Another of the freebies that people seem to forget about (to our great shame as they are being closed…) is the local library.
They really are the most amazing resource, not just books to borrow but also information on local groups, events and reference books. You can use the internet, print a letter and in our local library you can now get a cuppa too!We use two libraries locally, one is a tiny portacabin which offers a very personal service and is small enough that I don’t have to worry about small kids running up and down stairs or getting lost/leaving without me etc. This is our usually weekly library to visit. There is a reading scheme for children (which our oldest two have now completed) so you get a stamp in your passport every time you visit, and then a certificate for every six stamps. Our kids love that they have their own library card, and it’s a nice gentle way to encourage responsibility as they have to keep it safe and remember which books need to go back etc. The older kids count to make sure they can take out more books – but we’ve never maxed out a card, you can have about 20 books at a time!
Our less frequent ‘treat’ library is the newly refurbished and sparkly town centre library. It’s beautiful and wonderous and we sometimes go just for a play and read while we are there. There is a much greater selection of books here, so it’s a good mix for us to use both. With all the kids I do find it a tiring place to visit as they do so love to climb the stairs and use the self service computers etc.
Both offer us a completely free hour or two of entertainment, as well as the free books and DVD’s we take home. If you think about it, it really is an amazing thing – please use them so they can keep going for many years to come.
There are lots of freebies that for some reason people forget about, the park is one of them. Whether you are on your own with your thoughts, being dragged by the dog, lovingly holding hands, or racing after toddlers a large green space is just the thing.
We are lucky enough to be able to walk to five different parks from our house, all of them have a good running around space and some kind of play/exercise equipment so there is something for everyone. Most days if you asked the kids what they wanted to do they would say the ‘little park’ which is the one a 5 min walk around the corner – happy days.
It always seems a bit of a pfaff to get everyone dressed appropriately and go, but to be honest it’s good old fashioned, free fun and the fresh air helps aid sleep, and the running around is much better than not health wise. I have even been known to take part in a game of ‘tag’ myself as the spirit of the park overtook me. There is no down side, lots of ups and it fits the project, so next time they ask I promise it will be a loud YES – LET’S GO!
As we move slowly towards the Spring and warmer weather think how much you could save by using a local park instead of the soft play centre, cinema, bowling alley etc. (Remember to put what you would have spent in savings 😉