Libraries are the unsung heroes of the family entertainment industry. Even though they've been around forever, how many people think of the library as a go-to destination when boredom sets in? It's a shame to let such a rich resource go to waste, especially when there's literally something for every member of your family all in one place, for free.
Everyone knows that libraries are filled with books, but with the ever-expanding virtual selection available, fewer people are visiting their local libraries. Still, the fact of the matter is, when it comes to reading, kids love the feeling and experience of holding a book in their hands. Flipping pages. Passing their fingers along the print as they read. These little perks just don't come with electronics. Plus, while the online selection of books is vast, libraries still have the edge. Not only are their in-house collections massive, but with inter-library connections, they can pretty much get their hands on any title you or the kiddos would like to read.
Planning a movie night? There are inexpensive options, such as Netflix and Redbox, available, but most libraries have video selections available for checkout at no cost. The checkout periods are usually shorter than they are for books and you might have to wait a little while for the newest titles, but free is always good.
Books and Songs on Tape
If you're heading to grandma's for the weekend and a long drive is involved, you might just want to check out some books or songs on tape. Your kids can listen to family friendly entertainment while you're on the road or you can have a rousing round of sing-along goodness without having to play the same CDs over and over again.
Most libraries have a small computer labs set up for patrons to enjoy. Your kids can surf the web at the same time without having to take turns on your home computer, while you sit nearby and enjoy a peaceful read.
Reading Programs and Clubs
Libraries often have year-round reading programs or clubs for children to join. They'll get to hang out with other kids their ages while enjoying the entertainment. The person leading the group will usually share a good book and then have a discussion with the children about it. Involving your children in these clubs not only fuels the love for reading, but also gives them a chance to hear their friends perspectives on the books.
Free entertainment is becoming a rarity nowadays. The next time your kids are hungry for something to do, take them to your local library and let them get some fun, family-friendly entertainment without spending a dime.