Welcome to Shortgrass Library System
Need help with library programming? Need ideas and supplies? Shortgrass has created a variety of programming kits that are available to member libraries for borrowing. To request a kit, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. To ensure your requested kit is available when you need it, be sure to place your hold well in advance of your programming date and it will be sent to you with the regular deliveries.
If you wish to enquire about a kit that is not currently available please contact the Client Services Librarian.
Click here to view the programming kits booking schedule.
Click here to access all Programming Kit Guides.
Click here to learn more about how programming kits work.
It's Capture the Flag night at Camp Half-Blood, and you are determined that this time, your team will win. The only problem: your opponents have done too good a job at protecting the flag, with a series of puzzles blocking your way!
This kit contains everything you need to set up an escape room in your library and is suitable for both larger and smaller spaces. It is very easy to set up and run, but we recommend borrowing it at least a week in advance of when you wish to hold your program in order to familiarize yourself with the contents and game.
Recommended for ages 10+, best for small groups of 4-5.
Work your STEAM skills with these tornados-in-a-bottle! Follow this link to see them in action.
Battle it out with the Nerf Games programming kit! This kit contains a range of Nerf guns, plenty of darts, eye protection, and a ton of ideas for games and activities. Contact the Client Services Librarian for access to the kit booklet prior to your program.
** NEW ** Giant Four Across
The latest in our oversized board games collection! Play life-sized four across at your next library event with this equipment. Borrow to keep children entertained during a book sale, or book it alongside other oversized board games for a Giant Board Game program!
The BINGO game you know and love, with a library twist. Participants will have to use their listening skills and have lightning-fast reflexes, as they listen for the titles on their BINGO cards and race to be the first to shout BINGO!
This Book Bingo kit is a fun way to introduce children to new books, while having fun and winning prizes! Participants can play while maintaining physical distance- though some smaller ones may need to bring a grown up with them to help them out, as this program is intended for children of reading age.
This program runs just like a bingo game- every participant gets a bingo card and bingo chips, and covers their square as its contents are called. But there’s a twist: every item on the bingo card is a Canadian children’s book!
Recommended for ages 7+ (children who cannot yet read will need a parent’s help).
Yardzee (giant Yahtzee)
Giant Snakes and Ladders
There's something very mysterious about your new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, so you and your friends decide to break into her office and find out what she's hiding. Only problem: she's booby-trapped the office, and now you're locked inside! Can you break out before she returns?
Recommended for ages 8+.
Welcome to Scratch Art! This kit is a fun way to stretch your creative muscles. Scratch art combines careful instructions (preparing your ‘canvas’) with open-ended creativity (scratch out any design you can think of!). It is fun for all ages- and just a little messy!
Ever wanted to make a wallet out of duct tape? How about duct tape roses, bow ties, or Christmas ornaments? Our duct tape crafts kit has everything you need to make all of these cool projects and more!
Recommended for ages 8+,
This kit includes materials for both beginners and pros!
For the beginners: Everything you need to get started with origami! Kit contains origami paper of various sizes and colours as well as basic project ideas and easy-to-follow books!
Plus, check out this YouTube playlist of fun, easy folding ideas to get you motivated!
For the experts: Easy origami not enough of a challenge? This kit contains everything you need to fold some seriously cool projects, including pretty patterned paper and instructions for folding more complicated projects.
Great for kids and teens! Perler bead art is made by arranging plastic beads into patterns and shapes, then using a hot clothes iron to melt them together (please have an adult use the iron). Shapes take on a pixelly/8-bit appearance, making this a fun project for participants into video games and other kinds of "nerd" pop culture.
Recommended for ages 6+.
Have you heard? Knitting is cool again! Lead a learn to knit or learn to crochet program at your library with this kit, or just set out supplies in a sunny spot and watch people cozy up with yarn. Who knows -- maybe someone will make you a scarf!
The Zentangle Method (created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas) is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images using structured patterns. If you have patrons who love the meditative, crafty nature of our origami or fibre arts kits, they'll love learning how to tangle with our Zentange-inspired kit! Suitable for all ages but an especially great option for adult or seniors programming. Learn more about the Zentangle Method here.
Ever been out for a walk and come across a beautifully painted rock with a picture or affirmation on it? You found a Kindness Rock! Meant to bring a little joy and happiness to the world around us, these little rocks are a fun, easy way to brighten anyone's day. With our Kindness Rocks kit, you can share a little of your own joy with the world.
Looking for new nursery rhymes for Storytime? Try these great resources:
** NEW ** Drive-In Radio Storytime
Remember drive-in movies- sitting in the comfort of your air-conditioned car while watching a film? Well, with this kit, you can recreate that experience- but with storytimes!
