Libraries are an incredible resource for moms of young kids! They provide an outlet for families stuck at home during the day and the opportunity to learn everything from using the potty to computer skills. Here are five tips for getting the most out of your visit to your local library.
Check the website for story times. My library has a separate story time for babies, toddlers, and big kids. The baby bounce focuses on rhymes and interacting with baby. The toddler story time introduces concepts like colors, numbers, and the alphabet while engaging kids who stay within arms reach of their parents. The big kid story time focuses more on reading. With longer books and literacy activities, kids get to learn while being a little more independent. These story times have been wonderful for our little family, so check the library’s website to see what they offer in your area.
- Visit different libraries. Living in Dallas, we are surrounded by dozens of public libraries. If you have some extra time, get out and explore what other libraries have to offer. Most moms know about Bookmarks, the library inside of Northpark Mall, but have you heard of the Ready to Read Railroad at the Frisco Public Library or the Children’s Library at the Richardson Public Library? You could easily spend several hours at any of those locations. You may also want to find out if your library participates in TexShare, a program that allows you to borrow books from more than 500 libraries across Texas.
Create a ‘Book Bag’. We have a designated ‘book bag’ at our house just for library books. This tote goes with us to the library and all the library books stay in this bag throughout the week unless we are reading them. We have hundreds of books in our house, so this ensures that the library books are always easily found. We also keep our library cards in our book bag so we don’t lose them.
- Get kids their own library card. If your kiddos are old enough, get them their own library card. It’s an easy way for them to take responsibility for this activity (plus you can typically replace a library card for about $5, so there’s not a lot of risk involved).
- Utilize online resources. Our library uses CloudLibrary where you can access thousands of ebooks and audio books for free through your library account. Recently I was able to check out an audio book of Winnie the Pooh to entertain my toddler on a road trip. She also loves reading Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog on our iPad. Your library might use a program like OverDrive or TumbleBooks, but most libraries will have some sort of online offering. Just check their website for more details.
Those are my top 5 tips for visiting the library with kids! Do you love your local library? Share your favorite tips and tricks with other moms in the comments below!