Today Little M and I went to the first summer reading circle at Partners Village Store in Westport, MA; pictured above. Partner's combines the quintessential coastal New England gift store filled with quality nautical and seashore home accents; books; toys; candy and gifts with an attached "kitchen" offering fresh sandwiches; beverages; and baked goods to eat in or to go. Their online store does not do justice to all the wonderful items tucked into every nook and cranny of this location.
The free story program is held almost year round with a short break in June. During the cooler months, the reading circle is held indoors. Miss Joan; a kind, grandmotherly woman, shares stories; a craft; and snack of fresh-baked cookies and apple juice.
Today, we sat outside on the spacious side porch in the warm breeze while Miss Joan read stories about the beach. The sugar cookies were frosted to resemble beach balls, and the craft consisted of gluing colored sand to pretty ocean blue shades of paper. Five sea creature stickers were passed out to each child, along with crayons to complete their masterpieces.
Little M (at 26 months) is a little young for the types of crafts offered, but he does enjoy the stories and snack! At our previous visit indoors in June, there were many children around M's age as there are no age limits given, but I think children at least three years and up would enjoy it best.
The indoor version especially requires the self-control of older preschoolers, as the group gathers in the toy section of the gift store and spills out into other areas -- all which contain shelves of too many small, interesting (and sometimes breakable) items. Luckily M was very cautious the first time we visited and did not start to explore until the end. I'm glad they have moved outside for the summer -- no temptations!
What: Children's Reading Circle
When: Every Thursday from 10:30 - 11:30 AM (3-week break late June/early July)
865 Main Road
Ages: All welcome; although best suited for children at least three years old and up.