This kit includes radio transmitting equipment with detailed set-up instructions. It also includes storytime equipment, like two Big Books, and bells for kids to take home with them! The kit also includes safety equipment, including a fluorescent safety vest, traffic cones, and caution tape.
A minimum of two staff are required to run this program. 3-4 is ideal.
Please note that this equipment can also be used for non-storytime programming as well- bingo nights, radio plays, whatever you can think of!
Contact email@example.com to learn more about how it works and to make a booking.
Click the image to see storytime guidelines, craft ideas, and more!
*** NEW *** Music Storytime Kit
Books • Play This Book, by Jessica Young and Daniel Wiseman • This Magical Musical Night, by Rhonda Gowler Greene • Everybunny Dance, by Ellie Sandall • The Rapping Princess, by Hannah Lee • Clarinet and Trumpet, by Melanie Ellsworth
Music-themed nursery rhymes, early literacy activities, and a music craft are included.
*** NEW *** Wild Animal Storytime Kit
Books • Grumpy Monkey, by Suzanne Lang • Walking Through the Jungle, by Debbie Harter • Everyone Counts, by Judy Sierra • Open Very Carefully! by Nick Bromley • Roar! by Katerina Kerouli
Wild animal puppets, wild animal-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a wild animal craft are included.
Cat Storytime Kit
Books • They All Saw a Cat, by Brendan Wenzel • Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes • Have You Seen My Cat?, by Eric Carle • Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, by James Dean & Eric Litwin • This Book Just Stole My Cat!, by Richard Byrne
Cat puppet, cat-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a cat craft are included.
Dinosaur Storytime Kit
Books • If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur, by Linda Bailey & Colin Jack • How to Be a T-Rex, by Ryan North • Tea Rex, by Molly Idle • Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, by Mo Willems • Lulu and the Brontosaurus, by Judith Viorst • Dinosaur Dance, by Sandra Boyton
Dinosaur puppets, dinosaur-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a dinosaur craft are included.
Farm Animal Storytime Kit
Books • Punk Farm, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka • No Sleep for the Sheep! by Karen Beaumont • Clip Clop, by Nicola Smee • Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack! by Ivor Baddiel • Moo Baa La-La-La, by Sandra Boynton
Farm animal puppets, farm animal-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a farm animal craft are included.
Pirate Storytime Kit
Books • Pirates Love Underpants, by Claire Freedman • How I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long • The Pirates Next Door, by Jonny Duddle • Pirate Princess, by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen • Sammy the Seasick Pirate, by Janelle Springer-Willms
Parrot puppet, pirate-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a pirate-themed craft are included.
Space Storytime Kit
Books • A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, by Seth Fishman • The Darkest Dark, by Chris Hadfield • Life On Mars, by Jon Agee • Margaret and the Moon, by Dean Robbins • There’s an Alien in Your Book, by Tom Fletch
Space-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a space craft are included.
Unicorn Storytime Kit
Books • Thelma the Unicorn, by Aaron Blabey • Not Quite Narwhal, by Jessie Sima • I Am a Unicorn! by Mallory Loehr • Unicorn Day, by Diana Murray • Pugicorn, by Matilda Rose
Unicorn puppet, unicorn-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a unicorn-themed craft are included.
Winter Storytime Kit
Books • Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen • Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner • The Wish Tree, by Kyo Maclear • Sleep Tight Farm, by Eugenie Doyle • Penguins Love Colours, by Sarah Aspinall
Penguin puppet, winter-themed nursery rhymes and early literacy activities, and a winter craft are included.
** NEW ** STEAM Storytime Kit #4: Let's Get Magnetic
Our STEAM Storytime kits are designed to help introduce kids to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) concepts through stories and fun activities. The Let's Get Magnetic kit contains some picture and informational books featuring magnets, a binder full of easy activity ideas, and supplies to help you complete them. NOTE: Not all craft supplies are included.
** NEW ** STEAM Storytime Kit #5: Big & Small
Our STEAM Storytime kits are designed to help introduce kids to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) concepts through stories and fun activities. The Big & Small kit introduces children to the concept of measurement, exploring things that are varying sizes, a binder full of easy activity ideas, and some basic supplies to help you complete them. NOTE: not all craft supplies are included.
** NEW ** STEAM Storytime Kit #6: Splash!
Our STEAM Storytime kits are designed to help introduce kids to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) concepts through stories and fun activities. This “Splash!” kit is full of water-based activities and books. Included are three books, a binder full of easy activity ideas, and some basic supplies to help you include them. NOTE: not all craft supplies are included.
STEAM Storytime Kit #1: Fairytale STEAM
Our STEAM Storytime kits are designed to help introduce kids to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) concepts through stories and fun activities. The fairytale kit contains three fun takes on traditional fairytales, a binder full of easy activity ideas, and some basic supplies to help you complete them. NOTE: Not all craft supplies are included.
