We have a variety of wonderful programs happening year-round at the library, interested in receiving news and updates about children's programs? Join our email list to receive monthly updates.
Students are invited to join us as we learn about the basics of coding. Each class will acquaint children with a coding concept through the use of fun, educational apps. Students will create interactive stories, animation, and even video games! Children in grades 1-3 are invited to join us on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 or the last Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Students in grades 4-6 can join us on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Registration is required and begins two weeks before each program. This free program is sponsored by a grant from the Union County Freeholders.
Independent readers are invited to hone their skills by reading to therapy dogs! We'll be joined by certified therapy dogs on the second Tuesday of each month, call or stop by the library to reserve a spot. Registration is required and begins two weeks before the program.
Children in grades 1-6 are invited to join us for Lego Club on the third Tuesday of each month. We'll be free-building and sharing out work in the Raddin Room, no registration necessary. Please note: Lego Club does not meet in June, July, or August.
Sensory Library Time
This after-hours program was created for children with autism and their families. Join us from 6-8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 8. Families will enjoy browsing the collection in a space that minimizes unnecessary stimulation while connecting with each other. Towards the end of our time together, we will hold two sessions of a small group program, the first at 6:30-7:00 and another from 7:00-7:30. Tickets for small group programs will be given out on a first come, first served basis beginning at 6:00 on the day of the program.
Touch the Music presents The Nutcracker
Touch the Music is a unique music program that gives children an extraordinary opportunity to be in touch and explore real orchestral instruments. Learn about the story behind Tchaikovsky's famous suite, hear about the different instruments featured, and try your hand at creating music of your own! Saturday, December 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Critical Thinking Hour with Eye Level
Eye Level is a local business that focuses on helping students develop their critical and analytical thinking skills. They'll be leading a program designed to help develop depth perception, problem solving, and reasoning skills. Participants will utilize learning materials such as numerical figures, blocks and shapes, clear paper, colored blocks, mirrors, and wooden blocks to solve problems. A drop-in program will be held on Saturday, January 6 and 27 and on February 10 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Registration is not required.
Family M.E.S.S. (Math, Engineering, and Science Saturday)
This award winning (2016 Best Practices in Early Literacy Award, New Jersey State Library) early literacy program encourages families to learn together through play! Families explore a series of STEM based stations, allowing them to learn at their own pace. We have a different set of activities each month. Registration is required and can be done up to two weeks in advance. We will be holding a session on Saturday, January 20 and February 17 at 10:30 a.m.
Big Jeff Music
We’ll be joined by Big Jeff for a special musical performance to celebrate another year of 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten! Children ages 2-5 and their faimiles are invited to drop in on Saturday, January 13 at 10:30 a.m.
Join us for one of our many early literacy story times. Registration is not required for any of our story times, but we ask that you arrive on time as we may not be able to accomodate latecomers.
Story Time Yoga
Join instructor Lisa Ferraro as she teaches children to release the sillies and find the calm! Children ages 2-5 will use props to build strength, flexibility, and self-confidence through play on Thursday mornings at 10:15 from November 2-December 28 (we will not have class on November 23). This story time mixes poses, games, storytelling, art and music and is well suited to active children and caregivers.
3-4-5 Story Time
Get school ready at the library! This enriching story time was created especially for our preschool-aged friends. Children ages 3-5 are invited to join us when our fall session begins on Monday, January 29 at 10:15 a.m. and runs through March 19.
Toddler Story Time
Our two-year-old friends and their caregivers are invited to join us for some simple stories on Tuesday mornings at 10:15. Our fall session begins on January 30 and runs through March 20.
Lapsit Story Time
Our youngest library users are invited to join us at 10:15 on Wednesday mornings for this short, lively story time designed for children ages 3-12 months. Join us from January 31 through March 21.
Baby Story Time
Children ages 13-23 months are invited to join us at 10:15 on Thursday mornings for this interactive story time. We’ll be introducing new songs, stories, and sounds from February 1 through March 22.
Saturday Story Time, Happy Teeth!
Bobbie Altieri, a registered dental hygienist from Westfield Pediatric Dental Group, will join us to teach preschoolers and their caregivers about good dental health. She will read tooth-themed books, introduce children to the tools that are used in a dental office, and sing a song that teaches proper brushing techniques. This story time is a great way to assuage anxiety about any upcoming dentist visits! Date TBA.
The wealth of information at the library isn’t limited to books; we also have a wide range of online resources!
For Emerging Readers
Children learning to read on their own will love our selection of online books that will read along with them. The library has content from:
PebbleGo! A children's discovery database suitable for pre-K through 4th grade. Topics include Animals, Earth and Space, Biographies, and Social Sciences. Contact the library for login information.
TumbleBooks: TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of talking picture books. Tumblebooks are created by adding animation, sound, music, and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book that children can read or have read to them. To access TumbleBookLibrary, use cranfordpl as your user name and libra as your password.
Capstone Interactive Kids Library: Capstone capitalizes on the use of multimedia, providing a great interactive resource to be used by teachers, parents, and students to enhance reading and reading comprehension levels. Use username cranford and password learn.
Finished a book you love and looking for something just like it? These resources will help to pair you with your next read.
NoveList K-8: This searchable database provides a simple way to find the perfect book. It focuses on fiction reading materials that support the school curriculum, as well as the recreational reading interests of children and students from preschool through middle school. In addition, Novelist K-8 Plus features a section devoted to non-fiction reading materials.
BookWizard: This tool, created by Scholastic, allows you to search for read-alikes or by reading level.
Looking for another source for a paper? We've got you covered: search thousands of educational articles contained in the library's databases:
CultureGrams: CultureGrams™ is the leading primary source reference for concise, reliable, and up-to-date cultural information on the countries of the world. It goes beyond mere facts and figures to deliver an insider's perspective on daily life and culture, including the history, customs, and lifestyles of the world's people.
Dinosaurs: A detailed resource from Marshall Cavendish that features plenty of maps, drawings, and diagrams. Articles include 41 general topics and a breakout by Saurischian versus Ornithischian.
Elements: Find out about the origin, discovery, special characteristics, and importance of the 117 known elements, from aluminum to zirconium.
Explorers and Exploration: This resource profiles many explorers who have broken new paths and offers historical, geographical and motivational perspectives on their accomplishments.
International Wildlife: Learn about the physical features and lifestyles of species in the animal kingdom.
Inventors and Inventions: Marshall Cavendish makes this very easy to search by name and category of device. Searchable images include drawings, diagrams, maps, timelines, and photos.
PebbleGo Next: This database was created especially for researchers in grades 3-6. It's the place to go for questions about U.S. States and American Indians. Each article contains a "read to me" feature, videos, timelines, and more! Sign in with username Cranford and password learn.
World Book Online: Contains every article from the 22-volume print version of the World Book Encyclopedia, plus state-of-the art multimedia and editor-reviewed Web sites.
Children learning to use a computer keyboard have a few free resources available to them:
Typing Web: This typing program contains tutorials and tests for a variety of abilities: from introductions to advanced keyboarding tests!
Dance Mat Typing: This game, created by the BBC, familiarizes children with touch typing before encouraging them to improve their typing speed. Once you've mastered typing, take a look at their other tech tutorials!
Type Racer: It's a race to type as fast as you can, challenge opponents from around the world!