We recently found that an activity every morning was key to a seamless nap time and happy lady. At the same time we found Cradles to Crayons at our local library in downtown Providence. Thinking Addie would never survive story time, I went with the idea that we would probably have to leave as soon as she was bored. But boredom was the last thing that ever crossed her path. This is much more than story time.
From the moment we walked into the Children’s Library section, there are TOYS! Beads to be strung, trains waiting for their track to be laid, a campsite ready for an imaginative gathering, a tree trunk for hiding and a craft that’s usually messy, but not obscenely so. Each week, Addie heads to the kitchen to make me hot tea, eventually finding some dinosaurs, puzzles, magnets and her favorite: the alphabet doors which are all along the walls, which, when opened, have items inside that begin with each letter. There are little things everywhere that encourage kids to put together, take apart, imagine, pretend, decorate, build up, tear down… there are activities to encourage learning, and I just stand back and watch it all unfold. We stay for both sessions most weeks, having almost 2 hours of one of the best learning experiences she has all week, 95% of which is adult-free.
There is a time for stories, and we’ve learned songs. Each week Addie takes out a new book (or two), and even I’ve rekindled a passion for reading, falling in love with the crinkle of the protective plastic that surrounds each book- a noise I loved as a child and find I still adore today.
I urge you to go to your local library and check out their resources- for you, for your child. Checking out books is now one of Addie’s favorite things to do, and I love that she’s learning the lesson that she doesn’t need everything- borrowing (sharing!) is fun and helps you read and see more! Not only are the programs (mostly) free, they are 100% enjoyable for all!