STEAM Storytime Kit #2: Inventing
Our STEAM Storytime kits are designed to help introduce kids to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) concepts through stories and fun activities. The Inventing kit contains three books about creative kids sure to inspire participants to want to make something amazing of their own, a binder full of easy activity ideas, and some basic supplies to help you complete them. NOTE: not all craft supplies are included.
STEAM Storytime Kit #3: Things That Go Vrooom!
Our STEAM Storytime kits are designed to help introduce kids to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) concepts through stories and fun activities. This “Things That Go Vrooom!” kit is sure to get kids’ revved up about science and things that go fast. Included are three books, a binder full of easy activity ideas, and some basic supplies to help you include them. NOTE: not all craft supplies are included.
Click the image for more information.
The Stuffy Sleepover kit is a fun way to get kids reading. Children bring their stuffies to the library, drop them off for a sleepover, and pick them up the next day, ready to find out what mischief they got up to overnight! Children will love seeing their toys enjoy the library after hours.
Why is this program a great idea? Because seeing their stuffies reading and enjoying the library, can help encourage kids to read! This CNN article from 2017 tracks the effectiveness of stuffy sleepovers in encouraging children to love picture books. Children who have participated in these sleepovers will often read to their stuffed animals!
This program can be paired with a Sleepover Storytime- invite kids to come to the library for a pajama storytime and read a bedtime book, before leaving their stuffed animals for the night and heading home. Or, it can be a standalone event, with kids dropping their stuffies off and picking them up!
To make things very COVID-safe, we are currently recommending that you do not invite children to bring their own stuffies to the library. While surface transmission risk is thought to be minimal, we don’t recommend handling these sort of soft materials- especially stuffies, which children often cuddle and hold close to their faces! Instead, this kit includes the materials to make a simple, moveable teddy bear craft. Children can complete the craft at home or during a library storytime, and then leave their craft teddy bear for a sleepover instead!
Updated in 2019. This kit contains 35 great books written by Alberta authors for readers of all ages and interests. With fiction, non-fiction, YA, and picture books, this collection highlights the best of Alberta’s publishing industry from the last year. Kit can be borrowed for one month, and books can be loaned out to patrons for a regular loan period of 21 days. No renewals are allowed on Read Alberta Books materials.
12 Indigenous picture books. Kit can be borrowed for one month, and books can be loaned out to patrons for a regular loan period of 21 days. No renewals are allowed on Read Alberta Books materials.
Do you have teen patrons who need a little extra help ahead of taking their learner's license exam? This is a great kit to borrow during spring break or early summer, when many teens are getting ready to take their exam.
Book Binding Kit
This kit has everything you need to bind a custom-created book, or repair a damaged one.
To find tutorials on how to use the bookbinding kit, search "Bindomatic Flex" on YouTube.
** NEW ** Plan of Service
This kit is designed to help you facilitate engagement sessions and planning for your Plan of Service. It is available for longer borrowing periods of 3+ weeks.
Remember the excitement you felt when your teacher brought out the colourful parachute in gym class? Or how much fun it was to play jump rope games with your friends? Our two physical literacy kits let you share that joy through library programming!
This kit contains ten hula hoops- a perfect way to get kids moving!Hula hoops also work great as a physical distancing tool, to help kids remember to keep their distance from each other during programs.
Contains balls, frisbees, pylons, and jump ropes so you can play a variety of yard and playground games at your library! Contains an activity guidebook and a booklet of classic jump rope rhymes to get you started with your programming activities. Great for summer reading clubs!
Contains a play parachute, rubber chicken, bean bags, and a booklet full of games and activities to help guide your programming activities (if the kids don't decide for you what games they want to play!)
Outdoor programs don't have to be limited to the summer months. This winter version of our popular physical literacy kits encourages kids to get outside and build snowmen, construct igloos, and even go sledding. Comes with several snow brick shapers, snow paints/sprayers (to write in/colour the snow!), a snowman kit, and a guide to outdoor winter games and activities you can use to round out your program.
A fantastic passive program that library users can enjoy even when their library is closed, the Sidewalk Obstacle Course is a path along the ground outside the library made of chalk!
Libraries will receive a kit containing chalk paint supplies and paintbrushes, as well as ideas and props and stencils for their obstacle course. You can then draw out the course, including lots of fun challenges for participants to complete! This is a fun and easy passive program that is perfectly suited for the sunniest place in Canada- after all, the obstacle course will disappear if it rains or snows!
We have two kits currently available:
These kits are a cross between StoryWalks® and Escape Rooms, and are intended for children of reading age. Solve puzzles and collect clues in order to escape!
Each kit contains 7 corrugated plastic signs, measuring 18x24 inches.
Please contact Kait for more information and/or to make a booking!
