When I was in college, my dad often said, “treat yourself like a millionaire, little one.” I wasn’t really sure what he meant at the time. A millionaire, really?! I was a poor college student who chose not to use my A/C so I could use what little money I had for other things, like food.
Looking back, I know exactly what dad meant–you can treat yourself to all kinds of free things if you just look for them–and take advantage of what’s offered. At college that meant going to the gym (which was already paid for through my student fees) and attending free lectures on subjects that interested me.
In today’s cash-strapped economy that means finding–and doing things that are cheap or free. So, I have dubbed Thursdays as “Thrifty Thursday.” What did I do today that was “thrifty?” Well, first I dropped off a plastic tote full of totally cute but out-grown little girl clothing at our local kids’ resale shop. I hopped into the Dollar Store where I found some items that just might work for Kate’s “April Showers Bring May Flowers” themed Birthday party. And later tonight I will take my girls to the preschool’s literacy night.
Which really brings me to my point: The library is a wonderful and free community resource. As Lady Bird Johnson once said, “Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.”
We go at least once a week. I try to tie books in with a particular theme, holiday, or the interest of my kids. Today, for example Kate found a book on the Eifle Tower (she’s wild about “Madeline and “Fancy Nancy“) and so we talk about the Eifle Tower a lot. Gosh, at her age I didn’t even know what the Eifle Tower was!
Going to the library is a wonderful resource and outlet for Kate. Being apraxic, she is exposed to a whole host of media that doesn’t require her to talk–books on CD, DVDs, music CDs, and books, of course! She finds a book of interest. Together we sit in a comfy chair and read. I read clearly and annunciate all the words, pointing out new ones, or “tricky” ones and together we practice saying them. She has developed a wonderful skill of being observant (noticing details in pictures even I didn’t pick up on) and has developed a confidence in trying those “tricky words.” I am not sure all of this can be attributed to “Thrifty Thursday: Day at the Library,” but perhaps there is something to it. At the end of our outing, we head home with a tote bag full of books and a mind full of ideas. And a pocket still full of money.
If you go:
- Explain that the library is a place for quiet words and bodies.
- Allow your child to pick out some of her own books. Kids “read” more and better if they have choice in their books.
- Spend time exploring other areas and resources at the library: DVDs, kid’s music CDs and the parenting section are all valuable to families.
- Ask for a schedule of events. It’s how I found a writer’s group and the kids concert (see blog on Raisin Rhyme–Preschool Mosh Pit)–you might even find other interest groups like: knitting and photography or genealogical studies.