Children were hopping with excitement for an "egg-stra" special story time at the Beatrice Public Library.

The theme for the week was eggs, and the stories focused on Easter and spring animals like bunnies, chickens and ducks. Even skunks were discussed, as one was the Easter bunny’s assistant in a book of the same name by Jan Thomas.

After listening to several stories – which were read by youth services librarian Joanne Neemann – the children had a chance to play several games. They tossed egg-shaped bean bags over-easy into a basket, stacked egg shells on top of one another and took turns balancing eggs on spatulas as they walked across the room.

They ended story time with an egg hunt, the kids walking though book stacks and tables looking for bright colored shells with candy and stickers inside.

Neeman said the story time themes and activities change every week.

“Next week’s theme is spring, so we’ll have an art activity making flowers,” Neeman said.

Neeman stressed the importance of children learning literacy at an early age.

Studies have found that by age 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers.

“It just help these young kids get ready for school,” Neeman said. “So reading out loud to your children is important.”

Neeman said she tries to incorporate things like counting and color recognition into each story time.

“Anything preschool related I try to incorporate in story time,” Neeman said. “As well as just your normal sitting and listening, sharing, just a group activity where kids learn all kinds of things at the same time.”

Story time happens every Wednesday at 10:30a.m. at the library, with no sign ups required.

“They can come every Wednesday, they can come for one and never come back,” Neeman said, “but I have several regulars that do come in, and it’s a joy to have them. We just want to have fun, and have fun for moms and grandmas and daycare providers, whoever wants to bring their children.”

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