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I was looking at some online articles about the benefits of teaching toys, flashcards, etc… and I was wondering…why? I admit, we have some teaching toys, they are currently collecting dust lol. My younger 2 seem to prefer their toy vacuums and other nice, quiet toys (well, except the 3-year-old, who, as we speak, is playing with some fun Halloween apps on the iPhone).

I came across an article about how libraries are no longer what they used to be, and how they can still be beneficial to young children.

I used to take my kids to the library all the time in North Carolina, and I try to here, I just need to be more consistent (though, ours has a playground on the premises, so you can probably guess where they would rather go!)

But in this day and age of computers, electronic teaching toys, and educational DVD’s (though I, personally LOVE watching Baby Einstein), the public libraries may seem too old fashioned to be of any use to parents of younger children (even older ones, as they now no longer have to go to the library to do research, but can do it form their own bedrooms!)…but I think that is far from the truth!

Reading to your child is more beneficial than any electronic “teaching” device could ever be! You need to open up the world of books for your child. No matter how advanced our society may get, I can almost guarantee that reading and books will be around for a VERY long time! And learning to read from REAL books (not something with the name LeapFrog on it) is essential to succeed in life, through school and beyond.

Books also open up a world of communication and topics that may have never come up in life! Books help a child learn and grow, discover new worlds, languages, people, and more!

But just as bookstores have evolved to keep pace without lifestyles and interests (IE Starbucks in your local Barnes and Nobles), libraries have also changed to meet the needs of today’s families. Few other places offer the resources and expertise to help us introduce our youngest learners to the exciting world of reading.

Most parents do not want to bring their young children to a library, in fear they will not be quiet or will disturb other patrons. But today’s libraries, unlike those that we knew as young children, are no longer like that. Most public libraries now have story times, dedicated children’s areas, puzzles, toys, games, and more, for their youngest patrons. Now children can enjoy library time, and not worry about getting into trouble! Those libraries with a dedicated children’s area even have comfy chairs, couches, bean bag chairs, child-sized tables, and more, to make the children feel comfortable in their environment.

Now, after this, I think I need to make time this week to go to the library! We have not been since mid-summer. I think it is time for a visit! Too bad Wyatt is too young to get a library card! The older 2 have one…but they get library time multiple times a week at school. Time to give the younger two equal opportunities.

So bring your young children to the library today, and open up a whole new world for them!

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