5 Ways to Make Visiting the Library Fun for Kids
When I was a child, I loved to go to the library. My library card was like a passport for endless adventure. Sadly, not all kids enjoy going to the library. Many treat it as an ordeal and have to be dragged through the door.
Lets ask ourselves the “why” question? What kinds of experiences are they having that may be turning them off? How many times have you heard from your children about the “mean” library lady that never let them talk, who was always saying, “SHUSH!”
Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to make the library a place your child loves to explore. Here are a few tips to make it happen!
1. Give your children a library card and freedom.
Libraries appeal to curiosity, so you should play to that. Guiding an uncertain child with reading choices is a good idea, but you should try not to steer too much. Part of the fun of exploration is plotting one’s own course.
If your child does not yet have a library card, get him or her one, and then encourage your child to check out the books, which are interesting to him or her.
For me as a child, this was more than enough to make me fall in love with reading. Our library was within walking distance, and I loved having the independence to walk in and check out a book of my choosing.
2. Be on the lookout for fun events for kids.
Many libraries nowadays have fun events for children. These could include story time, crafting, book signings, and so on. If you can take your kids to some of these events, they can learn to associate libraries with fun social activities.
3. Choose a library, which has an actual children’s room.
Most libraries have children’s areas, but only some have a separate room for kids. The ones that do are awesome, because children and parents are usually allowed to talk, play games, read aloud, and have fun.
The quiet rules are less strict in this part of the library. That means you can have fun reading picture books together (might I suggest, “Last Night I Had a Laughmare”)
4. Use the library to find activities to do at home.
It is important for kids to realize that the words they read in books aren’t just words on a page, and that knowledge really is power.
Libraries are full of fun project ideas. Browse through the cooking section and find a recipe you can make together—perhaps a scrumptious dessert. Look for a book with craft projects or science experiments. Then go home and bring these educational activities to life!
5. The library can also inspire other outings.
At-home activities are just the start. You can also use the library as a source of inspiration for fun outings. For example, imagine at the library you checked out my book What’s Your Birthday Wish? This book teaches children the importance of having a social impact. After reading it, you and your child might want to go volunteer in your community.
When we look for ways to incorporate what we read into our real lives, we show children just how many possibilities are out there in the world waiting for them—many of which can begin, just by opening up a book in the library.
So now you have some ideas for making library trips more fun for kids. Once your children learn to start seeing the library as an exciting place to be, they will be the ones asking you to take them on their next reading adventure!