Fun things to do on National Teddy Bear Picnic Day

We’re at the end of Term 2 and the school holidays are almost here. In fact, they’re starting this Saturday. But that’s not the only thing happening this Saturday!

This Saturday the 10th of July is National Teddy Bear Picnic day, so we thought we’d welcome you into the school holidays with some activity ideas for both you and your teddy.

via GIPHY

Idea number one: Take your teddy bear on a picnic!
Set up a picnic blanket in your garden, or go on down to the Wellington Botanic Gardens and find a spot to sit down and eat with your teddy. If the weather is miserable we suggest moving your picnic inside. For an extra-special indoor picnic we recommend building a blanket fort to eat it in. Everyone knows teddy bears love blanket forts!

Idea number two: Come to our Teddy Bear Storytime at Te Awe!
In honour of this very special day we’ll be having an extra special storytime at Te Awe Library. Bring your teddy bear along and settle in for a fun session of stories, songs, and bear themed crafts. We hope to see you there at 2pm!

Idea number three: Make something with your teddy bear!
If you’re going out on a picnic you’ll need to have something to eat. If you’re a beginner baker then Time for Tea is a good cookbook to start you off. Or if you and your teddy have been reading a book by Enid Blyton together and you like the sound of the tasty treats she describes in her books then head towards Jolly Good Food for some literary and delicious recipes. We also have a list of great websites with recipes, tips, and tricks over on our Fun Stuff page.

It’s not just food you can make! If you feel like putting together some decorations for your picnic, perhaps you might like to have some Fun with Paper? Or if you have some yarn lying around you might want to check out My First Pompom Book for some exciting ideas. There’s also this blog post on other craft books available through our elibrary. Let your creativity run wild!

Idea number four: Read a bear-themed book!
There are a lot of books out there perfect for you and your teddy bear to read together, and we’ve picked out some of our favourites:

A bear called Paddington / Bond, Michael
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington, a most endearing bear from Darkest Peru on a railway platform in London. A sign hanging around his neck said, “Please look after this bear. Thank you” So that is just what they did. From the very first night when he attempted his first bath and ended up nearly flooding the house, Paddington was seldom far from imminent disaster. Jonathan and Judy were delighted with this havoc and even Mr. and Mrs. Brown had to admit that life seemed to be more filled with adventure when there was a bear in the house.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

The best-loved bear / Noonan, Diana
“When all the children take their teddybears to school for a best-loved bear contest, Tim is embarrassed because his teddy is so worn out. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

The everywhere bear / Donaldson, Julia
“The Everywhere Bear has a home on a shelf. But he doesn’t spend very much time by himself, For each boy and girl in the class is a friend. And he goes home with one of them every weekend. The Everywhere Bear has a wonderful time with the children in Class One, but one day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull …how will he ever make it back to Class One?” (Catalogue)

There’s a bear in the window / Pitman-Hayes, June
“There’s a bear in the window of the house across the street. It’s tall and round, with great big feet! I wonder what I would see if I were that bear, and that bear were me? From singer-songwriter June Pitman-Hayes comes a story told in both English and Māori that celebrates the great teddy bear hunt, that entertained thousands of children during lockdown in 2020″–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

We’re going on a bear hunt / Rosen, Michael
“Brave bear hunters go through grass, a river, mud, and other obstacles before the inevitable encounter with the bear forces a headlong retreat.” (Catalogue)

Winnie-the-Pooh / Milne, A. A.
“Meet the world’s favourite bear in the delightful collection, in which Pooh gets into a tight place, nearly catches a Woozle, and discovers the wrong sort of honey – amongst other things.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an audiobook, an eAudiobook, and an eBook

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Some of the awesome crafty things you can find to make Matariki art with at your local library


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Join us for these fabulous events happening at library branches across the city:

Beginner’s Guide to Whakapapa

Join us for this short talk aimed at giving people with little to no experience researching their whakapapa some useful tips when navigating the resources accessible on the WCL website. Adults are very welcome.

