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.

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.

Learn and Play Bus in the News