It’s raining. Or, it’s sweltering. Either way, the kids are home, and they are confined to the house, and they are BORED. One more explosion of sibling bickering will surely send you yanking at those last hairs left on your head! You MUST get them occupied, distracted, entertained, but the pocketbook contains only a few stray lint bunnies. WHERE can you take the entire family for a fun change of scenery?
Pack up the crew and head out to your local library. Your library has programs all summer to keep every member of your family reading, sharing, exploring, and achieving. The rewards are endless! Studies show that students who read every day have higher GPA’s, get better grades, have higher concentration skills, larger vocabularies, and more general knowledge than those who don’t. Reading is free, relaxing, entertaining, and mind-exercise. Not only does your library supply an endless array of adventures for all ages, but it also gives you access to book clubs, story times, reading programs where children are rewarded for time spent with their noses in books, and extension activities like Lego clubs, puppet shows, movie nights, artistic opportunities, and visits from local businesses. At any given time, most libraries have a children’s area that resembles an exploration playground for little ones, complete with computers, puzzles, drawing materials, and learning centers. If you ever need to kill a little time with a toddler, take that baby to the library!
My girls and I darken the doors of our local library throughout the year on a regular basis. It is like shopping for free as we choose new books to read silently to ourselves, and to read aloud to each other. We also grab an occasional movie, or audio books for the car or for bedtime listening. This summer, my family actually put the televisions in the closet, and we have made some valuable and memorable connections telling each other about what we are reading, trading books, and reading excerpts to each other. It’s not uncommon that my girls have their current reading material with them when we leave the house, and they read as they ride in the car on our many summer errands. Yes, the prizes they earn from our library for four hours of reading greatly motivate them, and that makes this mommy very proud and happy!
Head to the directories on our site to find your local library system!
Our newest Mom Reporter Cassie Neltner is a single mom of two daughters, ages 10 and 8.