We have a number of StoryWalk® kits currently available:
Each kit contains between 10 and 20 boards.
A set of 12 wooden sandwich boards are available. When booking your storywalk, please let SLS know if you would like to use the sandwich boards, or if you want metal stakes.
Before borrowing one of these kits, please read the following information.
To borrow one of these StoryWalk® kits, or if you have any questions, contact the Client Services Librarian.
To request promotional materials, please contact the Client Services Librarian at least one week prior to your event.
Create 3D art with the 3Doodler Start pens!
These 3D pens are safe, fun, and easy to use, allowing you to create 3-dimensional art- and even write in the air.
These pens are low-temperature and are suitable for ages 8+.
The "advanced" version of the 3D pens, the 3Doodler Create pens reach much higher temperatures and allow you to create much more intricate art. These pens can become very hot and are not suitable for those under 16.
Snap Circuits are easy to assemble, snap-together pieces of circuitry. Children can learn about circuits and electricity safely, by putting together circuits that light up, spin, make noise, and more!
The Silhouette Cameo 4 is a cutting machine that allows you to create a wide range of DIY projects.
Please contact the Client Services Librarian to access the included guides, for introductory documents and easy beginner projects.
Available on request:
* For the moment, the kit may be borrowed multiple times, but please note that due to the cost of supplies, we may switch to a "once per year" model similar to the button maker in the future.
Recommended for adult use.
Choose what colour vinyl you want!
Get ready for the Sphero BOLT!
This is an adorable little coding robot that is available for member libraries to borrow for programming! There are so many ways to play: set up an obstacle course and navigate the robot through it; plan a route and code Sphero to follow it; build chariots and race your Spheros- the possibilities are endless!
The Sphero can be controlled using a joystick in the Sphero PLAY app, allowing you to drive the robot around like a racecar. It can also be coded to follow specific paths and instructions, using the Sphero EDU app.
One of TIME's best inventions for 2021!
This screenless coding robot is perfect for introducing young children to coding- and it's super fun!
This coding toy is a small car that will drive slower, faster, and change direction, based on the coloured square it drives over. A small scanner on the bottom of the car reads the ground beneath it, and tells it to stop, slow down, speed up, turn 45 or 90 degrees left and right- and celebrate when it reaches the final square!
Recommended for ages 4+.
*Please note that due to supply costs, this kit may only be borrowed once per library per year. However, if you would like to purchase your own button parts and borrow our machine, that option is available to you! Contact the Client Services Librarian for details.
Recommended for all ages (adult supervision required)
Osmo transforms iPads into devices that allow users to use physical items like Hot Wheels, blocks, and pen and paper to interact with a digital world! Race real Hot Wheels cars on a digital track, learn some basic coding, play word and math games, or draw pictures that magically animate! Osmo is suitable for kids aged 4-12 and makes an especially great STEM program for younger participants. Learn more about Osmo here.
Recommended for ages 3-12.
Ever wanted to play piano with bananas*? Make your own Dance Dance Revolution board? Play Tetris with a Play-Doh controller? You can do all of these things and more with our MakeyMakey kit! MakeyMakey are “the invention kit for everyone”.
*Bananas or other perishable items are not included.
Basic computer programming has never been easier (or more fun!) than with Ozobot. These tiny robots read colour code and travel on paths created by you -- all you need to make them go is some paper and markers. Make them race, solve a maze, spell your name, dance -- if you can draw it, these little bots will go there.
Recommended for ages 5+,
Experience virtual reality in the library space! Our two Oculus Quests are fully wireless VR headsets designed to be easy for anyone to set up and use. You do not need a large open space, a computer, or a television to use this kit. Suitable for all ages! If you would like information about or assistance with running this program, please contact the Client Services Librarian. Games included:
Many more, including roller coasters and fishing!
Recommended for ages 13+
This fun building kit contains straws (hollow plastic tubes, approx 8 inches in length) and connectors (six-sided plastic connector pieces), which kids can use to build... almost anything they can imagine! They can practice simple shapes like cubes and stars, or build castles, spaceships, and arches.
It's very open-ended and lots of fun, while also giving a chance to practicing STEM skills- namely, engineering! It is recommended for 4+, due to the smaller connector pieces (approx one inch in length). Use on its own as a program, or combine with other building stations (Legos, Keva planks) for a building party!
Recommended for ages 5+
Keva Planks can be used to build some seriously impressive structures. These small wooden planks (all the same size and width) fit together without using ANY glue or connectors, letting you create whatever you can think of, from marble runs to towers taller than you! If you can think of it, you can build it using Keva. Two kits of 400 planks each are available to borrow. This kit is suitable for all ages and can be used as either a passive program, part of a STEAM/maker night, or on its own. Encourages teamwork, creativity, and engineering skills!