  • Tuesday 6 July, 12.30pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Explore the Stars in VR

Celebrate Matariki by joining us at Te Awe Library to take turns exploring the night sky in virtual reality. The stars have never seemed quite so close to touch! This event is great for mātua, rangatahi, and tamariki alike.

  • Friday 9 July, 2.00 – 4.00pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki

Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Let’s Go LEGO®: Matariki Whetū!

Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create! Come along to your library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. These sessions all feature special Matariki-themed activities as we celebrate this festive time with our friends and whānau. Our LEGO® activities are perfect for tamariki of all ages to participate in with their whānau.

  • Friday 2 July, 3.30pm at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tari-kākā
  • Sunday 4 July, 11.00am at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Thursday 8 July, 3.30pm at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
  • Friday 8 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes

Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Our storytimes are family-friendly and fun for all ages. Weekday sessions are all at 10.30am; weekend sessions are all at 2.00pm.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Monday 5 July, 10.30am:
    • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am:
    • Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am:
    • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
    • Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Thursday 8 July, 10.30am:
    • Arapaki Manners Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Arapaki
    • Island Bay Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tapu Te Ranga
    • Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 10 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes: Virtual Edition!

Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Thursday 8 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Friday 9 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Saturday 10 July, 7.30pm — online!

Pakiwaitara Matariki: Bilingual Storytelling

Join us at your local whare pukapuka for these special bilingual storytimes in celebration of Matariki! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Saturday 10 July, 11.00am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

Puoro Matariki: Stories and Music

Come along to Johnsonville Library on the first Tuesday of each month to enjoy a half-hour mash-up of stories and music. Literary and musical worlds will collide as we introduce your budding muso (and budding reader, of course!) to a world of rhythm, rhyme, song and dance from across the globe using stories, percussion instruments, and loads of imagination. Join us on the 6th of July for this special Matariki-themed session for all ages!

  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTerschool

Join us for this special after-school Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki constellation using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own!

  • Monday 5 July, 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTivity

Bust the indoor boredom with a free Arts & Crafts session for tamariki, rangatahi and the whole whānau on Saturday mornings from 10.30am – 11.30 at He Matapihi Molesworth Library. At this session, we’ll be exploring Matariki with a simple craft project to be enjoyed by all!

  • Saturday 3 July, 10.30am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs at Khandallah Library!

On the last Friday of every month, the lovely librarians at Khandallah Library put on a special storytelling experience for the community. Every month there is a different theme, and different activities for the whole family to enjoy!

This month, on Friday 28 May at 10.30am, the theme for Khandallah Library’s special storytime is Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs… Oh My! Come and enjoy the adventures of these fascinating and magical creatures. There will be funny, sweet, and touching stories to share, as well as the opportunity to try some gentle ‘unicorn yoga’ stretches, and colourful and creative crafts to try. Storytimes are fun and free, last about half an hour, and are aimed at preschool-aged children (three and four years old), but younger and older siblings are always welcome!

Drawn image of a baby dinosaur hatching from its shell, a small orange dragon flying in the sky, and a unicorn happily munching on some grass.

Join us on Friday at Khandallah Library for a magical storytime like no other!

You can find out what’s happening for Khandallah Library’s special storytime each month by checking the event calendar online, asking your local librarian, or giving the library a call on (04) 479 7535.

Purapura Whetū: A Matariki Festival with Your Libraries

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

This July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.

As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Come down to your library to make your whetū (star) and add it to our constellation!


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.

  • Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga

Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.

  • Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.

  • Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Online Storytimes
Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!

Matariki Storytimes
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.

  • Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?

  • Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
  • Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
  • Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

Bedtime Storytimes to Send You Off to Dreamland!

Because lots of children are back at school, kindy or daycare now that we’ve entered Level 2, we thought we’d change up some of our virtual events to suit people’s new schedules! So, our beloved Virtual Storytimes will now just be happening three times a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am, and Saturdays at 2.00pm), rather than six — but we’re also adding some special evening Bedtime Storytimes to help send you off gently to dreamland!

Every evening at 7.30pm, we’ll be sharing a few chapters from some of our favourite chapter books for you to listen to and enjoy as you snuggle in with your teddies. Our first Bedtime Storytime is happening over on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page tonight, and will feature The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Join us nightly at 7.30pm for our special Bedtime Storytimes!

