We live in a world of instant access to information.
This is fabulous BUT I don’t want my kids to miss out on
the magic of the library because of it!
I want them to know that each book is like a little world of information or adventure!
Here’s what I’ve done to introduce my kids to the library, to teach them to turn to the library for information, and to show them that doing so can be FUN!
1. Take Note of Their Interests
When my daughter expressed an interest in bugs- specifically ladybugs and bees, we went to the library, on a hunt for bug books! (Of course you can do this with any subject that your child is interested in)
2. Get to the Library & Declare a Quest!
You can make this fun by getting excited about your quest and helping them to feel the excitement in your face and tone of voice. Go to the computer together and search the catalog for bug books- write down the information you need to find the books, and go find the shelves!
(Include your child as much as you can in this process- explain how the library works, have them help you look at the numbers on the shelves and the books, so they’re included in the hunt!)
3. Choose Your Books & Get a Library Card
As soon as you find them, get excited that you’re on your way to the information you want!
Read through the titles and look at the pictures on the books together, choosing the ones you think you’d like to look at. Get a good stack of books to check out and if your child doesn’t have one, sign them up for their own library card! (Have you ever seen that episode of Arthur where they sing, “Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!”?… so true!)
We came home with a good stack of books on our subject of choice:
4. Dig in & Learn!
We read the books together (you don’t have to do this in one sitting- just keep at it as long as they’re interested, and come back to it later if you need to.) The goal is for this to be fun!
5. Have Fun with your new found Knowledge
After you’ve learned a bunch from the books, think about ways to have fun with that information:Is there a science experiment you could do?
Could you go on a nature hunt to find something you learned about?
Is there an art project you can make?
In this case, we decided to make some bugs out of paper. We made the ladybug first and I helped out by cutting pieces of construction paper out, for her to assemble with a glue stick:
She had fun putting that together, and then when it came time to make a bee, I let her take the lead a bit more. My kids are always surprising me with what they can handle on their own- she went right to work cutting pieces out (and I went to work putting my perfectionism aside, realizing that it was more important for her to “do it herself” than for the bug to look just right! haha)
She impressed me by taking this interesting fact…
…and incorporating it into her artwork! At first glance, you might think she made a “stinger” for her bee, but that would be because you hadn’t just embarked on a quest of learning at your local library! If you had, you might’ve picked up on a few interesting little facts, such as the crazy length of a bee’s TONGUE! (It never occurred to me that a bee would have a tongue)
She was so proud of her creations!
There are so many great ways to introduce your kids to the wonders of the library and this is just one of them!
Depending on the ages and interests of your kids, you might want to try some of these ideas:
– find storybooks and choose one to read to each other
– check out the DVD and CD sections- you can find a lot of fun there!
– take a bunch of books out of the library by the same author or illustrator
(read them and find similarities between their books)
– when reading children’s picture books, take time to point out the author
& illustrator’s pictures and talk about them!
(this could lead to an interest in being an author and/or illustrator themselves!
Check this post out to see how you can encourage that!)
I hope this post has encouraged you to try some new, fun ways to encourage your children to learn about their interests while becoming familiar with the library!
You can visit me at Raising Memories , to see more of the fun things I’ve tried with my kids. 🙂