In the age of digital books, learning games on our home devices, and audiobooks, why should we bother to keep visiting our library? We love the access we have to education at our fingertips, but libraries have a value that will never go away.
At Twin Cities Kids Club, we strive to bring you all the best information and advice, as well as discounts for events and activities throughout the Twin Cities. Join the club today!
Reading is Essential for the Young Brain
Research shows that focusing on healthy brain development in the first five years of life is essential to how well our kids can learn and interact with others. The brain is growing so fast in young kids. What they learn and how they learn it can continue to affect their habits and skills for the rest of their lives.
When we read to our kids, it increases brain activity and encourages development in more areas of the brain. When your child is sitting close to you and holding a book, their language, listening and imagining skills are being reinforced. The book is a tactile reminder of the story they read, and their emotional health benefits by sensing that they matter enough to have your full attention.
If you’re looking for tips on when you should start your kids reading, check out our tips here.
Libraries Support Young Readers
Libraries have always had more books to choose from than you could ever have at home, but today’s libraries understand that reading for young kids is about more than just books. They offer play areas, programs, and story hours all designed to aid in young literacy. Reading and fun go together at the library, and your kids will love being there.
Checking out Books is Fun!
Nothing encourages kids to read more than choosing their own books. Library books are special, and so much fun to read at home. Keep your child’s books in a designated place, and always get more when it’s time to bring them back.
A Library Card of their Own
There is no minimum age requirement to issue a library card. As soon as your child can ask for it and hold it, get them their own! It’s like the key to a treasure box, and it’s so much fun to be in charge of their very own books.
Because we are in the Twin Cities, we enjoy the benefit of the Metropolitan Library Service Agency or MELSA. Because of MELSA, we can get a library card at our local library, and use it at any library in the Twin Cities metro area. Participating libraries include:
- Anoka County Library
- Carver County Library
- Dakota County Library
- Hennepin County Library
- Ramsey County Library
- Saint Paul Public Library
- Scott County Library
- Washington County Library
Libraries are a Free Destination
Parents of young kids are always interested in educational activities, and families can add libraries to their regular family rotation without causing financial stress. Your kids feel like they got a fantastic gift with the books they bring home, and you know they are learning and thriving in an environment designed just for them.
Find Your Favorite Play Areas
Libraries throughout the Twin Cities feature interactive play areas designed just for your kids. Plan to meet a friend and enjoy a morning out with your preschooler. Everyone gets to enjoy new and different toys, and no one had to clean their house first!
The best part is, the toys are chosen carefully by pros who know what kids like, and they will promote educational play. You will be so proud watching your child master a new skill or complete a puzzle they’ve never seen before.
Library Story Hours are So Much Fun
Libraries stack their calendars with story hours, events, and activities designed by professionals just for your kids. Get to know your local library’s offerings and take advantage of what you find! It is also fun to look ahead to see if any other libraries in your area have a special event coming up that’s worth a little drive.
They Don’t Just Read at Story Hour
Children love story hours, which are never just about books. Librarians know that young kids love action and movement, too. They will use songs, hand motions, puppets, and other toys to design their story time with that in mind!
Preschool You Can Stay For
Heading to story hour can be the perfect first experience in group learning for your child. They find out what it means to pay attention and listen to another adult, and how to be courteous and share their space with their friends. And best of all, their parent or loved caregiver is still right there in the room, showing them it’s fun and good.
Your Kids Won’t Be the Only Ones Learning
You and your kids will learn finger-plays, songs with hand motions, and fun ways to interact with books. Not only will this educate and positively stimulate your child’s brain while you’re there, but it will give you some skills to use later on at home.
Have you ever had a play-date that heads off the rails a bit? Next time, get on the floor and invite the kids to join you in your favorite library song with hand motions to interrupt that chaos and redirect the energy. Next time your three-year-old is losing it in the waiting room, entertain her with a finger-play, or two…or three.
You may not learn much from studying about why the “Old Lady Swallowed a Fly,” but pay attention to how the pros lovingly manage a room full of young kids, and you’ll pick up a thing or two.
Look for Classes and Free Events
The Rondo Library has a great program called MiniMasterpieces. It’s a workshop series for preschoolers to introduce them to art and music.
Take a look at what’s coming up with the Saturday Live! Performances at George Latimer Central Library.
The Hennepin County Library offers cultural events and activities on a regular basis. Libraries not only encourage reading, but they also promote culture and arts in creative ways.
Take a look at the website for the library system near you, and you are guaranteed to find classes and events you and your children will love.
Get to Know Your Library
The more you go, the better you will be at taking advantage of all the library has to offer. Make a plan to learn your library this winter. You and your child will not regret it!
Don’t forget to join Twin Cities Kids Club for access to exclusive discounts.