Let’s Play Library! Pretend Play Library Printables and Ideas

I originally wrote this pretend play library post way back in 2016. Amazingly, people are still finding this and reading it. So, I decided to give it a little update… and brand new adorable library dramatic play printables.

Free library Dramatic Play Printables, 3 photos: role name tags, open sign, play library card

When your kids are stuck inside on a lousy weather day, the last thing you want to hear is “I’m bored.” One fun activity you can suggest is playing library in your classroom or playroom.

Helping to set up a pretend play library is part of the fun, so let your kids use their imagination.

Mine like to line books up along a wide windowsill and lay them out on the playroom rug. If you have a nice bookshelf that displays the books well, then that would be a great choice.

Printable Pretend Library Cards

You can make each child a pretend library card, or print out one of the simple ones I’ve made for you.

Ideas for playing library with toddlers and preschoolers. Part of the A-Z of Indoor Activities blog hop.

UPDATE: You can still get the above card in my free printable, but I wanted to add some even cuter ones for you!

pretend play library cards showing front "My Library Card" and back that says "I promise to return these books" and has a fake bar code.
This shows the front of one card and the back of another card – so you can see both sides.

Using a Pretend Library Card

Pretending to check out books is a lot of fun. My kids use their toy cash register. They pretend to scan each book’s bar code, and put them into a bag to carry “home.”

(Disclosure: Books and Giggles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.)

I wish, for this game, that our library still used the old card-and-pocket system. My kids have no idea what that is. I may have to tell them about it.

I can still picture filling out my name on the cards at my elementary school. And I coveted the librarian’s date stamp, with its rotating months and dates. You can still buy library pockets at teacher supply stores. It would be another way to get kids to practice writing their names.

Teaching Children about the Library

You can also read books about the library. One of our very favorites is Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen. Imagine a gentle lion who visits the library every day for storytime. What would happen if he roared?

For another sweet book that tells little ones what to expect at the real library, you might like Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn.

Dramatic Play Library Open/Closed Signs

For this update, I wanted to create some more fun printables for you!

With the library lion in mind, I added a Library is Open / Library is Closed sign. It prints out as one page, and then you fold it in half so that it can stand on its own. Here is the “open” side:

Sign that says "The library is Open" with a picture of a lion reading a book

The other side says “The Library is Closed”.

One of my twins, who has sadly now outgrown dramatic play like this, still loves to read. She walked up to the “Closed” sign this afternoon and had to ham it up with a big “no-oooo!” and a frown!

top view of table tent style sign where one side reads "The library is Open" and the other side reads "The library is Closed"

Library Role Name Tags

Finally, I also included a page of library name tags. Slip these into a child-safe badge holder like the kind with a clip or a breakaway lanyard.

inserts for name tag lanyards: Library Helper, Librarian, Volunteer, Storyteller, and duplicates. All feature cartoon animals reading books.

I hope your kids enjoy playing “library” as much as mine did when they were little. It’s an engaging way for little book lovers to enjoy playing inside.

Download the Pretend Play Library Printables

Ready for your free dramatic play library set?

To get your very own copy, you can sign up right here:

    I’ll add you to my weekly-ish newsletter too – it’s full of ideas and more free printables. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

    Happy Teaching,


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