It’s summer, and you know what that means, time to head out to that hip, hopping hangout all the cool kids frequent – the library! Okay, I know that compared to amusement parks, zoos, and splash pads libraries seem mild and maybe even boring. But they’re not! They are one of the best summer hot spots out there. Not convinced? Check out what makes libraries the perfect place to spend a summer day.
Bet you didn’t expect that to be the first reason. It’s true, though. It’s summer – it’s bloody hot! Sure, there are lots of fun activities to do outside in the sun, but sometimes you don’t feel like melting your face off. The library is a great option for getting out of the house without overheating. And unlike the mall, you won’t end up spending a bunch of money.
I mean, obviously. But really, this is a great chance for kids of all ages to explore their own tastes and read for pleasure. During the school year, there is required reading, especially for the older grades, which can sometimes make reading feel more like an obligation than a hobby. The summer is the perfect time to browse different genres, media, and authors to see what appeals to them. It’s also an opportunity to sneakily keep up those reading skills and fight slide-back without it feeling like homework in the summer.
Get a reusable bag, head down to the library, and sign each of your children up for a library card in their name. Let them fill the bag with books of their own choosing. These are theirs to take care of, checked out under their names with their promise to return them in good condition and on time. This is a great opportunity to teach care and responsibility in a fun way, and it makes them feel very grown up to have an account of their own.
Most libraries have fun reading incentive programs for kids, and many have them for adults as well. They range from simply keeping track of the number of books read, to doing activities based on the books and other literacy activities. Some of the programs use rewards like stamps and stickers, others have ballots to win prizes. They are a ton of fun and give kids (and parents!) a goal for the summer.
It’s not just about the books. Libraries often have a play area in their children’s section. Most libraries offer programs and workshops, theme days, and general entertainment with a wide range of interests. Our local library has a Lego workshop, a baking class, parent and tot music programs, a coding program, and so much more. Check out what they offer for adults too, many libraries have similar opportunities for adults. Last year, I took twenty-four online courses that would typically cost $150 each, absolutely free of charge. That’s over $3,000 in free education!
Gone are the days of the staunch, silent libraries. Instead of merely a place to do research and grab a few good reads, libraries have become a community hub, with much more to offer than just reading material. The next time the thermometer reaches a peak, don’t sweat it out at the park or go stir crazy at home, pack up the kids and head to the library. You’ll be amazed what adventures you’ll find.