Learning for Life: Libraries offer free activities



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Posted on January 18, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 9:50 AM

A lot of new parents think if they sign up for parent-child music classes and group activities they'll give their child a better educational start. But those classes can cost a lot of money. Did you know your child can enjoy a lot of the same types of classes and experiences - for free?

Angelique Davis is an educator. So when CJ came along seven months ago, she knew they'd be spending a lot of time at the library. She knows Seattle Public Libraries reach out to parents and young children. And the price is just right – it’s free.

“It's free and he gets out and socializes and it's just wonderful,” said Davis.

And seeing, if not yet reading, is believing. Free library programs, like the "Reading to Baby" class, are fun and engaging and help parents and kids get off to a good start.

In fact, there are more free library programs for kids than you can shake a stick at, like the play and learn group at the High Point Library Branch. The plan for these programs isn't to grow baby geniuses, just healthy little minds and bodies.

Another great thing about library activities is that they're great rainy day activities, because let’s face it. Nine months out of the year we parents in the northwest have to get pretty creative about getting out kids out into the world while keeping them out of the elements.

No matter what the weather outside, inside the kids begin to thrive.

“If you start young, even before kids start reading, then you get the parents and grandparents and caregivers into this expectation that every week or every other week we go to the library and maybe we have a book read to us, and it just becomes a part of their whole learning,” said Davis.

Learning that starts young, and like a good book, just keeps getting better.

And these days, it is so easy for parents to find out about times and places for free library activities for parents and kids. Just go to the Web site for the libraries in your city or county. Library Web sites in recent years have become much more user friendly, with loads of information on how you can take advantage of free activities.