Learn & Play Bus

learn and play small

learn-play-busHere it comes, around the corner – the Learn & Play Bus! Babies, toddlers and preschoolers can climb aboard and dig into play that cultivates pre-reading skills. Your library is the best resource for raising a reader.

Learn & Play Bus Schedule

More stops will be added when they become available. We hope to eventually be in all different areas of the community. We also will be looking at special Saturday times and will be exploring evening stops in the future.

Families can come and go during the two-hour stops. We will have between 1-2 short story times in between learning play with puzzles, art, blocks and imaginative play. Families can stay as long as they want and should feel comfortable leaving whenever they need to.


9 – 11:30am
5 – 7pm
Velma Paris Community Center, 6715 SW Westview Rd
Countryside United Methodist Church, 3221 SW Burlingame Rd


9–11:30am Hillcrest Community Center, 1800 SE 21st St
1–3pm Auburn Community Center, 121 W 11th St, Auburn


9–11:30am Mother Teresa Catholic Church, 2014 NW 46th St
1–3pm Tecumseh South Elementary School, 3345 SE Tecumseh Rd, Tecumseh


9–11:30am Oakland Community Center, 801 NE Poplar St
1–3:30pm Walmart, 2630 SE California Ave

Frequently asked questions

What is the Learn & Play Bus? The Learn & Play Bus is an early childhood learning space.

What does it do? It enables the library’s services for children to be delivered at stops throughout Shawnee County.

What happens on it? During each two-hour stop, visitors will encounter circle time, storytime and unstructured play. The bus packs toys, manipulatives, games and books. Books for checkout are all-time favorites hand-picked by children’s librarians.

Who’s staffing the bus? Sherry Hess, the library’s early childhood learning coordinator and a veteran early childhood professional, oversees the Learn & Play Bus. It will always be staffed with two staff members.

Who can access it? Children ages 0-5 and their guardians and/or caregivers. On the bus, parents can actively learn ways to interact with their children that will support early literacy development.

Why is it important for this age group to have a service like this? On the Learn and Play Bus, the foundation for learning is established. Its environment is specially designed to where play experiences help children learn and grow.  Because children’s play is serious learning.

How did this initiative come about? The Learn & Play Bus is a joint effort between the library and USD 501 Parents As Teachers, USD 501 Sheldon Head Start, Shawnee County Health Agency, TARC, Washburn Institute of Technology, USD 437 Parents as Teachers, Child Care Aware of Northeast Kansas and the Topeka Rescue Mission. Funding provided by the Friends of the Library and through many generous donors to The Library Foundation.