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.
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!
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!
Yardzee (giant Yahtzee)
Giant Snakes and Ladders
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!
Run, Jump, Throw, Skip Kit
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!)
Winter Physical Literacy Kit
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.
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?
This kit contains everything you need to set up an escape room in your library and is suitable for both larger and smaller spaces. Suitable for ages 8 and up. 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.
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!
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!
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!
*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.
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 MaKey MaKey kit! MaKey MaKeys are “the invention kit for everyone”.
Bananas* or other perishable items are not included.
Great for kids and teens! Perler bead art (link to examples) 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. Ships with all necessary supplies, including beads, pegboards, and iron, as well as suggested patterns.
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.Kit contains:
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.Kit contains:
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.Kit contains:
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.
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.Books:
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.
Sloth Puppet & Books
Make your storytime sparkle with this kit!
A classic storytime theme!
Read Alberta Books Kit
Updated annually. 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.
Hula hoops: the perfect distancing tool! This kit includes ten hula hoops, plus a tape measure and masking tape. Use the hoops to demonstrate to kids where they should be sitting, in order to maintain a six-foot distance from each other.
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.Kit contains:
A perennial favourite. Minecraft is already installed on public computers, so your patrons can build and battle Creepers right away!
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 three StoryWalk® kits currently available:
Each kit contains between 10 and 20 boards, and accompanying H-frame metal stakes. Instructions for assembly are included.
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.
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!Kit contents include:
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!Kit contents include: