Early Learning

Kids Got Talent Show

Monday, July 15th 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Presented by Summer Reading Program kids!  Registration to participate closes July 8th.  No sign up to attend.

Summer LEGO Club

Summer 2024:  June 5th, June 12th, June 19th, June 26th, July 3rd, July 10th, July 17th For children ages 4-12 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm No sign up required.
PJ Story Night

PJ Story Night

Spring 2024: April 11th and May 9th Recommended for families with children ages 2-7. 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Children may come dressed in their PJs with a favorite stuffy. *No sign up required*
1000 Books Before Kindergarten
1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Educational Bags

These bags help facilitate the five early literacy practices of reading, talking, singing, writing and playing.  View a list of bags.

The Children’s Council of Altoona has generously provided a collection of books, activity sheets, puzzles, games and toys that focus on a specific topic.

These collections have been put in themed bags and are available for a 3 week check out.  One bag may be checked out per library card.  



Made just for little explorers!  Kids Launchpads are loaded with learning apps, videos, games and more for hours of interactive learning and play.

Interested in checking out a Launchpad?  Please bring the empty case to the circulation desk for check out and for the library staff to insert the device, cord, and AC power adapter.

  • 1 device per household
  • 1 week check out
  • Must be returned to APL’s circulation desk




Check out a STEAM kit today and bring fun, educational, hands-on, interactive learning into your home!

Science – Technology – Engineering – Art – Math

  • Kits check out for 1 week and only 1 kit per household.
  • An adult must be present at check out.
  • Kits must be returned to Altoona Public Library and are not renewable.
  • Kits available for PreK – Grade 3 and Grade 4 & up.


Biscuit Phonics

STEAM-to-Go Phonics Kits

Each kit offers books coupled with fun and engaging games that help children grow in their understanding of commonly used consonants and word families. These kits are in clear plastic bags and located on top of the early reader shelving unit. Six out of the seven character named phonics kits include books featuring favorites such as Biscuit, Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, Marvel, Peppa Pig, and Pinkalicious. 

  • Kits check out for 1 week and only 1 kit per household.
  • Kits must be returned to Altoona Public Library and are not renewable.

Early Literacy Play Area

Come on in to the library and let your child learn through play. Our children’s area features a train table, puppet show theater, doll house, LEGO table and interactive literacy panels.  

This play area facilitates the five early literacy practices of reading, talking, singing, writing and playing.  

Engaging in these types of daily interactions with your child will help develop the skills that are needed to enter school ready to learn.  

Literacy Play Space

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Altoona Public Library has a new early literacy program for families with children who have not yet entered kindergarten (ages 1-5).  The goal of the program is for parents to read 1,000 books to their child before they enter school.  It’s never too early to start reading to your child!

To get started, simply visit the library and let a staff member know that you are interested.  We will send you home with a blue sheet of paper to be used to record the books that read to your child. You can record the titles of the books, or just cross off the numbers as you read. Books read by grandparents, siblings, babysitters, teachers, etc. count as well, and if your child has a well-loved book that they want to read over and over again, each reading counts as a book.  After you and your child have read 100 books, bring your record sheet back to the library where we’ll stamp it, give you your sheet for your next 100 books, and a train mural for your child to take home. Your child will get a sticker to put on the train for each 100 books, and they’ll also get to put a sticker on our giant train mural at the library!  Your child will receive a free book after they’ve reached 500 books and 1,000 books.  When your child finishes the program, they will receive a certificate and their name will proudly be displayed on the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten wall of fame in our lobby.

1,000 books may sound like a lot, but you’ll be amazed by how fast they add up.  No matter how far you get, your child will learn and grow as they read with you.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Links for Guardians

Reach Out & Read  This pages from the Reach Out & Read outlines the importance of reading aloud to your child, and cites the scientific research that proves it.  The website also has a few other handy resources for parents on their Literacy Materials Resource Page.  Reach Out & Read is an organization that partners with medical facilities to distribute books to families and encourage reading to children.

2024 RIF Activity Calendars:  Explore seasonal reading activities for every day of the month.  Reading is Fundamental provides printable calendars in both English and Spanish.

Just in Time Parenting Newsletters – Free parenting e-newsletters matched to your child’s age (prenatal – 5 years).

Is Your Child Developing on Time? – Every year, more than one million children with unidentified disabilities enter school with issues that put them behind their peers.  Easter Seals makes it easy to find out if your child is at risk.  Simply by answering age-specific questions via the Ages & Stages Questionnaires – a free screening tool available through generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust – you can see if your child’s developmental progress is on schedule.  It takes less than 20 minutes to make sure your child is reaching his or her developmental milestones.

Talking is Teaching – A public  awareness and action campaign that helps parents recognize their power to boost their children’s early brain and vocabulary development through simple, everyday actions – like describing things while walking outside, or singing songs together during bath time.

Links for Guardians