Two newer programs emphasizing art and theater have joined longtime favorites emphasizing nature and classic children’s stories in JCPRD’s lineup of storytime programs for the coming season.
The four storytime programs offered in the January through April My JCPRD Activities catalog are: Creative Storytime, Retro Storytime, Animal Tales Storytime, and Stories & Shares. All have sessions planned during January and, with the exception of Animal Tales, which takes place at Ernie Miller Nature Center, all take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center.
Creative Storytime is inspired by both classic and contemporary children’s literature, and is for ages three to seven. This drop-in storytime program is offered on four Saturday mornings during January, and another four Saturdays during April.
“Creative Storytime explores children’s literature through an artistic lens,” said Fine Arts Coordinator Devin Graham. “While reading is a key component, the focus is on the arts and illustration of the story. Each workshop will engage children and adults with a new book chosen by one of our local librarians and teaching artists. After reading the story as a group, children will work collaboratively with their adult to create artwork inspired by the author, illustrator, and story.”
Creative Storytime sessions will take place beginning at 10 a.m. at JCAHC on the following Saturdays: Jan. 4, 11, 18, and 25, and April 4, 11, 18, and 25. Each session will begin at 10 a.m. The cost for each one-hour program is $5 per child. Parents are welcome and encouraged to join this class as well. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program.
Parents and their preschoolers will love stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House during Retro Storytime for ages three to five with an adult being offered monthly from January through April at the Johnson County Museum.
After each story presentation, participants will enjoy a craft activity for little hands. Stories change monthly. An adult must attend this program with each child. These programs take place beginning at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday early each month through April. The first program in the new season is called “The Ookpik Book,”
and will take place on Jan. 8. Participants will meet Ookpik the Arctic Owl in this Golden Shape Book from 1963, and learn about life in the arctic before making a snowy owl to take home.
The cost for each 45-minute program is $2 per child, and museum members receive a 20 percent discount but must register by telephone at (913) 831-3359 to receive their discount. Registration for these programs does not include admission to the Johnson County Museum or to KidScape.
Other upcoming Retro Storytime programs this season will include: “Birds”
on Feb. 12, “The Fire Engine Book”
on March 11, and “Baby Farm Animals”
on April 8.
Animal Tales Storytime is a popular program which invites young children and their parents to come listen and learn during any or all of the eight sessions scheduled on two Wednesdays per month through April.
This program is for ages two to six accompanied by an adult, and will feature stories, songs, and surprises. Participants will also get to meet a special animal friend at each session.
Storytime presentations this season include: “Night Owl”
on Jan. 8, “Winter Wildlife”
on Jan. 22, “B is for Bears”
on Feb. 5, “Hungry Birds”
on Feb. 19, “Furry Friends”
on March 4, "Snake Surprise”
on March 25, “S is for Spider”
on April 8, and “Happy Earth Day”
on April 22.
The cost per 30-minute session is $2 per person, including adults, payable at the event. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program. All sessions take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. on a Wednesday.
Stories and Shares for ages two to 50 is a new monthly storytime program, and a great ‘first step’ for children interested in creative drama and acting. Each month, participants will explore a different favorite children’s story, and then get a chance to act it out. Stories will include “Pete the Cat,” “Goodnight Moon,” and “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”
“Stories and Shares is unique in that it provides an opportunity for parent and child engagement,” said Theatre and Performing Arts Coordinator Elena Stephenson-Campbell. “Participants will get to have an age-appropriate story read to them and then have the opportunity to act said story out on their feet, going on a ‘story journey’ facilitated by an experienced teaching artist. In addition to parent and child engagement, we want children to be able to explore characters and settings from the chosen book creatively and freely.”
The next Stories and Shares program will take place beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25
, at JCAHC. The cost for one 45-minute program is $5 per person for Johnson County residents or $6 per person for nonresidents.
Other upcoming Stories and Shares programs this season will take place on: Feb. 15
, March 28
, and April 11
The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Ernie Miller Nature Center
is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe.