I believe books are one of the most powerful tools in a child’s life. I still remember my favorite books as a young girl, and the precious bedtime routines I had with my Mom and Dad. I remember the red blanket we all cuddled in, and the funny voices my parents made when they read “Green Eggs and Ham“. I delight in the thought that my daughter might have the same memories of bedtime- silly stories, laughter, and the magic of stories.
Reading to a child is the single most powerful exercise for teaching a child to read. In a world filled with television, iPads, and social media, we can still share the value of reading with our children by making reading a happy habit at home. Reading aloud with our children, no matter how old they are, is a fun family activity that can transform a typical breakfast into another dimension. Imagination is wonderful!
Building a versatile and fantastic children’s library on a budget can be done! By simply choosing books of different lengths, genres, and reading levels, my daughter has a book for every occasion. I love to choose classics such as The Book of Virtues and The Little Engine That Could, but we also have contemporary books like Pinkalicious and Duck on a Bike. My daughter loves to collect books of her favorite television characters, and I am a huge fan! I much prefer her to read a book about her favorite characters than watch a television show.
Breakfast is a great time to get books out and start the day out right. We love to read a book over some cereal and talk.
Looking for a few ways to start building a great children’s library? Here are a few tips!
1. Start early
As soon as you are expecting, start collecting favorite titles you remember from your childhood. Did your parents read you Goodnight Moon or I Love You Forever? Collect titles that are near and dear to your heart, and even put them on a baby registry!
2. Ask for books as gifts
Like putting books on a baby registry, asking for books for birthdays and holidays is a great idea. This will save you money as well as be an investment in your child’s education. Keep a running list on Amazon.
3. Score at thrift stores
I have gotten some amazing books at thrift stores. Some of our favorites I got for less than a dollar and are in excellent condition. Shop on sale days, and keep a list of titles you are looking for. Don’t forget to check reviews while at the store!
4. Attend library sales
Did you know most libraries have giant end of year book sales? These are fantastic events to attend and stock up on great books. Check with your local library for dates.
5. Be patient
Don’t just buy books to buy them. Keep a well-pruned library with beautiful, high quality books in great condition. Quality really does trump quantity. Place value on your library by putting the books in book cases or a wall shelf, and make reading time both special and fun. Add a rocking chair or bean bag to your book nook. Make it a place the whole family wants to be!
6. How about free books for your kiddos?
Did you know that you can collect free Scholastic books for your children by simply buying your favorite Kellogg’s snacks? I was psyched to score two free books for my daughter, Lalaloopsy and Tickety Toc. She loves to read bedtime stories and I love to have a nice, well rounded collection of books for her. Tickety Toc is one of her favorite shows, so I know she will be super excited to get this in the mail! I purchased my Raisin Bran Crunch® and Nutri-Grain® bars from Walmart.com.
It is really easy to get your free books. Simply create a Kellogg’s Family Rewards account to redeem your rewards. One box of Kellogg’s products = 1 book. You are able to redeem up to 30 books, and the official timeline for book arrival is 6-8 weeks (in most cases it comes sooner!). There are 3 ways you can upload your receipt, via text, via scanning into your computer or Kellogg’s Family Reward app — only when you purchase ONLINE between 7/21 – 9/11. Look for Buy Now button at http://wm6.walmart.com/Kelloggs-Back-to-School.aspx for a list of all eligible items.
See the video below for a quick tutorial that shows you exactly how to get your free books!
Be sure to check out more books available via this Kellogg’s offer at http://cbi.as/gfgc. I’d love to hear your favorite book offered! #Back2SchoolReady