you have completed 20 days of reading (in a row or not!), stop by the library to claim a free book and Thomas Sweet ice cream certificate. Complete up to three 10-day bonus rounds for additional fun incentive prizes. And remember, attending storytime sessions counts! Summer Reading Program registration begins on Friday, June 15, and continues through August 1. Last day to claim prizes is Sunday, September 2.

jaZam’s Summer Block Party

The library will be there, will you? You don’t want to miss this annual party to ring in the summer season! jaZam’s Toy and Bookstore will host this totally free and fun event in Palmer Square on Friday, June 22, 6:00-9:00 PM. Activities include crafts, live music, demonstrations, favorite local food vendors, and so much more family fun!

Family Concert with Jim Gill!

The award-winning musician and children’s author presents an interactive, energetic concert for the entire family at PPL on Wednesday evening, June 27, 6:30 PM. Audience members will clap, sing, dance and even sneeze along to silly and inspiring songs, rhymes and games. Featured will be selections from Gill’s newest CD: “Vote for Jim Gill!” and favorites such as “Spin Again” and “Silly Dance Contest.” Please note, tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. Children 18 months and under do not need a ticket. All others must have a ticket. Register for tickets here.

Ducks Away! by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Check out this humorous counting tale of five baby ducks that fall off a bridge into a river, with Momma Duck not far behind. This enjoyable new book effectively incorporates simple counting, addition, subtraction and rhyming text that encourages participation. Quack!

Dr. Panda Train app

This interactive preschool app comes recommended by the Notable Children’s Digital Media Committee of the Association of Library Services to Children. Have fun driving the train and exploring the world. Tour the jungle or steam through the desert–there’s so much to see! As you continue on your trip, be sure to look out for all sorts of surprises! What will you discover?

May 2018

Howell Living History Farm

Spring is a great time to visit when all the baby animals are appearing! This farm of yesteryear is a lovely place to explore and meander. Bring a picnic and enjoy this treasure of the Mercer County Park Commission.

Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, her granddaughter cannot wait to see what treasures she has hidden in her purse. Super cute and relatable new picture book!

Kanopy Kids

Our video streaming service Kanopy is now offering Kanopy Kids! Browse Kanopy Kids and find the videos your kids will love, with developmentally appropriate age ratings.

Season of Wonder Puppet Show

Come see Amy Shor, early childhood teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton, at PPL on May 17 as she celebrates the wonders of spring through songs, rhymes, and fingerplays using simple handmade puppets and other surprises from the natural world. Perfect for ages 2-5!

Lolly and YoYo

Local storytellers and musicians, Lolly Hopwood and Yvonne “YoYo” Kusters, perform at dozens of free events in the greater Princeton area. Their events are always full of music, stories and plenty of movement for little ones. You’ll quickly become a fan!