Four Reasons to take Babies and Toddlers to the Public Library
Oh baby, it’s cold outside! Looking for a good, free, indoor activity you can do with your Little? The library has been such a saving grace for my sanity and has helped my Little one to learn a variety of skills. Below are some top reasons why I love the library, especially when that cabin fever kicks in.
Free! Free! Free! Libraries are open to the public and free; if you wish to take books out you usually have to be a resident to get a library card, but it is usually a simple process. In addition to all the books you can get your hands on, many libraries offer free child programming such as story time, crafts, movie days, and more. It’s all a pretty sweet deal for the fine cost of free.
Social Time If you are rocking the SAHM life, and especially if your Little is an only child, he or she might not get many opportunities for exposure to kids their age. Attending programs at the library gives your Little a chance to meet and connect with other Littles, and you the opportunity to socialize with other parents. Some libraries even offer “play date” times of open play just for this purpose.
Learning Time Many studies have shown that reading out-loud to babies and toddlers can help to build a strong network of words in their brains. In fact, babies who are read to have a deeper array of speech by the age of two than those who didn’t receive story times. Even just having a new person read to your Little can help them be a more engaged listener.
Preschool Prep Story time is a great precursor to pre-school. During story time, Little ones learn basic skills like sitting still, raising their hand, and sharing. Story time can be a child’s first step into what a school routine might be like. One of the most important skills a child can gain during story time is learning to learn from someone other than you. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child; story time leaders can definitely be a part of your village.
Additional Programing There is often special programming related to seasons changing, holidays, and other big events. Our local libraryoffers a petting zoo, visit with Santa, pumpkin decorating, family craft nights, reading with therapy dogs and, one of my personal favorites, is a un-birthday day to celebrate all the kid’s birthdays together. If you have an older child, too, In addition to all the free programs, libraries often offer low cost tutoring/ homework help. Some have used book sales throughout the year as well!
Your local library could very well be an untapped resource you will love to discover!
Author and photo credits: Karissa Sargent