Why We Love the Library

by Julie on May 2, 2011

When most people think of libraries, they think of quiet. When most people think of children, they think of … umm, not quiet. Contrary to our initial parenting thoughts, though, the local public library is a wonderful place to spend time with your child.

We’ve all heard that we should read to our children daily. Did you know that reading just 20 minutes per day provides little minds with exposure to thousands of additional words than they would have had otherwise?  In fact, a child read to 30 minutes per day from infancy will enter Kindergarten with over 900 hours of brain food. In contrast, a child read to just 30 minutes per week, will have just about 130 hours of exposure. What a dramatic difference!

When reading to children, we encourage parents and caregivers to use lots of “book language” like: There’s a ___ on the cover; turn the page; and that’s the end. In addition, we often talk about the illustrations, what might happen next; the kinds of characters in the story; and any real life experiences the child has had that relate to the story.

Some parents avoid reading daily because they are bored by repeating the same books. How many of us can recite Goodnight Moon or The Cat in the Hat? In our sleep. Children definitely learn by repetition, but by visiting your local library, you can access books on a variety of topics, providing your child with a rich experience. And parents get to enjoy the variety, too.

Most libraries display seasonal books that change frequently. Those easily spotted books are great because  they are relevant to holidays and events that are meaningful to your family. Parents and children might also select books by certain authors  or search by topics.

Finally, most libraries also offer a free activity for children and their caregivers – Story Time. These age-specific classes are tailored to suit children by age: infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary age students. They are an active, multi-sensory experience for kids to interact with each other and great books. Don’t worry if your little one won’t sit and listen. This is a kid-friendly opportunity. And it’s a nice place to meet up with other parents of kids the same age as your little learner.

The therapy team at Central Florida Therapy encourages you to snuggle up with your little one and a good book. Or two. Even the active toddlers – who don’t appear to be listening – are often taking in more than we realize. Keep on reading and feeding that growing mind. Before you know it, they’ll be reading back to you.

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