Why the Library is Great for Kids
Do you have a library card? What about your child? If you haven’t been in a while, you’re potentially missing out on some great Library Programs for Children.
Deciding what to do with your kids is something every parent thinks about over the summer months. You may already be at the point where you are in search of summer survival tips for parents. You are not alone.
In the search for activities, the parent in me wants to combine summer fun and relaxation with a little bit of education.
Naturally, the library comes to mind!
In looking to see whether our local library is in full operation again, I was delighted to discover the offerings they have for kids.
Story Time at the Library
Story time. A staple in most, if not all, community libraries.
Story time appeals to kids of all ages! And, it’s a great way for new moms to get out of the house and expose their kids to the joy of reading early.
It’s entertaining, educational and taps into their imaginations.
Great librarians and volunteers (also known as Friends of the Library where I live) are committed to providing their patrons with a rich and fulfilling experience.
In the summer and in more temperate climates, kids enjoy story time outside for a fun change of pace. There are themed story time events, like Dr. Seuss Day (March 2nd) or “Pajama” and “bring your favorite plushie” day.
On themed days, kids are encouraged to dress up. There are usually other activities included to round things out.
Reading is a good form of self-care for kids.
Tapping in to your child’s sense of curiosity and wonder, and allowing them to explore the world around them is good for their well-being. You instill in them a sense of confidence and self-assurance that will grow with them.
In my local library, I was surprised to hear that they even have an adult story time that takes place once a month.
If you’d prefer story time at home, look to the library for recommended reading lists. Some even have digital books, like TumbleBook Library, geared just for kids.
Libraries and book clubs go hand-in-hand.
Until exploring what’s on offer at my library, I never considered that there would be book clubs for kids, but there are! But knowing kids, if not for a class assignment, I suspect it would have to be a book that kids are mad over, like the Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter Series.
The library provides ‘Book Club Kits’ for kids (teens or adults) that includes 15 books of the same title, autobiographical information about the author and a list of possible questions to kick off the discussion.
You can start your own group, or join one online or in-person through the library.
But reading doesn’t have to be a social event. The library is a great place to discover new writers or series to enjoy at your leisure.
They work in partnership with schools by providing reading lists throughout the year. You can find summer reading lists from the school and the library, as well as accelerated reading lists for avid, young readers to devour.
Library Programs for Kids
When thinking about the library, naturally books come to mind. But, it doesn’t stop there! Libraries have more to offer than you may have realized.
There are musical events, local artist showcases (photography, textiles, painting, etc.) and speakers on a number of subjects.
In short, libraries work in the support and interests of the community around them; it’s not just for reading quietly.
Below are a few options I found at my local library.
Our library has a relationship with some of the local museums, 6 to be exact. Through the library, you can check-out (sign-up) for a free pass to visit the museum. Your kids can learn about the arts, state or maritime history, and more!
Looking forward to time outdoors? Well, in partnership with The Park’s department, the library card can be used as a pass to the State Parks. Why not check out a book on local wildlife, then get outside and see it in action!
Cooking classes. Yes, you read that right. There are “mommy and me,” youth cooking classes offered through the library. Surprised? Me too! But, it’s another opportunity to educate kids. They learn math skills, focus, following directions and more!
That’s just a sampling of what’s on offer in my area. I’m curious to learn what might be available where you live.
Library Programs for Kids Around the World
Let’s take a quick trip around the world to see what’s being offered at other libraries.
- On the last Sunday of every month, The British Library, they have “The Family Station: Explore and Play” event. It “includes creative resources full of ideas to explore, make and play in the Library.”
- The City of Sydney Library has a great selection of events in their “Darling Square Ideas Lab: Makerspace” for kids to get in to. The kits are “Designed to help build digital and making skills, there is a selection of different activities to explore.”
- Do you have an aspiring author on your hands? At the Toronto Public Library, the “Create Your Own Fairytale” class will help kids turn their fairytales into a book! They even have a workshop on comic book art!
I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Think about how many libraries there are. You’re sure to find something at your library that your children will enjoy too.
Adult Library Programs
Parents, a quick word on what the library can do for you.
As I said earlier, the library works in service of the community. In addition to book clubs and reading lists, there’s more for everyone to discover.
Find e-books, audio books and videos to entertain, inform and inspire you.
Between the books, events and adult library programs, there are a lot of things to support your well-being as well.
If your children are old enough to attend their library activities and events on their own, you should take a minute or two and see what’s available for you.
They provide assistance for job hunting, internet research as well as technology classes. I used to live by a library that offered workshops for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Have you fully experienced what your public library has to offer? It’s educational entertainment on a budget.
In Summary: Library Programs for Children
How often do you visit your local library? Have you explored the different library programs for children at your local branch?
From story time, to book clubs to creative makers events, there’s a lot going on at the library! Not only is it a great resource for education, it provides a great source of affordable, age appropriate entertainment too.
If you’re looking for a great kids summer activity, I encourage you to check out your local library as well to see what they have for your family.
If you’re little one doesn’t have their own library card yet, what are you waiting for?
As much as I appreciate the idea of a break from school, I don’t want my child to lose progress this summer. So in addition to fun, we’re also going to play “school” a couple of days a week. The library is an ideal supplement to those efforts.
So, mom and dad, if you’re looking for a way to entertain and educate your kids, visit the library.
And, don’t overlook what the library can do for you as well. Whether you’re seeking a career change or inspiration for your next DIY, you can find that and more right down the street.
What’s available where you live? Jump online and check it out. You and your kids could be missing out.
Tell me what you enjoy at your library in the comments below.