Parents are always looking for new ways to entertain their kids.
Likewise, energetic kids spend their time searching for new things to sink their hands into. Satisfying a child’s curiosity can lead parents to drive all over town, opening their wallets to petting zoos, movie theaters and paint-your-own pottery studios.
These activities help kids grow and learn, all while having fun. But what about book learning?
By the time the weekend rolls around, many kids will feel done with educational activities. Even so, a trip to the library could provide them with an experience that’s enriching as well as exciting.
With around 116,867 libraries in the United States, most families have access to some library resources. Here’s the best part: they’re all free! Library staff want to entertain kids and help them learn, so parents can easily benefit from their services. Here are three big reasons parents should remember their local libraries next time they need a kid-friendly activity.
Libraries Promote Children’s Literacy
Literacy is one of the most important skills people develop in childhood. It allows them to read, interpret documents and find the information they need to excel in school and life. Though education and parent involvement both help children develop early literacy, libraries play a vital role as well.
The number of libraries per capita in a given state is correlated with the adult literacy rate. This indicates that access to library resources promotes literacy in children and adults.
By bringing your children to the library, you help them develop a life-long love of reading which will serve them well throughout their lives. Regular visits to the local library could help your kids improve reading skills and become more research-savvy.
Libraries Teach Important Life Skills
Parents can also use library visits to teach valuable life skills. For little kids, the library provides a perfect place to learn about manners and sharing. From learning an “inside voice” to waiting patiently for a book to be returned, kids come away from a library trip with lots of useful skills.
Since the books and other library materials kids might use are publicly owned, kids can also learn the importance of respecting shared property. With your help, libraries can teach kids to take care of books properly as well as return borrowed books on time.
Older kids and adults can also learn valuable life skills at their local libraries. Many libraries now offer life skills courses geared toward teens and young adults to help them learn things like cooking, cleaning and financial responsibility. Libraries have lots to offer the whole family.
Libraries Offer More Than Just Books
Even kids who are unenthusiastic about reading can enjoy a trip to the library, since modern libraries offer the public much more than books. In the last five years, library programs per capita have expanded at a rate of 6.3 percent. So libraries today serve as dynamic hubs of community activity.
Parents who take their kids to the library regularly can expect to see a variety of programming. Some activities for kids might occur weekly or monthly, such as regular story-time readings or puppet shows. Other events might be more unique, such as a visit from a local entomologist or a painting class. The whole family can come together for fun at the library during popular board game nights.
Though some library programming is educational, some of it exists just for fun. You can keep an eye on library websites and bulletin boards for unique entertainment ideas.
Show Some Love for Your Local Library
Libraries provide a wealth of resources to kids and their families. They can help kids develop reading skills, teach them important life lessons and entertain them endlessly with activities designed just for them.
A weekly trip to the library is an enriching and free way to entertain your kids. When you and your family use these resources, you show support for your library’s continued presence in your community. So next time you need somewhere to spend an afternoon, check out what your local library has to offer.
This post & infographic was brought to you by the Hachette Book Group
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.