Summer is lovely. I love not being on a schedule. I love that the kiddies and me have more time to enjoy what our town has to offer. Having just moved a couple months ago (no, we are not totally settled yet), I didn’t want the entire summer to be about house projects. Even though when I look in the dining room, I want to scream, I divert my eyes and think about making the most of our time. The house may not be ready for visitors, but that is OK. It will all get done eventually.
Since my oldest will be starting Kindergarten in the fall, I wanted to become a “regular” at the public library near our new abode. We signed him up for the summer reading program in June and have been checking out new books weekly ever since. Both of my children enjoy our time at the library. My two year old makes herself comfortable and devours whatever text I put in front of her. Both of their eyes are so wide as they browse the never-ending titles on the shelves. It’s like they are saying, “You mean, we can take these home with us? Whatever ones we want??” I know – I should have become a “regular” earlier, but I think we’re getting there now.
The public library offers so many great activities for kids and story times for all age groups. There is even a teen program at our library and a separate section for their books, which I think is great.
Last week, we checked out fifteen books. As we walked out to the bright sunshine, we couldn’t pass up the sprawling grassy area outside of the library. We stopped and sat under a tree and read our books together. They loved it. It doesn’t get much better than that. As a past elementary school teacher, it reminded me of all the amazing literature out there for children. Even though my kids are blessed to have a varied and large library at home, nothing can really compare to the selection at the library.
My soon to be Kindergartener also finds it pretty snazzy that he gets to check out the books for us. He scans them all by himself at the self-checkout stands. I can remember when I was a kid at the library and the librarians had to scan each book with a little pen laser thing. Well, I can even remember when there was an actual piece of paper inside the book and a rubber stamp marked the due date. I know, right? The library is so much cooler now!
If you haven’t taken advantage of the programs at your local library, set one day of the week and make it a regular date on your calendar. This is definitely something that we will do each summer. Summer is a wonderful time to keep your kids reading even though school is not in session. For those of us with little ones, it’s just a super excuse to introduce them to how FUN reading can be.
Here are some titles we have loved so far this summer:
Strega Nona by Tomi De Paola – This is the retelling of an old tale that I couldn’t wait to share with my five-year old; An old fable about an old lady with a magic pasta pot and a little boy who didn’t heed her warnings about leaving it alone.
Time for Bed by Mem Fox – My two year old liked this story, as the author shows different kinds of animals putting their babies to bed. Mem Fox has a rhyming cadence that is perfect for a bedtime story.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman – Amazing book about a little girl who wants to be Peter Pan in the school play, but whose classmates tell her she can’t because she is a girl and because she is black. This story is all about having the courage to be whatever you want to be no matter who you are. Timeless and important for children to hear.
The Great Gracie Chase: Stop that Dog! by Cynthia Rylant – Chaos ensues when cute little Gracie takes a walk all by herself. My kids both loved this story and wanted to hear it again and again.
Happy (summer) reading!
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