No matter where you live there’s a good chance you have some type of library to take advantage of. Libraries are a great way to entertain the whole family for free!
Good Tuesday morning to you all! It’s Brooke here from Blissful Roots again. We are down to the last couple days of February, and that means my thoughts always turn to springtime and Dr. Seuss. I taught first grade for five years before we started our family, and March 2nd is kind of a big deal in an elementary school setting, at least it was in ours. It’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! I’ve been out of the classroom for many years now, but I still get excited for this beloved author/illustrator’s big day. Your local library may actually celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with activities, so be sure to check it out!
I’ve also recently been asked to be a part of a literacy committee for our school’s PTA (a committee I thought I was too busy for, but realized how passionate I am about children and reading when I sat in on our first meeting, and am thrilled to be finding the time to contribute!). These two events have had me swimming in books lately, and so when it was time to do my post here at OSSS this month, I knew I had to get on my library soap box, and here it is! YOUR FAMILY NEEDS A LIBRARY CARD(S)!! We are a family of seven now, and five out of the seven of us are library card holders. Our two youngest aren’t quite old enough yet (five years and older is the rule at our local library) but will for sure be signing their adorable five-year-old-signature on the line of their library card as soon as they can!
I live in the Heber Valley in Utah, and we are lucky enough to have an AMAZING county library! It’s a big, beautiful building, and has pretty much anything you’re looking for. I also have to say my parents live in the small town of Mendon, Utah (population 1,386). They have an adorable, quaint library that’s not so big, and smaller in selection, but my boys ask to go there EVERY time we’re visiting my parents. It’s become one of our favorite places to visit! So, no matter where you live there’s a good chance you have some type of library to take advantage of. There’s always your child’s school library as well.
The first reason you need to be taking advantage of your local library, is it’s FREE!!!!!! As I mentioned earlier, we are a family of seven now, and doing just about anything as a family these days costs a small fortune! Free entertainment is almost impossible to come by, but not at the library. Not only is it free to sign up for a card, and to check things out, but there are so many fun activities to take advantage of! Our library has a monthly flyer with (as you can see) so many events going on. Family movie nights, story time, puppet shows, book clubs, after school clubs, and even some chances for a little competition. Its’ not on this flyer, but the annual PEEPS Show is coming up. You can enter your favorite scene from a book made out of PEEPS to be displayed in the library. My boys also love the Lego building event as well. Free, educational, entertaining opportunities for all!
The next reason you need to be library card holders can be found in these next two pictures. I have eleven-year-old twin boys. They are sports boys through and through! They always put a fuss when I haul them to the library because they “don’t need a book”, but then this happens every single time!!
I promise these picture were not staged (and yes, that’s a cookbook he’s reading)!! I snuck up on them and snapped the pictures before they could put a fuss about having their picture take in the public library! Anyway, your kids will actually be reading, and you probably won’t even have to force them. They’ll be caught reading in all sorts of nooks and crannies of your library.
The books completely suck them in, and they cannot stop! And it’s quite ironic how hard it is to get my older boys to go, it’s even harder to get them out! They leave with a stack of books they can hardly carry out. They read the books as they’re walking to the car, while we drive home, and then when we get home too! The free factor starts at the library, but then can continue for days and weeks with all of the books brought home. (One friendly reminder, the free only lasts as long as you don’t have late fees!! Check for different return dates for different items. Our books and audio CDs are due back in three weeks, but movies are due back in one week, and run you a dollar a day when they’re late.)
Reason number three your family needs a library card is the variety you’ll find. Libraries aren’t just for books! You’ll find…
Movies. We’ve been having a Pirates of the Caribbean movie night each Friday night over the past few weeks, and our library has pulled through for us. Free movie rentals!! And the selection is great. I find a lot of hard-to-find older movies that you can’t round up these days with movie stores out of business.
Our library has a movie section for kids as well, and it’s a HUGE hit with this little guy in his blue boots and unruly-in-desperate-need-of-a-haricut-hair.
I mentioned audio CDs. We love these!! These are my go-t0 when my four boys are getting a bit too rough and rowdy close to bedtime. I put on our recent audio book, and the silence settles in like magic! Also great for the car and long trips. I should also mention there’s a whole wide world of online books to take advantage through your local library. I don’t use that very often, but definitely worth checking out.
Newspapers can be found at the library. Who gets the newspaper any more these days? I’ve actually sat down and read a few articles while waiting for my boys a few times. Fun to catch up on local, and worldwide happenings.
You can also find magazines at the library. In our online, Pinterest world I think magazines are a bit of the past, but I do love to sit down with a hard copy and flip though the pages every once in awhile. Again, a good way to kill some time if you’re waiting on your kids.
Another reason I love walking into our library is because of the displays. A lot of the displays change with the seasons and holidays, or with new books, but some stay the same as well.
There’s always holiday displays in our library. This St. Patrick’s Day shelf showed up this past week. It’s a bit on the small side, but still some green reading to be had.
Last month we had a big display right in the front of our library with a bunch of human rights themed books on display. A quick and easy grab for homeschooler, preschool teachers, or any family at all!
Our children’s section has recently reorganized their books, and now the first two isles are dedicated to early readers. These are the books your early readers love to read because they’re easy, and usually are about the characters they know and love. This has been so fun for my two younger boys. My middle son can pick up any of these and read where some chapter books are a bit hard for him, and my youngest son loves to pick out these books based on his favorite characters. I might add here as well, let your kids get the Batman and Diary of a Wimpy Kid if that’s what they love! I let my kids pick their own books, but then I always check out a few myself that I know they’ll love, but won’t take off the shelf. I also try to check out some of the classics to mix in with their reading. I oftentimes read these out loud to my boys because they don’t love reading them on their own, but they ask me to read every night when we’re in the middle of a great classic they wouldn’t have picked out on their own.
There’s also a ‘staff picks’ section in several parts of our library. The kids, and adults can see what the library staff is reading and recommending. It can be a bit overwhelming at times to look through all the books to find a good one, so this is a great place to start if you’re in need of a good read!
We have a ‘new arrival’ section as well. These are our adult new arrivals. It’s a bit like an eating buffet for me here! My eyes are bigger than my three week reading ability. I always want to take so many of these home, and then run out of time to read them. But check this often, I see new things come in weekly at our library!
There’s also award sections at our library. If you’re looking for the latest or oldest Newberry winners, just look for the sticker. Another great place to start for good quality books. This is where I often head while my boys are picking up Big Nate and Dog Man.
I hope I’ve inspired you to dust off your old library card, get a new one, or take your kids to get a library card of their own. I have to say we enjoy our time in the library as much as we enjoy the books we check out to read at home. Next time you’re in need of a time-filler, or even a Friday night activity hit up your local library. Find a cozy corner with a stack of books and just read! Then get another stack to check out and take home with you. So many books, so little time!! Happy reading!
Dr. Seuss titles to add to your home library:
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (I Can Read It All by Myself)Green Eggs and HamOh, the Places You’ll Go!Fox in Socks (Beginner Books)The Cat in the HatHop on Pop (I Can Read It All By Myself)The Foot Book: Dr. Seuss’s Wacky Book of OppositesDr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You : Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises (Bright and Early Board Books)There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! (Dr. Seuss’s Book of Ridiculous Rhymes)
Check out these other ideas for entertaining the family: