There are two things I do with Reuben that I’m quite proud of. One is make juices with him that have vegetables in them and he drinks them (thus preventing him turning into a piece of toast), and the other is take him to the Library. He is a 20 month old book worm. From the age of 10 months he’s been able to entertain himself with a book, which is just ace for my sanity!
Pile of books = happy baby. Reuben at 10 months
We do own some books but the real revelation in Reuben’s tastes and development has come courtesy of the Library. I think it’s such a great service but it can also be a bit off putting. Memories of the strict library shhing you as child?! Don’t let it put you off, it’s not like that anymore (in fact we have a bounce and rhyme at our libaray on a Friday, which is far from quiet!), so I thought I’d put together some helpful tips for conquering the library!
I put off joining the Library for ages (as I do most things). Reuben was 11 months by the time I enrolled him. I should have done it sooner. Even if your kid has no interest at 2, 3 or 4 months, a trip to the Library is something nice for you to do in your day and before you know it, they will be interested!
Nearly 8 months enjoying the hungry caterpillar
Don’t get overwhelmed
There’s a whole lotta books in there staring back at you. What if you pick a naff book? Don’t let them intimidate you! It’s a library, right? You can come back tomorrow if you don’t like what you’ve got. Put aside thoughts of trying to find the BEST book. Take a section, have a peruse and pick a few that you like the cover of or recognise.
That’s a lot of books…
Don’t get too many
You’ll only lose them or forget to take them all back! We’re allowed to take 20 books at a time from our Library but I’m no fool, I know how clumsy and forgetful I am! So I limit it to 10 books at a time (not 9 nor 11 – always 10) so I know how many I’m looking for when it’s library day. We can always go back sooner if we get bored with them!
10 is the magic number
Go for variety
Get loads of different books about different things – animals, babies, tractors, princesses, etc. Don’t make any assumption about what your baby might like because they will certainly surprise you! Reuben has liked some random things – a horse in a boat, and a collection of the worlds most boring books about transport. He also loved and really responded well to a book about emotions and this week is loving a book about a sandwich?! And keep trying – baby might not like a book this week but next he might think it’s ace.
The tractor book – so DULL! But he loves it, bless him.
You can read part 2 of this Stories for Children posts here about the types of books to get for each age group (up to about 2ish as I don’t have much experience beyond that!).