So much of parenting involves panning through dirt in an attempt to find the gold nuggets of wisdom.
- You comb through other people’s advice.
- You filter through Google search results.
- You sift through your own attempts at trial-and-error.
And then, eventually you find something worth holding on to. The blackout curtains that make nap time possible. A book that makes your daughter belly laugh every single time. The muffin recipe your toddler will never know contains vegetables.
And when you find these rare jewels of success, you do not keep them to yourself. You tell everyone you know and all but shout your findings from your rooftop.
Well, my friend, this is exactly how I feel about my local library.
Your Local Library:
This Ain’t No Fool’s Gold
The first time I stepped foot in my local library with a couple of kids in tow, I knew I had unearthed a real gold nugget.
- The toys!
- The bright lights!
- The educational activities!
- The other adults to talk to!
- The BOOKS!
Now, everyone knows the library exists, of course, but I’m not convinced everyone knows exactly how many amazing things it has to offer.
Each library is, of course, slightly different, but when it comes to general services and resources, I have found that library systems provide very similar things regardless of where you live. So, if you’ll allow me to stand on my rooftop for a few minutes, I’d love to tell you four of my most favorite things about the local library. (I promise to try my hardest not to shout.)
Reason to Love Your Local Library #1:
First, let’s talk about one of your favorite words: Free.
I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff? Even more so, who doesn’t love free places to take your kids?
IF ONLY THERE WAS A PLACE THAT COULD OFFER YOU BOTH!
(I know, I know. I promised not to shout.)
Enter your local library.
In addition to providing you endless amounts of new books to read (they can usually find a book for you if they aren’t currently carrying it on their shelves), did you know that your library has many other free options available to you?
Free Space to Play
Most community libraries will offer you a children’s area complete with all kinds of fun, age-appropriate things to keep your kids busy.
You will certainly find books, but you may also find things like puzzles, kitchen sets, sensory tables, or building blocks. For those days when you just need to get out of the house, but don’t want to spend any money, the library is just the ticket.
I mentioned the free toys you can play with in the library setting, but did you also know that many libraries have very similar toys available for check-out also?
Yes! You can check out more than just books!
If you do some digging on their website or talk to one of your children’s librarians, you might be surprised to find how many fun and educational toys they have to offer you.
Heather here! I actually sit with a friend at the library every Tuesday while I’m working, just to get out of the house. Last week I was thrilled to discover that my local library has board games to check out! You don’t have to spend $50 to try a game for the first time! Call your library to see if they have games you can try-before-you-invest.
Your children’s space is also probably putting on a lot of really great, free, children’s programs for you to take advantage of.
- Weekly Storytimes: Your kids will get to wiggle, dance, and listen to stories at a weekly storytime. There are usually classes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if your librarian even busts out a parachute or a bubble machine.
- Holiday Programming: Your library might also put on some extra events when holidays roll around. Your kids might get to “Sticker” treat in costume before Halloween or make some fun crafts for Valentine’s Day.
- General Programming: Our library always does some kind of reading incentive program in the summer, and every now and then puts on fun extra programs like preschool yoga or a stuffed animal sleepover. It’s definitely worth seeing what yours has to offer you!
Reason to Love Your Local Library #2:
You Can Access It from Home
Here’s another hidden gold nugget you might not have unearthed yet: You can access some great library options without even leaving your house.
- Digital Books: Most libraries partner with Overdrive and will loan you free digital ebooks. There are also digital versions of many children’s books, and your little preschooler might especially like the ones that come with a read-along option.
- Entertainment: If your library partners with Hoopla, then you’ve got a lot of free music, movies, and television shows right at your fingertips. Kids can’t get enough of the Sing movie soundtrack or are asking you endlessly for another episode of Paw Patrol? Look no further. You can probably access them through your library without even putting shoes on.
- Educational Programs: Your library might also have some online games or educational activities available for you to access through a computer or kid-friendly tablet. My own preschoolers love the online puzzles and reading games our library offers.
Reason to Love Your Local Library #3:
Your Kids Will Love It
I think it probably goes without saying after all that, but your kids are going to love the library.
And I do mean all your kids.
- Your little bookworm will cozy right up with a stack full of books in a comfy, kid-sized chair.
- Your budding engineer will find a set of legos or building blocks and create something masterful.
- Your social butterfly will meet some new friends while putting a puzzle together.
The local library is well-equipped to meet a wide array of interests and needs. And that’s even before they step foot inside the Storytime room!
Reason to Love Your Local Library #4:
It’s Fun for Adults Too
Okay, let’s be honest. The first 3 reasons are probably enough for you. Free things, home access, and happy kids were enough to convince me, anyway.
But libraries aren’t just for kids. They are also for you!
- Free Classes: Are you an aspiring author? Have you always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet? Would you give anything to join a book club? If you look into the adult programming your library puts on each month, I think it’s likely you might find something to suit your needs!
- Movies and Television Shows: Sometimes Netflix and Amazon Prime, in a great display of #firstworldproblems, fall short and don’t have the movie or show you are looking for. Just the other day my husband was trying to figure out how to watch something that wasn’t on either database, and guess where I found it? Our local library.
- New Friends: One of my best, new mom friendships was formed at the library mostly because we both just kept showing up each week for Storytime. If anything, sometimes it’s nice to talk to other adults (especially if you stay at home with kids all day). The library can provide a great social outlet for you too.
You’ve Struck Gold at the Local Library!
There you have it: Four reasons to love your local library.
Not only will you and your kids love it, but you’ll also get to enjoy endless amounts of free and easily accessible resources and services.
That’s a win-win-win-win!
So, head on over to your library’s website (a quick Google search should have you there in half a second), and start looking into everything they have to offer you.
And then, if I had to wager a guess, I think you’ll probably want to start sharing your gold nuggets with all your friends because that’s what we do when we find the good stuff in parenting, isn’t it?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to figure out how to climb down from this roof.
Have You Read These Yet?
- How to Make the Preschool Age Your Best One Yet
- 4 Simple Questions That Will Make Your Little Superhero a Better Reader
- 9 Overlooked Toddler Books Your Little Bookworm is Sure to Enjoy
- You Need to Know Why Reading to Your Child Is Tremendously Powerful
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Molly is the mom of three kids under the age of four and the wife of a busy (and extremely handsome) resident doctor. Mostly though, she’s a particularly average person just trying to live each day well. She spends most of her days perfecting the messy bun, drinking all the coffee, and observing every piece of beauty she can find in the mundane. Read more about Molly in her full bio here.