Check It Out

Check It Out

Lately my daughter’s favorite thing to play is library. She will sit by her little bookshelf for hours, where she organizes, makes signs, and offers books to anyone that happens to go by. She even has a little librarian badge that she made herself! It didn’t take long before it was clear that we needed to expand on this area of play, especially when she started letting her friends borrow her books. So we got to work creating a neighborhood sharing library for her.Check It Out

We looked at all of the cute ideas on Pinterest to see about making her library play a little more fun and interactive. We soon discovered that neighborhood libraries are all the rage. There is even a website devoted to helping you get started, complete with blueprints. Here is the web address in case you want to check it out: http://littlefreelibrary.org

After looking on Pinterest and the local moms’ buying page, we decided a large mailbox would be a great and economical way to get started. We found a brand new mailbox for twelve dollars and put it in a large planter that we already had, and voila, a tiny library in the making! We then decided to let Claire get to work making it her own. She decided to paint it with chalkboard paint. Did you know you can even tint that stuff now? Claire chose to go with purple; I think it was the perfect choice! The chalkboard paint makes it even more fun and interactive. It allows kids to draw pictures or leave each other fun messages. After three coats of paint she was ready to rock and roll, so she loaded it up with a stack of books that she wanted to share.

The next step was to include our neighbors in her little venture. We posted a coming soon photo on our neighborhood Facebook page to help build excitement. My favorite part of this little library adventure is the speech she wrote to welcome her neighborhood friends, it was beautifully written. I think my little six year old girl has a writing career in her future. In her speech she revealed that she would call her library “Enchanted Tales”. What a perfect name! I then posted her reading her welcome speech on our local Facebook page and we waited for friends to stop by. We decided to use the “give a book/take a book” system. This way the library would always have books to share. When friends and neighbors stopped by the first day she was so excited!

Claire now checks her library several times a day. I love seeing the excitement in her face when she sees someone has stopped by.

My husband has since made her a sign in the shape of an arrow to help get the word out. Its amazing! He even designed it so she can change the message on it using laminated computer printouts attached to the sign via Velcro. Did I mention he also used a white board for more interactive play and fun? He is pretty amazing. This has been one of the best projects we have done together. I love that we worked together to help build community while learning and having fun.

What amazing projects have you done with your kids recently? Do you have any other fun ideas for building community? I would love to see pictures of your libraries or other things you have done with your kids.

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9 Comments on "Check It Out"

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Julie
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I love seeing those libraries in neighborhoods! A friend of mine has one and I donate all the kids books that they have outgrown to it.

Denay DeGuzman
Guest

Your little girlie is incredible! And you are such a wonderful mother for encouraging her love of reading. A few blocks from my home there’s a house with a mailbox that is set up as a community library. Every time I walk by there I keep thinking that I’d like to contribute books to their effort. Kudos to you and your daughter for providing such a beautiful gift to your own neighborhood. It’s a special gift that will keep on giving…

Stephanie
Guest

That is so cute! You are a great mom to be supporting her efforts! Kudos!!

Donna
Guest

Sis, I new the community library would be a great success! All of you give 110 percent on everything you do. Keep the blogs going. They are very helpful to others and very interesting to read! I love You All!

Let's Learn With Style
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Let's Learn With Style

Thanks, mom! Love you too!

Krystal
Guest

I just checked the littlefreelibrary.org site and there are a few down on our end of town, too. We’ll have to go exploring!

Let's Learn With Style
Guest
Let's Learn With Style

You should, they are so much fun!

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