I loved libraries since I was a child myself. It's a kingdom of books, and they are all available to you... for free! We buy a lot of books for Smarty, but I would not be able to afford several new books and one DVD a week. Reading together is still our favorite activities, and I hope that Smarty will keep this love of books and libraries forever.
Our library also has a lot of great free programs for children. There are several story times every week, an art activity (unfortunately, it falls during my daughter's nap), and programs for adults as well. None of them are designed specifically for toddlers, but I used the common sense checklist while deciding whether Smarty is ready to participate in them:
- Can she follow simple directions? - Yes
- Can she sit for 5-10 minutes without the need to walk about? - Yes
- If she has the need to wiggle, can she remain quiet and not disrupt other children? - Yes
- Does she understand the expectations of the story times? - Yes
- Am I prepared to leave the program if my child is disruptive? - Yes
So now, when we have Wednesday nights free, I am taking Smarty to a family story time for kids of all ages. It's amazing to see how well she can listen and interact with the librarian and participate in the songs and dances. The librarian who leads the program is really great with selection of books and action songs. There is also one felt board story every time - something that Smarty particularly enjoys.
I feel really lucky to be living in an area where libraries are well funded, and I hope that despite the budget crunch we will not let our children down and continue to invest in their future through free books and programs available to everyone regardless of their income level.
Do you take your toddler to the library? How often?
More About Learning to Read?
From my blog:
- Literacy checklist for toddlers
- Practicing Phonetic Awareness
- How to teach your child to read early?
- Best online site to teach literacy
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