All right. So, maybe this week isn’t as highly anticipated as Halloween or Christmas. There may not be the international hype that leads up to St. Patrick’s Day or color coded outfits to mark the event. But when the nation gets together to celebrate an institution that gives us access to free literature, it deserves to be acknowledged in a most wonderful way! Now more than ever, they need our support as they are just as valuable to our families today as they were 30 years ago.
Here are 5 ways that you and your kids can do that! Be sure to comment below with your own ideas!
1. Write A Note To Thank A Librarian
This may sound cheesy, but the effort behind the action is far surpassed by appreciation!
If you visit a library with any frequency, you know that you see the same workers on a regular basis. Library employees are often limited and even with the help of volunteers, you will see the same men and women behind the counter more than once. Librarians love what they do and have a boundless passion for all things literary. They share that enthusiasm with the thousands of patrons that pass through the door and regularly go above and beyond the call of duty to help find a book, answer a question, or supply a resource. I do not believe the internet has dampened the value of these individuals and instead, has just armed them with one more way to assist us in finding answers.
So write a note, have your kids color a picture, or send out an email to your local branch letting them know they are appreciated and valued. This method of showing thankfulness may be old fashioned, but gosh darn it, its effective!
2. Get Crafty
There are endless ways to connect your kids to National Library week through hands on activities.
- Zip through Pinterest and search ‘book crafts’.
- Have your kids pick out a favorite book and allow them to brainstorm something you can create based on that story. For example, paper hats would be great for the book How I Became A Pirate or Pirate Boy. Build your own ‘log cabin’ out of sticks when reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
- Many books have craft tutorials on the back pages specifically for that story. Find some and get busy!
- Throw together some costumes and act out your favorite book. And when I say costumes, I am talking raiding your own closets, using construction paper and empty toilet paper rolls for props, and putting a colander on your head for a helmet. Nothing fancy here folks!
3. Think Beyond The Card Catalog
Don’t forget that your local library can serve a multitude of purposes. The next time you need a meeting place for a group, try the library. Need to kill some time between appointments? Try the library. Stop by and take advantage of books on cd (excellent for road trips or those with a job that requires them to drive a lot), dvd’s, magazines, story time, classes, free internet, and a host of other personal and community services libraries offer.
4. Check For Events At Your Local Library
Be sure to check your local library, Richland or Lexington County, for events happening RIGHT NOW for National Library Week. Most branches have a full schedule of events going on so be sure to stop by your favorite library, or check the website for more information. Each branch is different so don’t hesitate to browse around to other nearby libraries. If your local building is a bit limited, venture a little further to a larger one and see what they have going on!
5. Get In The Kitchen
Another great way to celebrate this week is to bring books to life by being more hands on in the kitchen! Have you ever actually made Green Eggs & Ham? Raspberry cordial from Anne of Green Gables? Apple pie to go along with The Giving Tree? Give it a try. Not only does it get kids involved in books in a way that they may not have originally thought about, but it teaches a plethora of skills, including math, following directions, problem solving, independence, follow through, and even teamwork. Need a recipe to get you started? Try the recipe below for Banana Bran Muffins. It can be applied to several different books, but my kids think they look just like the pictures in If You Give A Moose A Muffin.
From my food blog, Brittany’s Pantry
Yield: 1 dozen
In a large bowl, mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula:
3/4 c brown sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
1/2 c bran
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Mix all dry ingredients into the wet ingredients carefully, JUST UNTIL COMBINED. Bake in greased or papered muffin cups at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until browned on top and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Baked muffins freeze beautifully.