Family Fun: Visit Your Library
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This is my son.
This is my son high on books.
Yes, our kids love to read. It is such a blessing. I remember not too long ago when my eldest and I would cry – both of us – over the process of learning to read. Not so anymore. The last two have practically taught themselves since they saw their older brother’s love of the written word.
Years ago I read about ways to encourage literacy. Many of the suggestions involved providing access to books and opportunities for reading. And making the library a big part of our life has been one way we’ve tried to do that.
Here are some of the ways we’ve enjoyed our public library over the years.
Storytime – When it was just me and one kiddo we went to two different story hours each week. There a children’s librarian read stories, taught fingerplays, sang songs, and provided a craft or snack activity.
Computer games – Many libraries provide computers and children’s games to be used for 30 minutes at a time. Even though we have plenty of this available at home, my kids seem to enjoy it more at the library where there is more variety and head phones so that they can enjoy the game all to themselves.
Reading programs – Believe it or not, these are not solely relegated to summertime. This past fall my readers each earned three In-N-Out hamburgers for reading 15 books! Participation in a reading programs is a great way to stretch kids to read more and earn fun prizes at the same time.
Free movie selections – Since we love watching videos, the libraries collection is a favorite of ours to peruse. Except for the occasional overdue movie fine, we’ve spent nary a penny on movie rentals.
Internet reservations – We love to read books. We love to watch movies. But the local branch doesn’t always have what we want when we want it. So, we request it via the internet. Then, I don’t even have to go to the library! My husband can pick up what I want on his way home.
Game and activity nights – Many branches offer chess nights or other activities to participate in. Usually these are free, open for all ages, and families are welcome.
How have you enjoyed the beauty of the library lately?
Quietest three weeks of the year are the summer reading contest weeks. I actually make them read books which are on their reading level, so for three weeks they are reading challenging things in the name of getting a cheap prize. Gotta love that!
I love my library more than anything, my all time friend…
We love the library! My kids seem to have outgrown the story times (as our library does it for pre-schoolers), but they love special programming like music & crafts,and of coarse, checking out books. I also love to read and I am thankful for our children"s librarian who saves all the coupon inserts for me!!
our library now has a program called MaiLit. I can request materials online from any of the county libraries and they will be mailed to me. Then I return them to our town’s library when done. Fabulous!
my guy is a little young for the library, but we try to enjoy books at home. i can’t wait for him to enjoy books like we do, well once we are both out of school and can read what we want to!
We love our library. It is a wonderful resource that more people should take advantage of. Thanks for the reminder of all the great things libraries have to offer.
This isn’t how we use the library most of the time, but it’s worth mentioning-since our libraries in town have the newspaper, they also have the coupons from the Sunday papers. There is a plastic bin in the periodicals section where the librarian tosses all the inserts and I’ve been able to double up on some coupons that were especially good. You do have to sift through and check dates as many are expired toward the bottom.
-Interlibrary loan: if your branch doesn’t have it, they can probably get it.
– “list” function on the online library account (where I store all those ideas for books for my daughter, and books for me, since we don’t have time to check out all 90-plus on the list at once 🙂
– free publications in the library lobby! local parenting magazines with listings of happenings and kid stuff coupons; other publications of interest to special groups and/or cultures
– we haven’t used them yet, but our library has a program where you can check out museum passes for free or heavily discounted admission
– special events: sometimes around here, they have days where kids read to service dogs to encourage them to read aloud
– check out the fossils in the library display case, the bulletin board displays that change each month
– my daughter likes to recite the alphabet using the letters on the wall behind the kids’ coat rack
– play with the library’s cool puppets and puzzles (again, it’s the “better than home” thing)
– read the giant oversized storybooks that they have for storytime at a table with mommy
We are hooked on our local library too! They always have great programs going on as well as good books.
In fact, I’m excited about going to a class at the library on Saturday about organic gardening. I’m hoping to pick up a few tips and see if there is a local organic gardening club.
We love the library. We go as often as we can, especially during school breaks!!!
We LOVE our library! I request the books online and just stop by to pick them up when they come in…so helpful when you don’t want to cart a van-full of kids with you! Of course, we visit for preschool storytime and in the summer we check out the local wildlife that congregates in the lake behind the library.
The library is one of our favorite resources. We use it for all the things you listed and so much more. Funny how the computer games at the library are just more special somehow for the kids. Being homeschoolers, the librarians know us and are quick to show us the new items when they come in.