Earlier this week the girls and I made our weekly trip to the library. I don’t know about you, but I never gave much thought to libraries. I vaguely remember the one from my childhood. It was tucked inside the park my brother played baseball at. I remember it being rather small, dimly lit and (duh) full of books. I recall searching the shelves early on in my schooling, mostly for things about whale sharks or black holes, as those were my two go-to topics for every elementary research paper I did.
As I got older and the internet got to be more of a thing (online Encyclopaedia Britannica anyone?!) I visited libraries less and less until I couldn’t remember the last time I had set foot in one. Not a fact I’m proud of, but a fact nonetheless.
Fast forward a few years to when I had Hailey. Looking for ways to meet mom friends, I randomly saw a flyer for storytime. Hoping at least one other mom would show up, I took my firstborn to our first storytime experience. I wandered in about 5 minutes early and the entire room was PACKED full. It was that day I realized I stumbled upon a mom’s best friend, the library.
Since then I’ve discovered all sorts of cool (FREE) things to take advantage of and in case you’re a new mom or just haven’t been to your library in a while, here are a few of my favorites that are worth checking out (quite literally).
The DVD Collection
What? Did she just say to go to the library to get movies? I did. I have been blown away by the thousands of movies available at our library. All the childhood classics, the most up-to-date releases, educational films, TV favorites and more. Before road trips, I go and pick out 4 or 5 to rent. It’s completely free and I can keep them for the duration of our trip. It’s such a better deal than Red Box, renting, or buying.
If I’m being truthful, I don’t actually like how accessible the computers are, smack in the middle of all the books. That’s my personal beef though because my kids are drawn to them like a moth to flame. The computers are, however, set up with a large array of interactive and educational games featuring favorite childhood characters (like Dora, George and more). It’s also a nice opportunity to let kids get completely hands on without a parent (me) hovering over them to make sure they don’t accidentally delete anything.
The Books on CD
A hidden gold mine!! Our library has a decent collection (and after speaking with them I found out they hope to expand it soon) of books that come with CDs that children can “read” and follow along with themselves. Most CDs have page turn signals (something I always check for), making these great for the car or perfect for at home when you need a solo activity.
Music and Story CDs
Another favorite section of mine, I always pick up 2-3 on each weekly visit. The girls’ favorites are definitely the Song & Story CDs. We’ve listened to the same 7 song and story CDs more times than I can count. They also have a lot of nursery rhyme song options, which are great for toddlers and preschoolers, and even educational music that focuses on foreign languages, alphabet and spelling, or even math.
If you’re thinking what kind of mom would make their children listen to songs about counting?
This one right here.
Don’t knock it; the songs are actually quite catchy!
As a mom looking for free things to do, the library offers so many great activities too. From doll houses and toys to play with right there, to kid-specific crafts, to puppet shows, to reading time with a therapy dog, and more (many libraries even offer free passes to local museums and zoos), the library is a gold mine for parents looking for fun, free activities for the kids.
Also, if a child can write his or her name, they can get a library card. Hailey (5) has one and I love the responsibility it is teaching her to keep up with her books and take good care of someone else’s property.
I’m reading over this thinking it sure sounds like it’s sponsored by the library. It’s not, haha, but I do feel passionate about how much the library has given me. When I was a new mom to two, it was so helpful to have a place to take Hailey to play or listen to a story while I held Kaitlyn. I also met one of my good mom friends though a story time when Hailey was a baby. Oh yeah, and they have a ton of books for all ages too. 😉
Do you visit your library often?
What is your favorite thing your library offers?