I practically grew up at the Public Library in Tempe. My memories are full of my single mom lugging me, my two sisters, and two brothers into the van and involve either a story time, checking out handfuls of books, and/or volunteering at the library.
I never imagined that I would be making my way back to the library while my daughter was at such a young age (5 months), but am SO glad I did.
At home, her brain was stimulated by a thousand different things, yet she couldn’t walk, or crawl yet, and it was all up to me to do the “entertainment.” If babies could talk, she would have definitely said…
Mom! Get me out of the house! I need to see and do more things!”
Plus, it was June and July, right in the thick of at 115+ degree summer and I was absolutely dying to get out of the house. But trying to find “cool” activities for my infant daughter was proving to be a bit difficult.
Luckily, my middle school BFF, Nicole and I reconnected when I had my daughter (with her youngest daughter being only 4 months older). Nicole was like Yoda to me… in mom form. She showed me “the way” and knew all the great places to hit up now that I had this tiny person in tow. My very favorite recommendation of hers (which I can’t believe I didn’t think of on my own!) was by far the Phoenix Public Library!
Let’s just say the recommendation saved me from a really boring time of bouncing the same toy in my daughter’s face and waiting for the time to go by until my husband (an adult) appeared home from work.
So without further ado, here are 3 reasons to love and explore the Phoenix Public Library!
1. My daughter and I learned to socialize.
My daughter absorbs everything. She takes everything in before she’s ready to jump into action. And let’s be honest: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
In Phoenix, the library program is run by First Things First of Arizona, educating new parents about how to read and socialize with babies and toddlers so that you are effectively teaching them. This is incredibly useful information for any parent (even a teacher like me!).
My daughter learned how to mimic her peers and clap her hands while I helped her sit up. And, although she was consistently the youngest of her baby time peers, moms and children eased into to getting to know both of us. It was a really healthy way to get out of the house and smile at fellow tired moms, while we soaked up the excitement of the children. We still attend baby time at the library and love everything about it!
I just want to throw in that Phoenix Public Library has a ton of different story times tailored for different ages. There are toddler times, preschool prep, and other programs for teens, too. Click here to check out different story times at the closest library to you!
2. Board books are expensive. Library books are FREE.
Okay, okay, this isn’t a very big secret — yes, you can check out library books and they cost zero dollars. However, what was new to me was that baby books are at least $7.99. at Target, and the cheapest ones I’ve found at Home Goods are $3.99.
Call me a cheap and budget-friendly mama (it doesn’t sting), but I would rather check out the books FOR FREE. Plus, you can order books online and they’re ready for you at the assigned library so you are GOOD. TO. GO.
Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to tell you that you can check out kid DVDs and CDs. (No Doubt’s Rock-a-Bye Baby Lullabies is a personal favorite.)
3. The best for last… culture passes!
As my daughter grows (she turns the big, wild ONE later this month), she obviously wants to be stimulated more and more and more, and I want to get out of the house more and more and more.
As a part-time teacher, I love anything free. I’m also a culture nerd, so when I found that you can get COMPLIMENTARY passes to the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Art Museum, Halle Heart’s Children’s Museum, and the Desert Botanical Garden (along with passes to MANY other things), I was — and still am — completely blown away!
These passes can be checked out twice per month, but each ticket is covered for two weeks and for two people. This is all thanks to the generous non-profit program of Act One of Phoenix.
With a long weekend around the corner, I personally can’t wait to discover the Halle Heart’s Children’s Museum with my daughter. And I wouldn’t have been able to without the help of my neighborhood library.
But what can I say? I just love the community vibe at the Phoenix Public Library. How about you? What do you love about the library? Any library tips and tricks you want to share?