When I was a child, my mother made it a point to bring myself and my siblings to the library at least once a week. When we were old enough, we each received our own library card. This obviously had an effect on her children, because we all became avid readers. This is something I want to pass on to my children: the love of reading and education.
Living on a single income in Fairfield County is not easy. We want to give our children everything, but it is not always possible to buy the yearly passes to each museum or zoo. This is where local libraries come in, at least for my family. All local libraries offer a magnitude of programs that are free and educational. I am partial to Stratford Public Library since it is where I live, but we visit more than just Stratford on a weekly basis.
Stratford Library offers different sessions for different ages. I take my son, who is almost 3, to weekly story time on Mondays where stories are read, songs are sung, and finger play is involved. While he does not always participate as much as I would love, in the car and at home, he sings the songs and dances to the tunes. I take my daughter, who is 6 months, to a baby lapsit program where babies are sung to and are able to play with musical instruments and other babies. There is also a Friday class for children ages 2-5 where stories are read, songs are sung, and then the children create a craft.
The library also offers courses for older, school-aged children including reading to guide dogs and homework help. There are also puzzles, toys, and of course, multitudes of books. The librarians are well-trained and wonderful helpers. One of the best things I, as a mother, have found at these groups are other moms with whom to connect. We plan outside playdates for our children as much as for ourselves!
Fairfield’s main library has an amazing children’s department. There is a farm play area, a castle, and a train. There are pipes throughout the department that children can speak through to their friends or parents. There are computers for games and work, and even a small mailbox so children can learn about the postal service. Classes at Fairfield’s main library fill up quickly; we never get there on time! But my son loves playing there
Westport’s Library is second-to-none with a great children’s department and extra rooms for the popular classes. The classes are exciting and age-appropriate. Westport’s library also has a great outdoor area, and one of our favorite events is the outdoor summer story time.
Trumbull also offers a fantastic host of options for children, and their play area boasts a train table, blocks, and a play kitchen and food.
Many of the programs offered are done so on weekdays, but all the above-mentioned libraries also offer weekend classes for children. Especially in this cold weather when it is hard to have our children play outside, what better place to bring your kids on a cold, dreary day? We always pick up at least two books per person (my son loves that he gets to pick out books for himself and his little sister), and this also keeps me sane so I have some variety to the books we read over and over. So if you are looking for something fun, exciting, educational, and FREE to do this week or weekend, check out your local library!
Below are some links to the children’s department at the libraries I have mentioned above. Check out the programs they have to offer you and your family. HAPPY READING!