Activities at the Library Offer Kids the Chance to Have Fun and Learn

During these tough economic times, everyone wants to save money. Parents often find it difficult to cut expenses when it comes to their kids. No one wants to deny their children the chance to learn or enjoy quality entertainment. Your local library offers a variety of free activities, materials and resources to entertain and educate your kids. Make use of all the great options and stay within your budget.

Most libraries offer programs and activities to entertain and teach your kids. Preschool story time is just one available activity. Most branches offer a variety of free programs for kids of all ages. Generally, these activities take place on the weekends or during vacations. Some opportunities might involve a visit with an author, craft classes or musical performances. Many libraries offer special days to play with Legos. Libraries have begun offering special events to appeal to teens such as Manga comic book workshops and movie nights. If you live in a larger city with several library branches, look into the activities offered at other locations for even more options.

Motivate your kids to read by signing them up for a summer reading program. These programs encourage kids to read as much as possible during the summer. Kids usually receive rewards for taking part in the program, based on the number of books they read. Librarians can help your child find books they'll enjoy and introduce them to the newest books in the library. The love of reading instilled through summer reading programs is priceless. Reading during the summer also helps kids avoid losing their skills when they're out of school.

Family Reading Time
Credit: familymwr

The Library Has Something to Offer Everyone in the Family

Add to your home library, find books to donate to your child's school and buy magazines for projects at a library book sale. Many libraries hold book sales once or twice a year to raise money and get rid of old books. Use this opportunity to add some books to your child's collection at home or find inexpensive research and reference books. Many libraries also sell donated magazines during the year. These are great to use for craft projects and activities, with most issues available for less than a dollar. You'll probably even find some magazines for yourself without breaking the bank.

Computers at the library can help your kids learn new skills.  Most libraries provide computers with internet access and software to keep kids from surfing inappropriate sites. Kids today need to learn how to use a computer and the internet for research and learning. Reference librarians often provide tutorial sessions and on-on-one assistance to help kids learn to find the information they need. Librarians love helping kids learn how to use the library and the many resources available. Teachers seem to require typed papers at a younger age, so you can take your kids to the library and allow them to type up and print their school papers and projects. Children can also access internet sites with computer games for fun and learning or use software at the library.

Help your child gain experience and job training by working as a volunteer at the library. Many libraries have reduced staff due to budget cuts. While student library positions are usually unpaid, your child will learn basic job skills and discover the value of volunteering to help their community. If they do well, the library staff will probably be more than happy to give a recommendation for a paying job in the future.

Make the library a family destination for reading and relaxation. With comfy chairs and couches and a huge choice of magazines, your family can spend several days a month just catching up on the latest gossip, fashion, crafts and more. No matter what topic holds your interest, the library probably has some magazines devoted to it. Your kids can even enjoy a selection of magazines just for them. While your kids are being educated and entertained, you can enjoy a few moments for yourself that won't cost anything. You might even find you can cut your budget a little more by cutting back on magazines you subscribe to or buy. Check out your library's collection of movies, music and computer software.  You'll find movies you can watch at home and computer software you can use to learn a new language or computer software to help them do better in school. You might even find you can cut your budget a little more by borrowing these items instead of buying them.

Save some money by making use of all the free and low-cost options for learning and entertainment offered for kids and families at your local library. Use the resources and assistance the librarians at your branch offer to help your children find books to enjoy and discover new ideas. Take time for yourself by enjoying the many magazines and books available for adults. You can even support your local library by purchasing books and materials to use at home. Best of all, your child will learn how to find out more about the world and discover new things by reading.

Free Activities for Kids to Enjoy at the Library
Credit: Mosman Library