Babies and libraries: do they mix?
Wondering when to start taking your baby to the library?
Or maybe you're wondering why on earth anyone would want to take a baby to the library. After all, babies can't choose their own books or even understand the stories we read them, right?
It may sound silly at first but there are actually very good reasons for introducing your baby to the library early in life.
Learning to read well is such an important skill for life for life that it makes sense to do all you can to ensure your little one grows up loving books and reading.
Getting your child his or her own library card and making regular visits to the library are two great ways to kick-start this process.
Taking your baby to the library is a great idea and you can start when he or she is just a newborn.
If you have older children, you'll probably be doing this anyway but, just in case, here are three great reasons why babies should start visiting the library:
The goal is to make the library a familiar environment so your child grows up knowing how to use the library and feeling like the library is a great place to be.
This is an important part of getting your kids to become readers.
Libraries are fun!
If you think about it, most human behaviour - good and bad - is habit.
We eat certain foods, exercise or don't exercise and even think a particular way because it has become a habit for us.
Changing an ingrained habit as an adult can be hard but creating a new habit in a child is actually quite easy: think about what kind of habit you want to start, work out a simple strategy and stick with it for a while.
So, if you take your children to the library every week or so when they're young, it will become part of their lives.
Imagine for a minute that you have a three-year-old who's been going with her Dad, Mum or Grandma to story time at the local library since she was a baby.
Now she's "a big girl", she runs confidently into the library ahead of Dad or Grandma and heads straight for the children's section where the librarian is waiting to begin reading a story to a small group of children. Miss Three plonks herself down and says "hi" to the librarian and then listens wide-eyed as the story begins.
Afterwards, she enjoys the craft activity which follows and, when it's finished, hops up to explore the books on the shelves with Dad or Grandma. Half an hour later, she skips happily out of the library with her stash of chosen books, looking forward to the evening when Mum or Dad will read them to her.
Clearly this is a little girl who loves spending time at the library and associates libraries, books and reading with positive feelings like happiness, curiosity and fun.
Here are a few things to think about when you take your baby to the library: