It Is Time to Make Time to Take Your Child to the Library
A family trip to the library can have many positive outcomes
Three important goals that many parents have: spending quality time with their children, helping them to be independent and socially fluent, and building their love for reading. These goals are easily accomplished by taking your child to the library. There is no better time to get into this habit.
There are plenty of benefits to childhood library trips including exposing your child to endless resources, broadening their perspectives, allowing them to strengthen their social skills, preparing them for a school setting, teaching them to value reading and learning, and so much more. Visits to the library can make a lasting impression on a child’s life and impact them in ways you can’t even predict.
Not convinced? Let’s dive into all of the benefits.
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Parenting Resources Galore
Resources and events at the library are parenting tools that can help you teach your kids important life skills. These lessons can be picked up just by visiting the library. From the moment they receive their very own library card to their interactions with other kids.
Early Practice with Responsibility
Library cards teach kids how to be responsible. This is often an early step that gives them a bit of responsibility in the adult world. These library cards allow them to borrow books and take-home stacks of reading material as often as they’d like. Keeping track of the card and the books is an important task and making sure they are returned on time is a commitment that kids must keep. This is an excellent way to teach your children responsibility.
Storytimes and programs are also a helpful way to guide kids as they grow. These sessions are overseen by professionals with specialized training in early childhood education and brain development. Being exposed to these sorts of activities at a young age can help your child develop useful skills that will support them once they enter formal education.
So Much More
The tools and resources that the library has also provide you and your child with all types of free activities. Books aren’t the only materials that libraries loan out to patrons. You can also find programmable robots, sports equipment, telescopes, and other fun activities to explore. This “try before you buy” model gives your child the opportunity to test out all sorts of interests before settling on their passions. In addition, some libraries offer free passes or discounts to museums, parks, historic sites, and events in the area which opens additional opportunities for quality family time.
More Reading and Discovery
If there is one thing that library visits with your child will almost certainly lead to, it is more reading! Regular trips to the library expose your child to shelves upon shelves of books making it easy to pull one out, settle in a comfy corner, and enjoy it together or take it home for bedtime reading.
Reading is Brain Food
Children who start reading early are building and strengthening links in their brains. This helps kids develop into curious, critical thinkers who can explore new ideas.
Healthy reading habits that are instilled when your child is young will follow them throughout their lives. This makes them better equipped for school settings where reading is required and will even help in their leisure time where reading is used to relax and destress.
Reading also leads to discovery. Books covering any topic imaginable are in the library. With so many fiction and nonfiction options to browse through and choose from, your child will always be learning new things and coming across information that challenges them.
Exploring Interests and Navigating Self Expression in a Safe Space
The act of determining their interests and reading preferences is also an important exercise in independence and self-expression. Allowing children to seek help from librarians in selecting books is a seemingly simple activity that can have social and emotional benefits. Librarians are trained in assisting your child in expressing their interests and can guide them in the right direction while giving children the opportunity to have a sense of independence. Allowing your child to conduct their independent interactions with the library staff will build confidence and communication skills.
Expanding and Exercising New Skills
A major reason why libraries and reading are promoted is that it helps young learners develop new skills. For example, reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary and teach your child how to articulate their thoughts. It expands their linguistic abilities and helps them understand how words can be used in a variety of situations.
New Friends and New Experiences
It’s not just about expanding vocabulary. Experiences at the library can also be a great way to teach social skills to your child. They may come across other patrons, librarians, and other kids while browsing in the library and attending programs. The smallest moments can teach them big things like how to ask for help, how to interact with others, and how to set their boundaries for socializing. Often, regular library users get to know each other, and the library will become a valued social hub where children can develop friendships and relationships with other children and with the library staff.
So, What Are You Doing This Weekend?
On top of the endless benefits that come with taking your child to the library, these trips foster a unique relationship between you and your child that they will remember for years to come. Library trips are special because they are filled with entertainment, exploration, and attention. These are times when you are completely focused on your child, and they will recognize and appreciate the efforts. Not sure what your plans are this weekend? Take a trip to the library together! We promise there are lots of memorable moments there to share with your child.
Help children and families in your community. Consider a donation to your library or visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more.