Summer is here and the same problem moms have faced since schools began summer vacations - how to keep your kids busy in a meaningful way!
Sure, you can plop them in front of the TV or let them loose on the internet, and I am sure they would love to play video games all summer long. But most involved parents want to limit those options not have them become the norm. Yet the alternatives can be expensive! Summer camps are great, for a week. Church Bible Schools are fun too, but they are also only for a week. A pool club membership can run hundreds.
If you are looking to keep your kids busy without spending a load of cash - here is an idea you may not have thought of - try your local library! Most libraries not only offer loads of great books, but they also offer much more! Here is a sampling of offerings from libraries:
Story Times -These range from pre-school and toddler story times right through adult story times.
Author Readings -While most author visits are for adults, many libraries include children's authors. It is a great way to get your child exposed to some great literature.
Music Exposure - My local library has several "movement" as well as instrument exposure times specifically for children.
Fun Shows - Dance classes, magic shows and puppet shows are just a few of the many offerings libraries around my town have put on specifically targeted for children.
Free Audio Books - I always think children should read, but while in the car or on the go and as a way of creating a whole family experience, audio books are awesome and often free to rent at your library. Either CDs or MP3s!
Free Music - Philadelphia Public Library offers 3 free Sony songs per week at freegalmusic.com. Check out to see if your library gives away free music.
Free Movies - Rent some fun movies right from your library.
Reading Incentive Clubs - The local county here has a great reading incentive program complete with amazing prizes donated from local merchants.
eBooks and Video Downloads - Many libraries offer downloads to members. You don't even need to go to the library to participate.
Free Game Kits - Nearly all libraries have fun kits for children. These can be reading or game kits.
Video Game Rentals - Libraries have begun to introduce video game rentals, especially for educational games. This is a great way to get "new" games and a bit of learning as well.
Special Craft Days - From building bird houses to beginner craft lessons many local libraries offer craft days for both adults and children.
Some libraries will charge nominal fees for some of the special events or programs, nearly always any charges are minimal. If you have not checked out the library lately, I suggest you do so soon, before you begin to hear those dreaded words "Mom, I bored!"