Feel free to tune in at 7.30pm each night, or you can catch the videos after they premiere in our special Bedtime Storytime playlist on Facebook.

Virtual Storytime: Straight from the Librarian’s Living Room

With our libraries currently closed, are you missing your regular storytime fix? Don’t worry, we have you covered in more ways than one: check the options below!

Virtual Storytimes
During the lockdown, your favourite librarians will be bringing you livestreamed storytimes directly from their living rooms on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page. Storytime will be streamed live Monday-Friday at 10:30am, and on Saturdays at 2:00pm, to match the times when Preschool Storytime would normally be happening at your local library. You can join us live as we stream, or watch the video afterwards.

Story Box Library
Tired of waiting for your next storytime livestream? Did you know that you can enjoy a read-aloud storytime ANYtime?! All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to watch on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Log in with your library card number and PIN, and enjoy stories being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealand, storytellers.

Stories Online
If those options aren’t enough, over on the Kids’ Downloads page we have a whole raft of digital storytime content that we have been curating over the years. This page is stuffed full of videos of New Zealand books being read by their authors at the library, links to awesome resources such as TumbleBooks and Kanopy Kids, and plenty of other bits and pieces to keep your mind busy!

While you check out all these awesome resources, why not watch our first livestreamed Virtual Storytime below? Straight from my living room (with Velvet Elvis looking down from above!) I bring you I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, published by Walker Books.

The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover at Johnsonville Library

Yes, you heard right! The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover is coming back to Johnsonville Library on Friday the 30th of August at 6.30pm! Come along in your PJs with your favourite teddy or stuffed toy for an evening of fun stories, songs and activities, then leave your teddies behind to have a big sleepover with all their new friends. Who knows what mischief they might get up to unsupervised in the library overnight? Pick them up on Saturday morning to find out!

This event is suitable for children of all ages. Keep an eye out for the Great Teddy Bear Sleepover popping up at other libraries around the city as well!

Three teddy bears reading a book in the sun

Teddy bears read!

For more information, contact Johnsonville Library on 477 6151.

Chinese Storytime at Johnsonville Library!

Come and join us for a fun and interactive Mandarin Storytime with Chinese stories, songs and rhymes.

Children and care-givers who speak Mandarin, or use Mandarin as a second language will love these sessions.

Our next Chinese Storytime will be held at Johnsonville Library on:

Friday 16th November at 10.30am and will continue on the third Friday of each month.

This is a free event aimed for pre-schoolers through to 10 years but all are welcome

Session will run for 30 minutes.

欢迎加入Johnsonville 图书馆中文故事,儿歌活动

时间是每个月的第三个星期五上午10.30-11 点 地点是约翰逊图书馆 电话04-4776151

Chinese Storytime at Johnsonville Library!

Come and join us for a fun and interactive Mandarin Storytime with Chinese stories, songs and rhymes.

Children and care-givers who speak Mandarin, or use Mandarin as a second language will love these sessions.

Our next Chinese Storytime will be held at Johnsonville Library on:

Friday 21st September at 10.30am and will continue on the third Friday of each month.

This is a free event aimed for pre-schoolers through to 10 years but all are welcome

Session will run for 30 minutes.

欢迎加入Johnsonville 图书馆中文故事,儿歌活动

时间是每个月的第三个星期五上午10.30-11 点 地点是约翰逊图书馆 电话04-4776151

Chinese Storytime at Johnsonville Library

Come and join us for a fun and interactive Mandarin Storytime with Chinese stories, songs and rhymes.

Children and care-givers who speak Mandarin, or use Mandarin as a second language will love these sessions.

Our next Chinese Storytime will be held at Johnsonville Library on:

Friday 20th July at 10.30am and will continue on the third Friday of each month.

This is a free event aimed for pre-schoolers through to 10 years but all are welcome

Session will run for 30 minutes.

欢迎加入Johnsonville 图书馆中文故事,儿歌活动

时间是每个月的第三个星期五上午10.30-11 点 地点是约翰逊图书馆 电话04-4776151