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“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” -Jacqueline Kennedy
One of the most important things you can do for you child is teach them to have a love of books and reading. With my son, I have made it a priority to have books available for him to choose from for as long as I can remember. I was even reading to him while pregnant!
While my toddler is only 16 months old now, the amount of times he reaches for a book instead of his toys amazes me! He loves to read books. Oftentimes, he wants one particular book read over and over and over… But, repetition is good for this age group. Even if I want to poke my eyeballs out after reading Red Light, Green Light for the 14th time today. By the way, Amazon has some pretty sweet deals going on right now for unlimited reading on Kindle devices!
My point here is that you can incorporate reading into a spring time activity with your little ones. Make the reading be about spring or Easter (if you celebrate the holiday). Better yet, take your kiddo(s) to visit your local library for some free or inexpensive spring fun!
The Library Visit
Our library hosts a variety of events that change with each season. There are events such as Mother Goose and Family Nights. Family nights are available for parents to bring their kids to have an evening in just enjoying some books together! The library also provides some snacks and beverages for the families on these specific nights. This is an event I look forward to taking our son to when he is older.
Check with your local library about any events or special gatherings they may have already happening or planned for the near future. With summer coming up, be sure to plan ahead to attend even more events with your children at the library. I have been quite surprised at the events being planned for our local library!
I take my son to our local library for a weekly gathering of a class they call, “Mother Goose.” This class is about 30 minutes long and is free for us to attend! We get two to three individuals leading the class in singing, reading, and other interactive type activities.
My son loves watching those whom are hosting the class! He finds enjoyment in the stories that they read to the class and tries to participate in the activities.
For example, they will pass out some colorful scarves and the scarves are used for a specific song. The song calls for the children to wave their scarf to the left, right, forward, and backwards. My son basically just waves the heck out of the scarf while giggling and bouncing. He could care less which direction everyone else is going with their scarf!
It is a fun, interactive, educational gathering that happens once a week. This is a pretty popular gathering at our library and generally has at least 50 participants. The ages range from infants to preschool so pretty much everyone is welcome to join.
While my son is too young to participate in the reading contests, I still thought they were worth mentioning for older children!
Reading contests at our local library come with a little take home baggy that includes a reading log, a cutout paper of an airplane, and instructions inside that are typed up in the form of a passport. What the contest entails is how many books a child can read during the specified amount of time. The reward was a free book to take home!
The paper airplane has a line across it for your child’s name. Turning in this airplane with a name on it signifies that your child has entered the contest! The library staff hung up the airplanes at the entrance of our library for everyone to see as they came in.
It has been fun seeing all the colorful airplanes lining the windows. It makes me happy to see the joy on the kids’ faces when they find their airplane with their name on it!
The Library Card
If attending class or participating in contests isn’t something that sounds like fun to you, consider signing up for an inexpensive library card and teach your kiddo about this great opportunity!
As the parent, you can choose when to come to the library and how often this adventure occurs. You can make a morning or an afternoon out of it (depending on the hours your library keeps).
While at the library, take time to let your child roam the age-appropriate books in the aisles, read a book or two to them, and allow them to bring some new books home. For older children, this is also a great opportunity to teach them some responsibility about using and returning the books on time.
My goals with my son is to instill the love of reading from now and throughout his life. I am a firm believer that if a child loves to read, they will enjoy school and learning more than a child who does not like to read. All of the subjects learned in school are based on being able to read. Therefore, reading is essential to their success!
In addition to all the educational hoopla that I am forcing down your throat, I also enjoy that you can escape in another world when you get lost in a book. Reading sparks the imagination and creativity! And- as you have seen with my recent posts about being creative with chalk art and painting– I love tapping into the creative part of the brain!
I think it would be challenging to change my mind about making reading part of a spring activity. However, I encourage you to share with me how you might agree or disagree with my views? I’d love to READ your reasoning in the comment section below! 😉