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Why The Library Is Your New Best Friend

by Melissa Taylor | April 5, 2012 | Early Education & Literacy

Parents, if you’re like me, you’re always searching for free activities to share with your kids. Let me tell you, the library is the best free choice I’ve found. So great in fact, I counted six reasons to love the library.

  1. Story time
    From babies to preschoolers, the library offers story times with songs, crafts and books. Plus, it’s a chance to meet other parents and their kids for play dates and conversation.
  2. Books
    Not only are there books everywhere, the books are free for the borrowing. Search out the new-books shelf. It’s my favorite shelf, one that always keeps us reading good books.
  3. DVDs
    Oh, the movie section of the library entices my kids away from the books. I set a two-movie limit but don’t mind that we rotate our movie collection and skip commercials.
  4. CDs
    The library doesn’t just have music CDs, but also books on CD. Check out these for car trips or quiet room time.
  5. Crafts
    Look for the library class schedule – there are tons of classes, especially for kids. We think the holiday celebrations are the best – with fun thematic crafts.
  6. Grow a Reader
    Research shows that if you read to your kids, they’ll do better in school and will be stronger readers. That means going to the library and reading give your child a brain boosting start!

Did I mention how much I love the free part? But, it’s not free if you forget to return your books. To avoid fines, keep your library books and DVDs in one place, renew everything on the computer every few weeks, befriend the librarians so you can beg for mercy and, if all else fails, consider your fines a generous donation to the new library wing.

Also, buy a large, flat-bottom tote bag for your books. Even better, find one with a small pocket for your library card. I let my kids fill it up – and smile as I watch knowing that I’m giving them a lifelong love of books.

What else can you do at the library?

Get a treat and read your books.
Cozy up in a pillow or rocking chair and read your child a book. Some libraries actually have cafes where you can get a treat while you read. Those are my favorites!

Go on an alphabet search.
Search for letters of the alphabet around the library in signs or book titles.

Find the toys.
Most libraries have toys in the children’s area. Bring your disinfectant wipes and let your child play.

Give your child a library card.
If your child is ready, get him his own library card. It’s a great way to motivate him to read and love books.

Play on the computer.
Most libraries have computers specifically for children with kid-friendly programs and headphones. Let your child play on the computer and explore the games.

Do you love the library yet? I’m telling you, make it your new best friend and you will see big long-term benefits.