Library Pretend Play

For a fun way to play with books, try library pretend play! All you really need is a large stack of books, but we have some printable library cards and other ideas to add to your fun.
I created library cards for each of us (print your library card here). I left a blank line for the name on the card, for some writing practice. If you laminate the cards they will have some extra durability.
I also printed out a “Return Books Here” sign, which I taped to a storage container (print yours here). For a little fine motor activity, my 4 year old helped me to roll tape balls to stick on the signs.


To complete the setup, we used a little wagon as our shelving cart, brought in a child’s desk for the circulation desk, and post-it notes to use as due date stickers on the books at check out.

At the real library, my son gets upset if people put CD’s and DVD’s into the book return instead of the media return, so he immediately noticed that I hadn’t printed out a sign for a “Media Return”, and asked if we could add that to our activity (click here to print).

We took turns acting as patron, who returned books, asked questions about which new books to select, and chose books to take home, and the librarian, who checked in books, reshelved, helped select books, and check them out.

When checking out the books, the librarian also noted the date the books are due back on a post-it, in the back of the book. We also enlisted my grandmother as another library patron.

Multiple shelves sprung up around the playroom.

We delegated the board books to my 10 month old, who paged through them, gave them a few nibbles, and used them as blocks. Not exactly exemplary library behavior!

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