Rainy Day Blues
I am a sunshine girl, I thrive when the weather is hot and sunny versus rainy and cloudy. It’s only suiting I live in a region where is rains basically 7-10 months of the year, hey? But, we can’t all live where the sun always shines.
Once Spring time hits I try and spend the majority of my time outside. As much as possible. I don’t spend enough time outside I feel like. Between gardening, walks to the park, play time, sensory play, working out, suntanning… I feel if the sun is out, so should we be.
The problem with spring is that there is a lot of rain. And I mean A. Lot. While we’re less than a month away from summer, I wanted to share my Rainy Day toddler activity before I forget about it in the Autumn when I’ll need this to remind myself again. It’s a super simple activity, it’s free, and you’ve already heard of it.
VISIT THE LIBRARY.
Stop the Presses. I know. It’s such a crazy idea it just might work at keeping you and your little entertained for a few hours. In fact, I’ve got several ideas of how you can enjoy your next visit to your local public library. Wow, I sounded just like Arthur. You can find Arthur books, and lots of other books too, at your local library. // Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.
A RAD Library History
When we still lived on the island I could walk to the library down the street with my Bean. It was a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. We’d walk to the library, play with some books and the toys, pick out some goodies and go home to continue with our new books.
Actually, here is an ourRADhouse vlog of a library adventure with little 1-year-old Gregory from May 10 2015. Cool, almost a year ago. This must be our RAD library time. For real.
7 Things to Do at the Library
There are so many fun things to do at the library. Even on a small island in a small branch like you saw in the video above, there was so much available for us to do. Now that we live on the mainland, Vancouver area, the libraries are much bigger and the opportunities are bountiful.
I believe that whichever kind of library you have, large or small, you’ll be able to find the majority of these things to do there. It’s all about just going there and checking it out. It’s free, that’s what our taxes go to, no? Let’s make use of it then.
It costs money if you return your borrowed items late. Don’t rack up library fines. Keep it free and fun for everyone.
1. Check out Books
Library cards are free. Renting the library book is free too. And once your Little is old enough, they can get their own library card to hold and care for. (An added fun bonus in their eyes, sometimes a problem for you if things get lost easily. Card replacements usually cost money.)
There is every sort of book available. Board books for babies and toddlers, pop up books, touch and feel books, puppet books. If your child is in school, they of course have learning to read books for every stage. Then there is the young adult, novels, fiction, non fiction, health and fitness, cooking, gardening, home & decor, manga, magazines, Large Print, fast reads…
Seriously, I don’t think you can walk out of a library and say you couldn’t find a book with a subject that interested you. You’d be living a pretty boring life, but you don’t. You’re here on my blog reading about a toddler activity, which there are books about at the library.
2. eBooks, Audiobooks, CDs, Movies and Device Rentals
If real books aren’t your thing, there is a lot of electronic rental options for you. eBooks for your eReader, Audiobooks for your car ride, visually impaired… or however you use them. Also available, CD’s.
MOVIES! Both DVD’s and VHS tapes have been available at most library branches I’ve gone to. And I’ve been to them all over, from Downtown Victoria-Westshore-Saanich-Esquimalt-Surrey-Vancouver-Burnaby… yeah. I seek out libraries because they got free entertainment.
You want a whole TV series? They’ve got it. Want a Documentary or Workout video? They’ve got it. Want some Veggie Tales or Thomas the Train… Baby Einstein? Go check out the movies. They are free to rent. No need for netflix, no need for Blockbuster or Rogers Video. Am I starting to feel old or what?
Device Rentals are something I haven’t tapped into yet, but I am hoping to take advantage of this service this summer. I got a pamphlet saying I could rent out tripods, video cameras, DSLR Cameras, and so much more. I’m not even kidding you right now. Do you know how handy this is? Super handy for a mom who wants to take some nice photos of her kids. Or a fitness girl who needs to film a new video to post to Youtube. These are basically my needs, but they might be similar to yours. Check out what iPads and other devices are available.
3. Activity Boxes
Something I love about the library is that they make things so convenient for us moms. They have pre-packaged, pre-planned, educational or at least extremely stimulating activity boxes for ages babies to school-age kids. These boxes are filled with a theme of goodies like books, toys, puppets, CD’s, and a small duotang binder filled with short stories, rhymes and fun songs. Check out another ourRADhouse vlog of Gregory and I opening a Food Activity Box.
4. Organized Programs
Two-Three times a week there are organized groups for parents to bring their littles to at each library branch. Or, the branches that I’ve gone to have all had 2-3 session a week. Some might have one a week. These programs include an instructor that leads parents and kids in story time, puppet time, music time and sometimes games or they’ll bring out toys to play with. This is great to connect with other adults, and have your Little learn how to interact with other Littles.
5. Classes and Info Sessions
The Library is a great place to sign up for classes like CPR, or computer skills. Tons of others too, but those are always the ones I pay attention to so I can list them quickly. I’ve also seen advertisement for free info sessions on retirement, health, fitness, finances and gardening. Go towards the pamphlet/flyer handout area, or towards a bulletin board. You should find more info on things like these there.
6. Computers & Tablets
Computers are free to jump on. You may need a code or password, often these are given to you with your library card. If you have your own Laptop, bring it to the library. Plug into an outlet and sign on to the Wi-Fi. Because there is some of that too.
I’ve been to a recently renovated library that had installed a table with built in tablets in the kids section. They had downloaded all sorts of educational and fun games for children of all ages to play at. Everything was secured down, and my Bean loved playing on it after watching mom and dad play on theirs all the time.
7. Play Area for Kids
There is usually a small area, or several small toys spread throughout the entire kids book section of the library. These are always fun to check out. Whether its a bead track, blocks, action figures or other… I’m 95% sure your library will also have a little somethin’ somethin’ for your little to play with.
Check it out, at the Metrotown Library Branch there is a cool glass top table that is full of stuff to play eye-spy or can-we-find. Just check out these photos. It’ll be way easier than explaining it.
Gregory and I love finding different things and pointing them out to each other. I’ll ask where the money is and he’ll seek it out as well. I can’t wait to play eye spy with him when he’s older. I wish I had this table in my own home. One day, we’ll have the space, and I’ll DIY this. I promise myself.
FUTURE DIY IDEA
Ooooh, maybe I’ll keep Gregory’s (and future RAD babies if there are any) little toys as he grows up and out of them. Save them in a box, and when he’s older with kids of his own I’ll make this table for my house, or his, for the grandkids to enjoy, and Bean to have some Nostalgia. Yes, this will be perfect. Had to write it down or I might forget. I give you permission to do this as well. Not to worry, sharing is caring, I want you to have a super cool table too.
I hope you re-think your library as a serious contender for a fun, free, activity for your family to indulge in. If your library has something to offer that I haven’t listed, throw it down in the comments so I can make a request or seek out a new branch that offers your kind of service.