Looking for something to keep the kids busy and their brains from turning to video game mush? There are lots of great reasons to go the library this summer. While it's a great place to cool off when during yet another heat wave, it offers so much more.
Your local public library is a great resource. If your child doesn't like to read or you don't know what books they might like, have your child talk to the librarian and tell them about their interests and any books that they have read and enjoyed. The librarian can point you in the direction of other books that may interest your child.
Read-aloud storytimes are a fun, free activity provided by most local libraries. Librarians are passionate about literature and can pass that on to your children when they read fascinating stories to them. Give yourself a break from entertaining your kids and let your librarian hold their attention for a while.
We all worry about summer brain-drain. To help combat this, there are also lots of programs to encourage reading over the summer. Many libraries have a book club or summer reading program with incentives. You can also add your own incentive to the program if the library's reward is not appealing to your child. A summer reading program can help you to make the most of your trips to the library as well as start some good reading habits.
Look around your community for other institutions that may have summer reading programs such as TD Bank. They will give your child $10 for their TD Bank account if they read 10 books throughout the summer. Other businesses may have similar programs.
The library can also be a great resource for you! At my library you can go online or call ahead and request the books you want to check out. If my library doesn't carry that book they can simply request it through inter-library loan from another local library. When you get to the library they will have the books ready for you at the front desk. This option is a lifesaver you have multiple kids who won't allow you the luxury of looking through the stacks for a specific book. You can learn a lot by your example of reading and enjoying books.
To keep your trips to the library organized and easy, make a library bag. Get a canvas tote bag or design one at cafepress.com. Take it with you to the library when you pick out books, then explain to your children that once they read a book, it goes back in the bag. This will help to keep your library books organized and reduce your lost-book fees. Every week or two (or when the books are due) you will know exactly where the books are and can easily take them back for new ones. You can even put a tag on the bag or get one with a pocket where you keep the return date written down so you won't return them late.
While you're looking around your local library, be sure to check out their events calendar. Our several free events for children throughout the summer such as magicians, musicians, crafts and parties. This can be a great way to keep you sane when you've heard, "I'm BOOOOORED!" for the 100th time.
Allison is a mom and Disney Vacation Specialist. She has traveled to Disney more than 30 times and loves to help other families plan magical vacations. You can get even more tips on her website Magical Memory Planners. She helps clients all over the US and would love to help your family, too!