Bored Kids this Summer? Check Out Your Library

Summer is just around the corner, or for some of you, it’s already here. That means the kids are out of school, and parents are stuck trying to figure out how to keep them entertained all day.  The easiest solution is to let them spend endless hours on some kind of electronic device either binging their favorite shows on Netflix or playing hours and hours of mindless app games on your phone or tablet. Of, course, that’s probably not the best use of their time. So what do you do to keep the kids entertained and engaged through the summer months?

One idea might be to check out your local library and see what activities they might have available for your kids. Maybe even for you. This all depends on what your local library does and has to offer, but I think most offer some, if not all,  of these types of activities. I would recommend checking out your local libraries site to see what they offer. The best thing is that most of these activities are free. Plus, my kids love going to the library anyway, so it’s easy to get them to want to go.

Summer Parties at the Library

Kickoff party at the library

We live in the Salt Lake area, so our local library is part of the Salt Lake County Library system. Each year they do a summer reading program for kids and adults, and they begin that program with a huge bash at their big location in West Jordan. It’s all free, and they have plenty of activities for kids, as well as some exhibits for grown ups. The whole idea is to get people to sign up for their summer reading challenge, and to get excited about it. This year, they will have games and crafts and bounce houses. How could we not go? Check out you local library to see if they are doing something similar. If you are in the Salt Lake area, you can click here for more information.

Summer Reading Challenge at the Library

Books at the library

One of the toughest things in the summer is to keep your kids reading. There are just too many distractions. Plus, they just spent the whole school year reading, they might feel like their brains need a break. One of the most crucial things they can keep doing in the summer is to keep reading. Their brains don’t need the break, they need to keep using and building those reading muscles. Your local library is there to help. Many libraries offer reading programs or challenges. They begin at the start of summer vacation, and they are designed to get kids reading. Our typically consists of getting a little prize from the library when they complete certain milestones, like a certain number of books. The kids love it, because they think it is so cool to bring in their little cards and show off what they have done and get rewarded for it. We love it because it keeps the kids engaged.

Summer Camps at the Library

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The library is more than just a place to get books. Often times, your library maybe a center of activity for your local community, offering so much more than books. Our local branch of the Salt Lake County Library offers a weekly summer camp for kids ages 3-12 (that covers all five of mine, so watch out, here comes the Dietz clan). The activities they have listed for the weekly camps include soccer, kickball, and even quidditch. It is an opportunity to get the kids outside for an hour doing a variety of activities that we don’t have to plan, plus they get to develop their social skills. Did I mention it’s free? Many local libraries offer similar activities to keep your kids active and social while they are away from school.

Summer Movies at the Library

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Yet another example of how the library is more than books. Our local library offers a summer kids movie program. This is another free activity that happens weekly. Usually they are playing last year’s hits that are all kid friendly. This month (June) or local branch is playing films like Hotel Transylvania 2, Goosebumps, and The Good Dinosaur. The movie also includes a free snack for the kids and they invite you to bring a blanket and your own snacks as well. If my kids are going to be sitting and watching a movie anyway, might as well bring them to the library.

Borrowing Books from the Librarymore books at the library

The last couple of activities I have mentioned have focused on the library being more than books, but let’s not take away from the reason we all fell in love with libraries to begin with. Just going to the library and helping your kids find a new book they will fall in love with is a worthwhile activity. Libraries are an amazing resource for our communities, and because of my library, I fell in love with reading. I enjoy that my kids love going to the library. I enjoy that they love to find books to read and new worlds to explore. Plus, for us, going to the library offers us a chance to get out of the house as a family, go someplace that has AC, where you won’t feel guilty, because it’s all about reading.

So, have bored kids this summer? Check out your local library, they can help!

What are you favorite things to do at your local library? Let us know in the comments or send your feedback to me directly at thegeekymormon@yahoo.com.

 

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Jake Dietz

Jake Dietz is a humble bank employee by day, and super dad to 5 little monsters by night. He enjoys all things geeky. That’s why he started this blog. He considers himself a member of many fandoms, and dreams of the day when all geeks, everywhere, can find a way to live together in harmony.


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