Wednesday Art Group – September 28

Toddlers, Twos, and Threes Art Group had its first session on Wednesday, September 28th, from 10 am to 11. About two dozen children joined in the fun, producing enough fingerpainted masterpieces to fill a gallery.

Fingerpainting is a messy business, so not every kid who came into the space wanted to stick their hands (and other body parts) into the colorful blobs of paint. Luckily, the art space is equipped with various painting tools, from paintbrushes to foam rollers and wooden stamps. One little girl shrieked when her hand was placed in the paint, but immediately took to the paintbrush. Not every child is going to be drawn to the same medium, so try out different methods if the first attempt doesn’t take.

The session was also the first time a lot of parents and children got to experience the updates to the art space, including a brand new floor. By the looks of this past Wednesday’s turn out, that floor is going to be well broken in before the end of the year.

Next week’s craft: Apple Printing! (For an idea of what this entails, check out this example. A more grown-up example can be found by watching this video.)

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am to 11, and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elizabeth Moyer.

A special thanks to Elizabeth Moyer for allowing us to use her lovely photographs from Wednesday’s group. Her blog is


Storytime Picks from Monday, September 26th

Just a quick reminder about PTLL’s weekly storytime, taking place every Monday at 10 am and hosted by our intern, Emily. She’s prepared for audiences of all ages, so don’t be afraid to bring your infants, toddlers, and older kids for songs, stories, and more!

This week we read two stories about mothers and their sometimes mischievous, always loving children:

No, David! by David Shannon


Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anne Dewdney

Do your kids want more of David and Lil Llama? Check out these additional titles:

David books

Oh, David!

David Goes to School

David Gets in Trouble

Llama Llama books

Llama Llama Misses Mama

Llama Llama Mad at Mama

Llama Llama Home with Mama

RADical Days Are Here!

Saturday, September 24, marks the start of RADical Days, three weeks of special events and  free admission days to various cultural sites, sponsored by the very fund that supports their existence.  RADical Days was started ten years ago as a way of thanking the citizens of this region for contributing to the regional assets of Allegheny County since the start of the RAD tax in 1995.

If you’re thinking about celebrating RADical Days with little ones, here are some choice selections that are appropriate for families and children of all ages:

(Please note that admissions to RAD-funded museums, attractions, etc. are not free for the entire span of RADical Days. Check the full schedule of events to find out what’s happening every day to October 16th.)

Saturday, September 24th

Hartwood Acres Hay Day
Free Admission 11am-5pm
Kids of all ages can enjoy fun fall activities like hay rides, pony rides, petting zoo, face-painting, bounce houses, strolling artists, arts & crafts, food and beverages for sale and more!

Sunday, September 25th

Carnegie Science Center
Free Admission 10am-5pm

Saturday, October 1st

Boyce Mayview Park: The Outdoor Classroom
Free Admission 9am-3pm
Explore Boyce Mayview Park with The Outdoor Classroom naturalist staff. Enjoy a birding stroll. Look for salamanders along Chartiers Creek. Bring a picnic or relax in our peaceful atmosphere as families explore Hawk Meadow during a nature scavenger hunt.

Free Admission 11am-4pm
Free walk-on activities onboard Explorer at dock only.  Visit the world’s first green educational vessel and take part in free environmental science activities.

Sunday, October 2nd

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Free Admission Noon-5pm
Take off on fantastic flights of imagination and return to earth to build and launch a boat down a 53-foot waterway, ink your own silkscreen, catch words that fall from the sky, visit King Friday’s Palace & much more. In 2011 the Museum was named one of the nation’s ten top children’s museums by Parents Magazine. Expected performers are the Otets Paissi, the dance ensemble of the Bulgarian Cultural Center, and the Aeolian Winds, featuring musicians from the Edgewood Symphony and the Pittsburgh Philharmonic.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Natural History Museum
Free Admission Noon-5pm
Visit one of the world’s best natural history museums, and the art museum where the local and the global meet, in one dynamic destination! Enjoy hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups, and see some of the most exciting collections of art and science anywhere on Earth.

Tuesday, October 4th

PNC Park
Free Admission 10am-3pm (tours only)
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Best Ballpark in America. Places you may visit are the batting cages, press box, seating area, and Highmark Legacy Square. Tours take place on the hour from 10am to 3pm with the last tour starting at 2pm; 60 guest maximum, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please enter at the Left Field Gate on Federal Street, by the Willie Stargell Statue. All areas, date and times are subject to change without notice. Please check the RAD web site for information if a cancellation occurs.

Saturday, October 8th

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CLP – EAST LIBERTY!
Free Admission 10am-3pm
Help us celebrate our one year anniversary in our newly expanded space. Stop by for activities, entertainment and treats! You never know what surprises await you and your family at the Library!

Sunday, October 9th

Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium
Free Admission 9am-5pm (gates close at 4pm)
Come see some of the most amazing animals from around the world, including tigers, elephants, polar bears, gorillas giraffes, sand tiger sharks, and much more. Performances by Pittsburgh CLO Mini-Stars (11AM), Gateway to the Arts roster artists Joe Wos (noon) and Betsy Lawrence (12:30P) and Jazz Workshop (1P).  Sponsored by PPG Industries.

Friday, October 14th

National Aviary: World Egg Day!
Free Admission 10am-5pm
Get up-close to over 600 birds of more than 200 species from eagles and owls to penguins and flamingos! Frolic with your favorite feathery friends in our five free-flight walk-through exhibits. The National Aviary is America’s only indoor bird zoo and is located just blocks from PNC Park.

Saturday, October 15th

Attack Theatre’s Game Day!
Free Admission 1-3pm
Game Day encourages young people and their families to share in creative thought, expression and play with professional dancers in a safe, comfortable space. Game Day is filled with short performances, physical games (life-sized chess, bowling, foursquare and more), movement explorations and tasty treats.

Don’t Miss Out on Our Weekly Storytime!

Storytime is back!

Join us every Monday at 10 am for songs, stories, crafts, and fun, led by our PTLL intern, Emily. Appropriate for kids of all ages (and parents too).

This past week, we unleashed our inner dinosaurs and roared along with these great books:


Dinosaur Roar! by Henrietta and Paul Stickland


How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jan Yolen and Mark Teague


If your kids can’t get enough of those prehistoric wonders, give these books a try:

Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs!

by Sandra Boynton

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

by Byron Barton

Dinosaur VS. Bedtime
by Bob Shea

The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct
by Mo Willems

Danny and the Dinosaur
by Sid Hoff

Lulu and the Brontosaurus
by Judith Viorst
illustrated by Lane Smith

A Brief Introduction to the Blog

If you’re one of the many PTLL parents bustling through all of the day’s responsibilities, you might wonder to yourself, “I already have so many things I read and sites I check on a regular basis. Why should I make time for a blog related to the Toy Lending Library?”

Good question.

The Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library has many “spaces”: A toy library-space. A play-space. A party-space. Even a bookclub-space. But where is a space for our members to express their personal perspectives on parenting?

Where is a space for members to share experiences at the library or information related to family-friendly programming and events around town?

Where is a space that allows members to share photos or video footage of a birthday party held at the library?

This space. The Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library’s blogspace.

This blog is meant to be as much of a reflection of the library’s members as it is of the library itself. We hope that you will make time not just to read the content on the blog, but to contribute stories of your own. In that way, you will be helping to bring the community of PTLL’s various real-life spaces to this virtual space.