Welcome to August – the lazy, hazy days of summer! If your kids are getting bored (like mine), its time to consider something other than movies and video games.
Why not check out the public library for good, green entertainment?
My four kids have been reading books for the past month or so while school has been out. We’ve been to the book store a few times and also borrowed from friends. Yet, when it comes to green activities for children, heading to the local library should be at the top of your list!
Why, you might ask?
First of all, there is nothing like re-using items to help save resources. The library offers a great selection of entertaining reads all for free! Re-using books that others have already read is the ultimate in recycling. Don’t buy new books – reserve and then check out the best reads at the library!
Second, public libraries often have resources and information about other community activities, including volunteer opportunities and free entertainment.
Just by showing up to the library, you are sending your family several important messages: (1) you can rely on your community; (2) you can help your community; (3) you don’t need to spend money on entertainment; and (4) recycling and sharing can both help save resources.
My older sons (ages 12 and 10) enjoy learning how to use the internal card catalog to search for books by author, title and subject. We’ve worked on interpersonal skills to ask the librarians about other suggested titles, or how to find certain books. The twins like browsing young reader chapter books – Sam loves the Magic Treehouse series, and Lauren enjoys Hank the Cowdog.
If certain titles are not available, the library offers lessons in patience and delayed gratification. I have told my children that we can put our names on the waiting list and when the books become available, it will then be our turn.
Yes, in the 21st century – the age of quick downloads and text messages – learning how to plan for and wait for what we want is quickly becoming a lost skill.
If nothing else, waiting their turn and not just putting down cash for a quick, immediate return is an important lesson for our kids. For us parents and guardians, it can also be a helpful reminder about the important things in life.
Who knew you could learn so much just by using the library?
I’m proud of the fact that we regularly head to the public library for new reads. In fact, I’m working my way through my friend’s book club selections about 6 months after they’ve finished them…