Recently, I traded my 3 days a week hanging out in a cubicle with a view for a job as a full-time kid wrangler/pre-school teacher/diaper changer/chef/financial planner. Or as some like to call it, a stay-at-home mom. It’s been wonderful, messy, stressful and rewarding all rolled into one. I wouldn’t change a thing and I am grateful for the chance to do it. I came into this new situation armed with one important nugget of advice a friend gave me. When you stay at home, plan at least one outing a day. It doesn’t matter what it is, but get out and do…something. That is why the Salt Lake public library has become my new BFF.
I can’t rave enough about the free programs they have available, and if you are open to driving and visiting different locations, you could potentially have a free, educationally enriching activity for your tot/young child every day.
They have a pretty packed schedule of events to keep kids busy and learning this summer. Your kid can jam out on a tambourine, pet a boa constrictor, learn about space exploration, or paint a masterpiece. These activities help you learn as much about your kids as they help your kids learn. For example, I learned that my two-year-old would gladly have a boa constrictor for a pet if only I would let her. Even a lizard would do.
Since I have both a toddler and a school ager, we switch off visiting toddler friendly activities and school age activities and I leave prepared with plenty to keep them busy in case it’s not age appropriate for one of them. By keeping them busy I of course mean that I take insane amounts of goldfish crackers for them to snack on.
I also discovered that the library compiles baby and toddler literacy bags. Each bag is about a particular subject and is complete with some books, a few toys, CD’s and a page with song ideas. This helps provide me with ideas for some structured learning time among the popsicle sprinkler sort of days. One day I used one of the puppets in the bag to read the dinosaur book while Rose proceeded to throw some those goldfish crackers I always have handy at both me, and the adorable puppet. I’m not sure if she learned much about dinosaurs, but she sure had a good time.
Most of the activities that we attend are through the Salt Lake City Public Library and you can find a calendar of activities on their website. We have also gone to toddler time with Brunette at another library and that is through the county library system. You can find a schedule of events on their website as well.
There is still plenty of summer left so if you are needing some fun activities to survive the mid-summer lull be sure to check out your local library!