I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for over five years, so to say there’s been days that we HAD to get out of the house before I lost my mind is 100% the truth. When the colder months are here, we often find ourselves tired of being cooped up and yearning for places to go that don’t cost big bucks. I refuse to pay $10 admission to go somewhere for an hour and a half unless it’s somewhere pretty awesome and/or a special occasion.
This is one reason why I’ve taken my kids to the library hundreds of times over the last several years. My oldest two are both in school full time now, leaving my youngest and I with wide open mornings. We head to the library quite often, sometimes the two of us and sometimes to meet friends. We go to look at and read books, play in the toddler area and have fun at the free classes offered for babies, toddlers and young children. Here are a few reasons why I LOVE our local library.
Children’s (free) programming
There are free classes for ALL ages at our local library. Adults can sign up to make seasonal crafts, sign language and more. While I have yet to take advantage of those, I have taken my kids to the free classes for children countless times. My baby and I go twice per week most weeks to the Baby Time class that features simple songs and books, and Tot Tunes, a music class that features singers like Raffi and Laurie Berkner and musical instruments like sticks and egg shakers! These classes are engaging and free and we’ve met a lot of new friends there too! We also like to go in October and Halloween for evening events – Santa Claus and a reindeer come in December! There are also free events for children with special needs.
Who doesn’t love to use things for FREE? This is an obvious perk of libraries, but it’s one worth reiterating. The books are FREE – it’s the perfect way to find some entertainment that is educational at the same time. We’ve found some series/authors we love by trying new books! The library is a really great place to take my kids especially my daughter who LOVES new (even if they’re just “new to her”) things.
You can check out more than just books at the library! My husband loves getting DVDs and Blu-rays – they even have new releases! I’ve checked out workout videos too; it’s a fun way to see if you’re a fan of yoga or Pilates before investing in classes or expensive DVDs to use at home. The library also has audio books and CDs.
As I said before, when you become a regular you start to see familiar faces and make new friends. I love my library moms! It’s really fun to walk into a class with your child knowing you will see friends you see each week. Many moms love the library if they know about the existing programs. I’m surprised how many people don’t realize what all the library really has to offer!
I’ve ALWAYS loved reading and before I even became a mom, I made it a point to read up on the ways to raise readers! For as long as I can remember, I enjoyed reading a good book dating back to the days of Baby Sitters Club, The Sweet Valley High Twins and Fear Street – and I still love reading and am even in a book club. What I love about visiting the library and checking out new books is that I am leading by example showing my kids how fun reading can be. Our library also has reading challenges such as the nationwide Winter Reading Challenge and 1,o00 Books by Kindergarten going on right now – friendly competitions are the perfect way to make reading fun for kids.
I’m really proud of my Kindergartener and 1st grader! They both read for Book-It and are excellent readers for their age. My one-year-old is always bringing me books to read him from sun up ’til sun down! He loves pointing at pictures and making sounds and nodding along to what I am saying. I love raising readers!
If you’re looking for a place to meet people, get some books or Blu-rays for free, and help your kids meet friends and grow a greater love for books, head to your local library. As the kids get older, I’ll always reflect on the time and memories we made at the library!! Check online for your library’s schedule of events and go see what it’s all about!
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