Story and I live about a half an hour out of town. While we are in love with our house, yard, neighbors, and neighborhood, living out here can be rather inconvenient (no pizza delivery!). To avoid the back-and-forth as much as possible, we try to group our errands and outings in town, but sometimes there are significant time gaps. Our go-to for these in-betweens is the library.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Story now reads quite a lot, so print books and audiobooks are always in demand in our house. Of course, that means the library is a must practically every week. But the library offers so much more than just books. (I can’t believe I wrote the phrase just books, but you know what I mean.) A public library can be a single mom’s best friend.
Most children’s programs are free. Programming will, of course, differ depending on where you live, but to give you an idea of what a public library can offer, let’s take a look at our library’s offerings. This week we have available to us (at no charge, remember): kids’ yoga, virtual reality play, movie night, story time and craft, a maker lab, knitting, a green screen workshop, an animal show, and reading to dogs. All of this is in addition to the library’s regular curiosities, such as books, board games, toys, video games, music, and art.
Also be on the lookout for special opportunities. The library at which my mother and sister work is raising money for the summer reading program by selling ceiling tiles that children can paint. The kids can then see their artwork on the ceiling of the children’s room of the library for many years to come! Story agonized over what to paint on her tile. She finally decided on a dragon reading a book. Very fitting for both Story and the library.
There are also many programs for adults, and libraries often make such programming kid-friendly even if its primary audience is the over-eighteen crowd. Interested in learning about Chinese New Year and some of the traditions? Forget the hassle of trying to find a babysitter. Take your child with you to the exhibition at the library. I guarantee other children will be there. You will sate your curiosity and your child will be exposed to a bit of culture. It’s a win-win.
And let’s not forget that the library is a great place for moms to meet and hold playdates. We all need to be able to socialize without the stress of making sure the house is clean enough for guests! Rain or shine, you can let the kids explore the children’s area while you and perhaps a new mom friend sit back and relax in those comfy library chairs.
If you haven’t already, go right now to your local library’s website and check out the calendar for the children’s programs. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking advantage of all the library has to offer.