Before your children get old enough to grow jaded over the prospect, inspire a love of reading by taking them to the library. Modern libraries offer much more than elderly librarians shushing the little ones while stamping books. They provide an entire world to explore, and the best part is, everything is either free or close to it.
Many libraries offer summer reading programs for school-aged children, groups for preschoolers, and classes for teen and adult learners. They provide relief from the summertime heat, and they have much more to borrow than simply books. Read on to discover 10 reasons you’d benefit from taking your kids to the library today.
1. Teach Them to Cherish Reading
One of the most important reasons for taking your kids to the library is to help them develop a life-long love of reading. Reading is a critical skill everyone uses every day of their lives. From reading street signs to interpreting difficult legal rulings, literacy helps children excel in school and their future careers. With a plethora of books to choose from, your child will enjoy choosing their own tomes.
2. Develop Basic Computer Literacy
All libraries have computer kiosks. Some are free, while others charge a nominal sum per hour of access. If you don’t have a reliable home computer — or you use yours for work and don’t want sticky fingers typing on it — the library is the perfect place to begin teaching children about computer literacy.
All libraries install high levels of protection on their computers, and they restrict access to inappropriate websites. This means that even if you glance away, your child is protected. Additionally, 90 percent of libraries offer classes in digital literacy if you’re not too internet-savvy yourself.
3. Play Games to Learn New Skills
Many libraries install educational software that helps kids learn through gaming on computer systems. Games like “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” help students learn geography in a fun way. “Crayon Physics Deluxe” introduces young learners to the basic STEM concepts that are so desirable in today’s workplace.
4. Prepare Them for the Next Grade
Kids who go to the library read more, and research indicates doing so enhances students’ abilities to do well in other subjects—even seemingly unrelated ones, like math. Taking kids to the library, especially over the summer, helps prepare young learners for the next grade by improving their literacy and keeping their skills sharp. Plus, many summer reading programs allow kids to win cool free stuff, like pizza parties, in exchange for finishing a certain number of books.
5. Enroll in a Fun Class
In addition to digital literacy, some libraries offer classes in everything from basic astronomy to career exploration. Many provide summer science camps for children interested in fields like biology or chemistry. These classes run the gamut from prekindergarten to high school and beyond, so why not get the whole family signed up to learn something new and build valuable skills?
6. Show Them How to Research Information
Most English teachers wish more students had solid research skills. Many children mistake research with copying and pasting information. The library offers the perfect place to teach them not only how to locate information on the shelves and online, but also how to cite it properly.
7. Allow Them to Meet New Friends
Most children who hang out in libraries make great friends — after all, they possess the love of reading you want your child to have. Getting your little one involved in reading circles can foster friendships that last a lifetime. Plus, libraries allow a safe place for meeting new friends where ample adults are available to keep an eye on any suspicious behavior.
8. Rent Some Cool Toys for Home
Libraries lend a lot more than books. Many of them also rent out video games and even entire consoles. If you’re thinking of buying a console, why not try several models from the library first? If you can’t afford one at all, the kids still can earn their bragging rights over how they leveled up in the latest hot game.
9. Plan a Family Game and Movie Day
Additionally, many libraries rent out board games, outdoor sports toys, and DVD and Blu-ray Discs. Make a fun family game and movie day for pennies, or even free, by visiting the library and allowing your children to select one indoor and one outdoor game they’d enjoy playing on the weekend. Then, decide together on a movie to watch together, and maybe snag an extra one for the adults after the littles go to bed.
10. Inspire Lifelong Learning
The most important reason to take your children to the library is to foster a lifelong love of learning. This is critical to their future career, as many employers prefer to hire staff committed to professional development. The library is the perfect place to let curiosity run wild and get answers that don’t come from Alexa. Make it a game — have kids write down questions they’d like answered and hold a scavenger hunt to see who can find the answers first.
The Library Is the Perfect Place for Kids
Libraries offer a safe place for children to use their minds and develop a love of learning that lasts a lifetime. So many good reasons exist to take your little ones to the library today — what are you waiting for? How many things this awesome in life are free?