Okay, maybe not all toddlers belong in libraries and maybe not all libraries are appreciative of toddlers. However, if your local library has a children’s section, you seriously need to get your child in there. And get yourself a library card. Most libraries offer different programs, like story times on certain days of the week, special guests that drop in, different themes for the month, and actually reading programs. If your local library is like mine, they even have puppet shows, puzzles and blocks to entertain the little ones while you browse! Still thinking that toddlers and libraries don’t go together? Keep reading to see what five differences I’ve seen since taking mine to the local library.
First, my kids have a new found appreciation for books. Before, books were just coming through the mail once a month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library . The books we have received are all put on a shelf because I can’t trust my children to be alone with them. All the board books they’ve received over the past three years have been torn to shreds. However, since our first visit to the library, the girls have been more careful with books. We still keep our library books in the kitchen away from them when we aren’t reading just as a precautionary measure, but their other books are still intact.
Second, our nightly routine has changed, but for the better. As a person who has trouble sleeping, I almost always fall asleep with the television on. It’s a bad habit. And unfortunately, it’s a bad habit I’ve passed on to our oldest. Not anymore! Every night we read at least one book before saying our prayers and going to sleep. It gives her a pattern of slowing down and getting into the sleepy comatose that reading does to her. Talk about a natural melatonin!
Our youngest has also benefited from visiting the library and getting books. She’s talking better! Before, most everything our two year old would say sounded like “Simoleon”. You know, the language that the Sims speak? I started noticing a difference in her enunciation and sentence structure after our third trip to the library. I also might be a mean parent and started ignoring her when she wasn’t using her words, but her vocabulary has expanded more since we have started reading books more.
Naturally, coming from a single income family, I love cheap! This is a way of saving money on books by simply borrowing books! We have gone through about thirty books in the month that we’ve had a library card! Imagine trying to Amazon all of those books! It adds up! Also, our library also has a huge section where you can buy books from them that are being phased out. Pretty nifty.
Lastly, reading has become this bonding experience between me and our girls. I’ve always been the reader, and it’s nice to see a passion of mine to be passed on. Every night they ask for their story! Sometimes they even ask for a story at nap, and I will almost never turn a chance down. They’ve started seeing past the covers and actually ask me what some of the images in the books mean. And they always say thank you after we finish the book.
After realizing that we ran through all of our books in a matter of a day or two, we now pick up at least ten children books to make it a week. Asking the girls if they‘re ready to go to the library is sometimes a bad idea because it’s like releasing all their joyous energy in a matter of seconds. Seriously, it’s fantastic. While our girls aren’t ready for actual story time yet, they will be one day. Until then, we’ll be visiting our local library at least once a week, playing with puzzles and bringing home books that help expand their horizons one story at a time.