As an active children’s performer for the past fifteen years, one of my favorite places to play music for parents with small children is at the library. Concerts or music performances are generally geared to small ears, free and open to the public and participants get to explore some high quality fun with low pressure on kids to sit still and be quiet.
In addition to kids concerts, music events or other great programs and family activities, the library presents a variety of great ways you and your child can explore and share a world of musical fun.
Books, CD’s , DVD’s and More
What’s your passion? Do you love to read books, listen to CD’s, watch children’s DVD’s, travel DVD’s or learn new languages? The library is a great spot to borrow any of these so you can enjoy them at home – and it’s all free!
If you’re looking for books, you can check in with your children’s librarian who can direct you to board books, early reading books or even craft books that will help you create musical instruments or “how–to” books on making music with your child. In the children’s section you can also find a world of DVD’s of quality children’s programming including music, dance, culture and other programs that are fun for you and your child to enjoy together.
In the CD area, you can check out music by your favorite artists or discover new children’s artists that will make you smile. You can also browse the CD section to connect with some new styles of music. Maybe you can pick up something to relax too or for nap time – like jazz, lullabies, folk or world music. Or maybe you’ll pick something upbeat for when you’re doing chores, exercising or just having fun with your little one(s).
Have you wanted to travel or does your family come from another culture? You can check out DVD’s that share the great experience of being in that country plus the music, dance, language and customs that are a part of that heritage. And languages. You can brush up on a language you speak or learn a new one while your child listens in, all with resources that can be borrowed from the local library.
Then, there are the regular programs you might want to connect with.
Preschool Story Time, Summer Reading and Family Fun
Although this varies from library to library, state to state and budget to budget, almost all libraries offer some variety of programs for children of all ages. Many even have programs that are “lap time” for their youngest patrons who come in with their parents. Most have preschool story time. Many have bilingual story time and almost every library has some form of a fun summer reading club or set of activities for children who are readers. It’s been my experience that children’s librarians are pretty awesome people who love to make their activities fun – and although story time is not necessarily a music class or presentation, many libraries love to add songs, props, puppets and other things to create a really great experience for kids or kids and their parents.
What does your local library have? Ask your librarian! They can tell you what is available at that particular branch and also what may be available at nearby branches or other community-based resources that may be perfect for enjoying with your child. Is your library missing a kind of program that you’d like? Ask them about adding it. You can also see if there is a Friends of the Library group. Often, this group helps to raise money and funds or creates programs such as music at your library. It’s usually very easy to get involved and make a difference with this type of group, even if you are a busy parent.
Kid-friendly concerts, free resources and a fun place to rock on or chill out and relax – the library is a great spot for sharing music and culture even with very young kids. So whether or not there’s a concert at your branch this week, you can always find some great fun at the local library that’s nearest to you!