Before I had children, I wouldn't have described my local library as a really FUN place. But, ever since my kids were babies, we've been going to the library and loving it! Here are my top ten reasons why we love the Library:
1) Story Times & After School Activities
Many libraries offer story times for infants through pre-school age kids. It can be the perfect starting point for new moms who want to take their baby out to socialize, but aren't ready for playground action yet. Some of the story times for Preschoolers also include music or crafts, which is nice because it gives kids a chance to express themselves and bring home their artwork to show off. Elementary age kids can take advantage of after school programs, holiday events, or weekend activities.
From the moment a baby is born, you realize how important it is to establish a routine. If your local library has programs for kids, they probably have a calendar of events that you can check ahead of time so that you can get it on your calendar and stick with it. If you know that toddler story-time is every Monday morning, it's a great way to establish a routine with your little one.
When the weather is cold or rainy, it's so tempting to stay at home with your kids and keep warm in the house. But, you and the kids need to get out! The library is the perfect place to go on those days when you don't have the option of playing outside. It's a great change of scenery and it makes you feel like you had a 'big adventure' for the day.
4) Toys & Games
Even if there aren't any scheduled events going on, the library may have toys, puzzles, or coloring sheets for the kids. These alone can keep a kid entertained for an hour or more.
5) DVD Rentals
Libraries usually have a pretty good collection of DVDs to borrow for free or rent for a nominal charge. Kids will love being able to pick out their own movie and taking it home.
6) Books & Reading
Everybody knows how beneficial it is to read to your children. It gives you a chance to sit with your child and learn together about new people and places. Reading to kids can also help teach language and social skills. My kids get so excited to pick out new books at the library. For them, it's just as exciting as a new toy.
7) Computer access for kids
I'm a little hesitant to let my preschooler loose on my home computer. But, your library may have a special computer reserved for your little one that is ready to go with age appropriate, learning games. It gives the kids a chance to have their 'computer time', and you can feel safe knowing that it's designated kids zone.
8) The Bulletin Board
What's going on in your community? Check out the bulletin board. You can find announcements about anything from Holiday Craft Fairs to Little League sign up.
9) Anybody Can Go
There have been times where I've seen more Grandmas at story time than Moms. The library is a really popular place for Grandparents to take their grandkids. It's easy for Grandparents to take their kids to the library because: it's contained, it's structured, it's low-key, and...
10) It's Free
There is usually there is no charge for the activities that are offered. Take advantage of the programs at your local library!