One our favorite activities in our homeschool are our weekly library trips. My girls love to go to the library and find new books they hadn’t seen before. They also love to participate in many of the other activities and resources offered there.
When I first began homeschooling, I didn’t realize how many different ways I could utilize our library to make the most of our visits. I would show up, give the kids a few minutes to check out new books, and then out the door we’d go.
Little did I know I was missing out on so much!
There are so many ways to enjoy your local public library. Today I want to share some different opportunities we take advantage of when we visit ours. Hopefully these tips will help you make the most out of your next trip to the library too?
Create Decorative Bookshelf Place Markers
One of my biggest pet peeves at the library is when my girls take a book off of the shelf and forget where they found it.
I used to work in the school library as a student assistant in the 7th grade, so I can sympathize with the librarians. I know first hand how it feels to have your freshly organized bookshelves destroyed in under 3 seconds.
I remember taking a ruler to the library when I was in grade school to mark my book’s place on the shelf. While that simple ruler definitely got the job done, it was not quite as fun to carry around during my book hunt.
Since I am a very visual person, (as are my girls), I decided I needed to come up with a way to jazz up these bookshelf markers.
I went to my local Walmart and asked for some paint stirrers from the paint department. Then I brought them home and told the girls they could decorate them however they wanted, as long as they had their name on them.
Now, my kids (especially Lil’ Sis), can put the books back on the shelves when they are done with them all by themselves. Even better, now I don’t have to go back and forth eleven hundred times each library trip just to help them put their books back in the proper spot. Mom win!
Try making these with your little one’s too. It just might save your sanity a little next time you head to the library for a day of reading.
Take Advantage of Library Subscriptions
I don’t know about your library, but mine has some pretty fun stuff for the kids to do when we go to visit. One of my favorite library perks are the free subscription services they offer for different programs.
For example, my library has an account for ABCMouse, which saves me quite a bit of money on a monthly membership. It also helps me keep Lil’ Sis occupied while the older girls do their own projects.
Ask your local librarian if they have any kind of educational subscription services you can use while you are visiting. You may be surprised to find out what they have to offer.
Visit During Story Time or Other Special Events
Our library has the sweetest service dog that visits every Tuesday. During this time kids are invited to come and read stories to the dog. Since my kids are absolutely obsessed with all things animals, this is the perfect opportunity to sneak in some read-aloud practice!
Chip, the beautiful golden lab, loves the attention he gets from the kids as well.
See what kind of activities your local library offers. Maybe they have a story time session once a week? Or maybe they offer another form of educational class time? If they don’t offer anything like this already, it’s a great idea to put in a suggestion with your local librarian. Most libraries love to get feedback from the community on how to make your experience better!
If they don’t offer anything like this already, it’s a great idea to put in a suggestion with your local librarian. Most libraries love to get feedback from the community on how to make your experience better!
Check out the Different Educational Kits on Loan
Another great perk about going to the library is that often times there are different types of educational kits that you can check out or borrow for a limited time. Some libraries kits are better than others.
I live in a pretty small town, so my library doesn’t have as many resources as some of the bigger surrounding cities, but they do still have some good stuff.
Once, we checked out an exercising for kids kit. I was able to use it in our homeschool to aid in lessons about physical education and exercise. It even came with a pedometer for each of the kids to keep so they could track their steps daily.
We also recently checked out a nutritional kit that helps teach kids how to be healthier. The kit included an educational poster, a lesson on DVD for the kids to watch, and worksheets you could copy off and complete. These kits have definitely helped out in my homeschool.
What kind of educational kits does your library have? Ask your librarian the next time you visit.
Go on a Library Scavenger Hunt
Perhaps one of the best ways for me to squeeze in some study and research time in the library is a mini library scavenger hunt.
Every once in a while when we go, I give the kids a particular topic to research. Their job is to find that book, and then I ask them to answer questions that can be found in that book.
I decided to turn my scavenger hunts into a printable packet for you. Now you can have your own mini-scavenger hunt on your next trip as well. These printables were made with my young girls in mind, but I’m sure you could come up with something similar for older kids as well.
In this printable packet, you get 5 different worksheets to print and take along with you on your next library trip. Each worksheet tells the child to look for a book on a specific topic, and then answer the questions about the book they found.
The 5 different scavenger hunt topics include:
- Famous person
- Historical event
- Foreign country
What do you like to do to make the most out of your library trip? I would love for you to share your experiences in the comments below.
Things to do at the Library
This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s “Things to do at the Library” link Up. Click on the image below to see more ideas for ways to make the most of your next trip to the library.
Please note: this link up does not begin until Friday, November 4, 2016.
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