In honor of National Library Lovers Month, I want to explore ways in which we can share our love of books with the families in our programs. Since we will be looking at children’s books that support early math learning in general (throughout the coming month), I thought we could share ideas about how we encourage parents and caregivers to use and explore books at home.
There are multiple reasons why children may or may not have access to children’s books at home. Most of these reasons are deeply contextualized and cannot be explained in one or two sentences. No matter. We can encourage the love of reading and book exploration at home through a variety of creative and supportive programs.
The first, and maybe the most obvious, is to create your own lending library where children can check out their favorite books and then have the responsibility of returning them. I know, I know. You are thinking about how you will either have to chase down the books to get them back, or how they might get destroyed- and they might.
Years ago, I began collecting children’s books. Rarely, did I buy new books. I went to the second hand store, or the used book store and bought copies of my favorites, even if I already had copies. I did this so I always had several copies of the best books on hand, so if one went missing, I wouldn’t worry or fret. I hoped that the missing book had found a good new home, where it was loved and read over and over, as it was meant to be. Garage sales are also great places to find children’s books. I ALWAYS look- just in case there is a copy of “Owl Babies” out there without a home.
The more you make your own lending library look like a “real” library with sign-out cards and due dates, the more likely families will treat it as such. This website sells all of the materials you will need to get started.