Since the birth of my first child, I’ve counted on the public library for numerous resources and activities to educate and entertain my children. As National Library Week comes to an end I want to share the ways that the public library has been a life saver to this mom. As you’ll soon learn, my admiration for the library extends far beyond borrowing picture books.
1. Story Time. There are times when even the most book obsessed mom needs a break from reading to her kids. Story time at the library can be as simple as 30 minutes of pure bliss while I zone out and a cheerful and enthusiastic librarian reads to my kids. It can also be as phenomenal as an hour filled song, dance, story, a craft and take a home prize. Not all libraries take such pride in their story hours but the ones who do are absolute treasures.
2.Clean bathrooms. Anyone who has spent the day with a newly potty trained child, knows the importance of always knowing where the nearest, clean(ish) bathroom is. We have counted on many a library’s bathroom in emergency situations.
3. Arts n’Crafts. I’m not afraid to get elbow deep in paint and glitter with my kids at our kitchen table. But once in awhile, it’s a delight to have someone else prepare a project for the kids to complete. There’s a bonus if it relates to a story that was just read to them.
4. Building Blocks. Most libraries have an assortment of blocks and toys available for children to play with. I’ll never understand why playing with someone else’s toys brings so much enjoyment to kids. But I don’t have to understand something to enjoy a few minutes of bliss while reading my own book while the kids play at my feet.
5. Music Concerts. We’ve enjoyed several music concerts at the library such as a one man band, a 4 piece comedy music group and even a small group from the symphony who played for the kids and then held an instrument petting zoo.
6. Reading to Service Dogs. Once your child has started reading, many libraries offer the opportunity for them to read to a service dog. It’s such a unique opportunity for a new reader, especially one without a pet at home.
7. Contests. Kids love entering contests and collecting prizes. It’s the in-between work that I have to get involved with some of the heavy lifting.. But we’ve enjoyed library scavenger hunts, summer reading competitions and other creative endeavors.
8. Author Signings and Celebrations. In a world where so much attention is focused on hollywood celebrities and professional athletes, I can’t help but feel so pleased when libraries celebrate authors’. Some of the best author celebrations we’ve attended at the library have been to a Dr. Suess party, a Mo Willems party, and a We Love Dan Gutman party. It seems to reinforce the concept to kids that authors contributions to our world are important and something to be celebrated.
9. DVD’s and Audiobooks. In the age of digital downloads, I know that this sounds a bit old fashion. But I love the ability to load up on a large selection of children’s DVD’s and Audiobooks for when we go on long car trips and vacations.
10. And of course there’s that amazing assortment, batch and caboodle of FREE books. Energizing and entertaining like nothing else!