I’m a big fan of the library. We check out lots of books, but there are so many other ways to use local libraries. This post is part of a series about the many ways to make the most of local libraries because Libraries Are More Than Books.
Many parents snuggle up with young children and read them loads of picture books. But as kids get older and become independent readers, we often read aloud with them less often and send them off to read independently instead.
For many people, the pleasure of reading comes with the shared enjoyment of the stories we read together. Even after kids master reading on their own and bury their noses in chapter books, there are tons of benefits to continue reading aloud with children.
Many kids also appreciate reading aloud with pets, stuffed animals, and friends. My children aren’t particularly animal lovers, so reading to dogs wouldn’t necessarily be up their alley. But my good friend Jess has two youngsters who adore animals, and she recently took them to her local library so they could reload some of their favorite stories to dogs at the library.
There is a growing body of research that interaction with properly trained animals is healthy for children. It can reduce stress and anxiety and also help children with special needs.
Beyond simply stopping by to check out a handful of books, have you ever taken your kids to read aloud to animals at the library? I’d love to hear how your library provides opportunities for kids to practice reading to others in a variety of ways so they can build their reading fluency beyond independent reading.
About The Author
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.