ROY — Teddy bears were in rich abundance Monday night as families participated in Weber County Library South Branch’s Teddy Bear Picnic.
Children of all ages sat on blankets and clutched teddy bears and other stuffed animals as they sang songs and read stories. They even danced, too.
After the picnic, the families made “bear ears” and held a parade with their stuffed animal friends. They also snacked on graham cracker sandwiches with frosting and gummy bears.
The proceedings weren’t the usual “library quiet” when the children sang a song about bear roars. Roars and giggles could be heard all around, and some of the stuffed bears got a little out of hand as children tossed them into the air and caught them at the right moments. The kids excitedly caught bubbles blown by library employees and raced to let their stuffed bears catch the bubbles.
Mackenzie Hampton clearly enjoyed every minute of the festivities. The 11-year-old carefully laid her teddy bear “Sparkle” on the table as she made her bear ears.
“It’s really awesome and really fun,” she said.
She said she likes to come to any family event the library holds because she makes new friends and enjoys it as a social event.
Telesa Nicholes, Weber South Branch children’s librarian, was pleased with the large turnout at the picnic. She has been at the south branch for only one month but had heard of the great turnouts for such events, which are held every couple of months.
Library time is held during the day every week, and many moms bring their whole family to theevening events.
“We try to offer a variety of programs for the kids,” said Nicholes, who tries to make the nighttime events a little more special. “I like having fun with the kids and connecting them to stories and songs they have never heard before.”
Nicholes and other library employees shared several bear-themed books and bear-themed songs with the families. Nicholes finds many of her resources for the events in books that are in the library. She said they are always a great resource.
Roy resident J.R. Simmons enjoyed bringing his family for a family home evening activity.
“We like to come on the big activity nights,” Simmons said as he held two of his young children on his lap.
He said he was impressed with all the bear-themed activities and likes the chance to give his children the opportunity to interact with other kids.
For Kristen Guymon, the event breaks up her day a bit. Her husband has been deployed to Afghanistan for the past four months, so she appreciates the chance to get out and enjoy a free activity with her three children.
She said each of her children spent much time picking out a favorite stuffed animal to bring and choosing the right pajamas to wear. Her 6-year-old daughter, Joselyn, was especially excited because she misses library time during the day while she is at school. She danced around with her stuffed doll, occasionally kissing it as she participated in the activities.
Nicholes said the event is a great lead-in to a summer chock full of free, fun activities. The library’s theme for the summer is “Summer Adventures,” and weekly activities will be held for children and teens.
For more information visit the website at www.weberpl.lib.ut.us.