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New toys offer children at library more than play time

By Erin Allen
Rowan Public Library
Little visitors to Rowan Public Library have new educational toys to enjoy. Most of the playthings are manufactured by Melissa and Doug, the maker of durable children’s products.
More than 150 building and alphabet blocks have been added to the toy collection. Blocks are perennial favorites and can be counted on for hours of imaginative play. The architectural package features hand-scrolled and turned hardwood shapes with columns, arches, doors and stairs to build impressive structures.
Two sets of alphabet blocks help teach capital and lowercase letter recognition, color recognition and fine motor skills while encouraging hand-eye coordination and problem solving. All blocks have smooth wood storage cases.
Puzzles have long been a popular staple at the library. Several different types are now available. Alphabet Art puzzles with corresponding pictures underneath the puzzle pieces help children with proper placement. Chunky puzzles are especially good for the very young because the pieces are easily handled. Solid wood pieces are big enough to play with outside of the puzzle. Chunky puzzles include Shapes, Tools, Insects, Safari Animals and Pets.
Maze puzzle pieces have unique sliding pieces that won’t come out and get lost. Children direct the right piece to its correct spot. Maze puzzles include Farm, Geometric Shapes, and Vehicles.
For budding chefs, Cutting Food sets will encourage their culinary skills. These sets of hand-painted wooden vegetables, bread and fruit are pre-cut. Each piece fastens together with Velcro. When carved with the safe wooden knife, a crunchy sound rewards the cutter.
The classic pounding toy has been updated into the Pound and Roll Tower. Four brightly colored balls are pounded into the tower top, roll through the maze and emerge at the tower base.
Come to the library to learn … to tie shoes? Yes, the Learn To Lace and Tie! is a solid wood high-top sneaker that has a real lace children can practice on.
The Three Little Pigs Play Set rounds out the collection. It includes three soft, hand-detailed houses and four charming play figures (three pink pigs and a lavender wolf) that will enthrall children and teach number and color recognition as well as the fairy tale.Just The Thing at 103 N. Main St. in Salisbury has these and other educational items.
History Room workshop: Basic preservation methods and techniques to care for papers, photos, linens and other heirlooms. Call to register for this free workshop to be held Saturday, April 26, at 10 a.m. at headquarters.
Children’s programs: 18th annual Livingstone College/Rowan Public Library Book Festival, for children 3-12 years old, will be Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Livingstone College common.
Call 704-216-8256 for headquarter programs; 704-216-7839 for East branch; and 704-216-7727 for South Regional programs.
Tuesday movies: April is Foreign Films Movie Month. Come to headquarters at 6:30 p.m. to see movies awarded Oscars. Tuesday, “Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”; and “Closely Watched Trains,” April 29. Free refreshments will be served.
Computer classes: South ó Basic Windows, Thursday, 11 a.m.
Displays: Headquarters ó art by Janie Allen and giraffes by Jan McCanless. East ó horses by Ann Furr. South ó wearable arts by Patti Schmid.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Web site: For a listing of all library programs at all library locations, www.rowanpubliclibrary. org.

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