Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day at the Library

Let me confess something: I love when dads bring their kids into the library. Of course, I love it when anyone brings kids into the library. Since dads joining their children for a library outing happens much less frequently than, say, outings with moms or grandparents, though, I really love seeing kids' excitement as they get to share the library and their favorite stories with their dads. For this very reason, I try to encourage male role models to bring their children into the library. I always mention moms and dads when talking about interacting with little ones in my baby programs, and I offer programming that kids and dads tend to enjoy: science, for one; a monthly Lego club; and Star Wars. The possibilities are many, and the benefits of involving all members of the family at the library are even greater.

Even when dads can't make it to the library, though, I've noticed that kids LOVE talking about them. After many a story time and craft, children have come up to me to report how excited they are to tell Dad what they did at the library. Dads are a part of the library no matter what. Thus, in this week leading up to Father's Day, we're giving kids ways to celebrate their dads at the library. One fun, secretly-educational way to celebrate: our June take-home activity. Like our Mother's Day activity, it is a connect-the-dots/coloring/writing activity. The goal, besides being fun, is to reinforce some pre-reading skills: sequence, writing, holding a writing/coloring implement, expressing one's ideas in words, etc. Plus it makes for a nifty little card to give to Dad on Sunday!

On the story side of things, my colleague is offering a whole Father's Day-themed preschool story time this week. And while I'm not sure of all the details of her program, I want to share one of my favorite books to celebrate Dad. My Dad, My Hero by Ethan Long is a brightly-illustrated picture book, narrated by a young boy, that enumerates the many ways in which his dad is decidedly NOT a superhero. He can't leap over buildings (blocks, of course), or open the tightest pickle jar lid--as demonstrated both by the text and, hilariously, by the illustrations. Despite Dad's lack of superhero powers, though, the boy concludes that his dad is still his hero. This book really touches on a feeling that is true for so many children: Dad is awesome and heroic.

How will you be helping kids celebrate dads at the library this week?

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