Free And Educational Fun Idea :: Our First Trip to the Library!
If you’re looking for some easy (and free) year-round fun, look no further than our local libraries. I recently took my kids to the library for the first time, and we had a blast. We read nightly and most of our favorites, we have committed to memory. I wanted to spice up our bookshelves and introduce a new adventure, so off to the library we went!
Tips to Prepare for Your First Library Trip
- Prepare to sign up for your library card – The actual process of signing up for the library card requires a physical form you need to complete and the librarian will enter the information into the computer. Signing up for multiple cards took a little longer than I had prepared for and my kids struggled to keep still and stay quiet. I had hyped them up for our library adventure, so this pause felt like a very long delay to two toddlers. My advice would be to get the cards in advance or to wait until the end when they are distracted by the books they picked out.
- Teach your kid(s) what libraries are– We prepared by watching Blippi and Daniel Tiger episodes about the library. By the time we arrived, they had a pretty good idea of what it would be like at “the place where books live.”
- Prep for the quietness – I have no tips for this one. My kids are either silent or loud; no in between. Luckily, the kids’ section was separate from areas where people were trying to concentrate.
- Bring a bag – Definitely bring something to put all of your new books in. We had a stroller with us and used the basket at the bottom. The library had handy baskets to hold the books we chosen, but you’ll need something to carry your finds home in.
- Set expectations – I wish I had done a better job of this beforehand. If I could do this again, I would’ve used it as a chance to practice our numbers and preselect how many books we would pick up. The library allows 30 books per person to be checked out at once. My 3 year old chose 21 books, and my 2 year old chose 10. Let’s just say it took me multiple handfuls to load up my trunk.
- Check for story time – We didn’t go during storytime but that is definitely the plan for our next visit. You can check the schedule for each library on the website and some locations even have evening storytimes to accommodate working parents.
- Take your time. Libraries are one of the few free activities left that you can enjoy at your leisure. Take a seat, relax and enjoy the experience. They have puzzles, coloring pages, and computes to enjoy if your kids want a break from the books.
- Have a way to keep track of the books – Come up with some sort of system at home to make sure library books don’t get mixed up with your personal books.
- Go regularly – Make this a recurring adventure and keep the new book rotation fun and exciting at home. We are thoroughly enjoying all 31 of our rentals and are now looking forward to the adventure of returning them (my 3 year old will love the book drop) and doing it all over again.
Our public libraries also have a wealth of kids’ activities year round. You can check their schedule monthly and find ample activities for every member of your family.