The library has been a big, bright spot in our summer. Two weeks into the unbearably humid, heatwave, rainy season, I was ready for it to be over. Then to top it off, when we did try to go out, every place was swarming with school-aged kids. It was more than I could handle to just make sure my wee ones didn’t get trampled by ten year old boys, and not very fun for my kids either.
But the library, oh how we love the air-conditioned, educational library where kids are sitting and participating in a free, structured environment!! There is a library branch about 1 mile from our house. If it weren’t so HOT we could walk, but I figure gas for 1 mile is ok, since that is pretty much the only place we have been going during the week. The first of June I scoured the library calendar and put all the events for our local branch on my calendar. I am IN LOVE with this little branch. We have been going to the library 2-4 times a week all summer long for story times, movies, magic shows, and story telling sessions.
I’m a pretty tough critic when it comes to magicians since my Dad and my father-in-law are magicians. Last week, the library brought in a magician who actually impressed me. He did all the standard tricks, but his delivery was impeccable and I could tell that he genuinely enjoyed working with the kids. And then he made a balloon animal for each kid (there were about 30 kids or so!). T-Rex promptly popped his tiger when we got home. Little Miss then begged me to put her balloon hat on her dresser where T-Rex couldn’t reach it!
And the summer programs? Perfect. There’s one story telling session that whenever we attend, we get 2 free kids meals at Bob Evans. The coupons are good through the end of September, and since there’s a Bob Evans just about 2 miles from our house – score!!! Cheap family night out.
But the coolest program might be the partnership with our local Major League Baseball team (which is actually at the top of the league this year!) If a child reads (or is read to) for a total of 24 hours, the child gets two tickets to a baseball game. There are little prizes along the way too as they “round the bases.” I think we’re only on hour 5, but this has prompted us to start something new with Little Miss – chapter books. I picked up C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” and The Narrator has been reading her one chapter each night. She is LOVING it and begs me to read it to her during the day (but I tell her it’s Daddy’s special book to read to her). She’s even started pretending that she is Lucy, and T-Rex is Thomas, and I’m Susan, and The Narrator is Peter.
Even T-Rex is enjoying the library, but more specifically – the story lady. Ahem. Miss T loves the kids and T-Rex has a crush on her. I noticed it last week when some one else was telling the stories and she was sitting with the kids listening. T-Rex kept going over and saying “hi!” Then he started playing with her name tag. Next thing I knew, he’d take a few steps away from her, fall down on purpose, look back at her to make sure she was watching, and then giggle. Soon, he was sitting on her lap. She was loving it. Now, every time we go to the library he grabs my hand and starts dragging me to the story room. Then, he stands right in front of her while she tells stories, as if she’s only there for him. It gets quite interesting when I try to restrain him so the other kids can see the story too.
And so, for sooo many reasons 🙂 we love our library!