Only certified grandparents need apply. That's the word from Montgomery County's Aspen Hill Library and Noyes Children's Library, which offer Grandparent Kits, an idea other libraries are considering.
"The kits are meant as an icebreaker between children and grandparents who might not see each other often," says Noyes librarian Joan Nelson.
Each kit has a theme and is geared to a particular age grandchild, with books, toys, games, puzzles, records and novel objects related to the theme, plus booklists and bookmarks to keep.
In the Noyes' "Peter Rabbit and Friends" kit, for example, there are Beatrix Potter books, recipes for "Fierce Bad Rabbit's Carrot Raisin Salad" and "Dormouse Children's Nutty Frozen Banana," instructions for making a clay dough rabbit; in "Dinosaurs Galore," books, rubber dinosaurs, instructions for making a thumbprint tyrannosaurus rex. A "Please Touch" kit for babies includes a ball, music box, toys, books, a record of lullabyes.
Aspen Hill's kits include such themes as "Goodnight" with books, lullabyes, puppets and "Do You Know Your Colors?" with records, puzzles, color tubs.
The kits are most in demand around holidays and summer, when there are waiting lists. Each kit may be borrowed for three weeks.