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6 Activities to Do With Your Child at Your Local Library

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    6 Activities to Do With Your Child at Your Local Library

    6 Activities to Do With Your Child at Your Local Library

    Libraries are magical places with thousands of stories you and your child can enjoy, but these spaces are more than long shelves of books and cozy reading nooks. Libraries are excellent places to play educational and exciting games to engage your child and encourage them to keep learning after school and during summer or winter breaks. 

    Creating fun library activities is simple. You and your child can surround yourselves with ideas just by walking through the doors. Let’s explore some of the best activities you can do together to create a full day of fun at the library. 

    1. Create a Scavenger Hunt

    A scavenger hunt is a fun library game you can create with your child. This game is quiet, so you won’t disrupt other readers and you can make a new list every time you play to keep the game interesting. Some great scavenger hunt finds are:

    • Music disks
    • A book thicker than three inches
    • Colored bookmarks
    • A magazine
    • Picture books with more than one color on the cover
    • A book with a specific author
    • Book titles beginning with a chosen letter
    • A book from a specific genre or author

    This game is fun to play and acquaints your child with their local library. Your reader will learn where to find different genres, understand the computer system, and discover where they can find their next favorite book in no time. You can also teach them about the Dewey Decimal system by having them find books with specific numbers. Each game you play can keep them excited about going to the library and encourage them to find something new during every visit. 

    2. Play I Spy

    This game is best in a location where many book covers are showing. If your library has a new release section or shelves showcasing popular titles, find a seat for you and your child to play near that spot. Additionally, you may want to reserve this game for when the library is uncrowded as you and your child will be talking back and forth. 

    Playing this game is simple, and you can get creative with your choices. Don’t tell your child what book you chose, but give them a clue. For example, you may notice a book with a blue and white cover in one turn. During the next turn, you may find a book about fairies or one with animals on the cover. After giving your child a clue, let them look around and make guesses about the one you chose. 

    You can give them another clue if they seem stuck, but don’t make it too easy. Encourage your child to explore what each book is about once a round is over so they can find interesting stories and new titles as you play. If you’re in a section with age-appropriate books for your child, encourage them to check out at least one of the books if it sounds interesting to them. 

    3. Map Out the Library

    For this fun game, all you need are a pen and a pencil. Begin by having your child walk around and note where different library sections are located. After you’ve done a few laps, ask them to draw the interior of the library and label different book sections. 

    If your library has more than one floor, consider focusing on one at a time. You can do this game with your child multiple times in one day until they successfully label all the sections, or ask them to do it once at the start of each library visit until they nail down the interior. 

    4. Find an Author

    For the find an author game, you’ll need to craft a list of authors for your child to investigate — it’s a good idea to check out the catalog for the library branch you’ll be visiting to ensure you’re offering suggestions your child can actually find. Younger children can play by browsing the shelves section by section, while older ones might gain good practice using the library’s computer catalog.

    You can also play a reverse version of this game by picking a few books and having your child put them back into place. This game is an excellent way to introduce your child to the library system and ensure they know where to find the books they want to read with the catalog.

    5. Check Out the Programming

    Many libraries have wide summer reading lists, fun events, and unique programs for young readers. You’ll find different programs geared toward preschoolers and toddlers, middle graders, and teens. You can ask a librarian, review flyers posted on the bulletin board, or check out the library’s social media pages to find events your child would like. 

    Your reader might participate in events like a book club, weekly craft-making, story times, and board game nights. Your child can also fine-tune their reading and writing skills by crafting original stories, completing small research projects, and giving a new author a try during these events. Sometimes these programs offer prizes and gift bags for mini competitions like giving a presentation, taking photographs, and reading the most books.

    A child reading a book in a library

    6. Let Your Child Pick Their Books

    It’s easy to have strong feelings about what your child reads, and you may feel inclined to pick out books for them — after all, many parents feel nostalgic about the stories they loved and grew up reading. However, if you want to foster a love of learning, it’s important to let them explore the topics and books they like. 

    Letting your child have free reign in the library can have surprising results. In school, children are often instructed what to read, so feeling complete freedom in their choice can go a long way in fostering a love of reading. They may pick books you never thought they’d enjoy or want to try something above their current reading level. While they may have trouble or quickly lose interest in these books, they’ll feel better having chosen them themselves. They may also surprise you by breezing through a book you thought was out of their grasp!

    Of course, you should ensure the books your child chooses are age-appropriate, but let them have control over the specific titles they read. Young readers can also benefit from having a parent read with them, so have your child pick out a book and ensure you spend time with them over the week to read it together. 

    As your child grows, you can monitor their progress and ensure they build lifelong reading comprehension habits. Discover new reading strategies and tips, like asking questions about the plot and characters, to keep them interested and entertained as they progress through each story.

    Develop Your Child’s Reading Skills at CCA

    Commonwealth Charter Academy understands that each student moves at a unique pace and has individual interests. Our enriching educational program hones student skills and aligns curricula with their idea of success. We ensure every student has the support they need to reach graduation and foster a love of learning. 

    Our personalized learning approach enables students to master their skills and stay on track, and we want to help grow your reader into a productive and educated student. Enroll your child at CCA so they access an enriching education they can’t find anywhere else. 

    A child completing a coloring book


    Commonwealth Charter Academy


    December 12th, 2023


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