Welcome to MARCH “Read Aloud Month” which starts today!
Finding Books on a Budget
There are so many opportunities to find fantastic bargains on books that are in great condition. Even “previously loved” books can provide hours of enjoyment for you and your children. Here are a few places where my children and I have found some treasures.
- Check out your local library. Ours has a “friends of the library” shop where you can purchase books that have been pulled from circulation and dated magazines. (Prices vary. Ask about special sales days when inventory gets reduced.)
- ARC, Good Will, and Disabled Veterans Thrift Stores – I have found new and gently loved books – hard back pages for infants and toddlers, hard cover children’s books, paperbacks (like from scholastic books), and books for all ages. (Don’t forget to look for yourself too.) So many great titles…some I’ve never heard of but immediately fall in love with after reading. (Prices have ranged from 50 cents to $2.99 depending on the day you go. Ask about military and senior discounts. Also check for the “color of the day” tags for even more savings.)
- Some Pediatrician offices offer books through special programs at various times throughout the year. (Ours usually does this around back to school time for preschoolers.)
- Garage Sales – You might even find toys that can be used as props to go with the book titles. (Prices could range from 50 cents to $1.00)
- Church or other Community Based “yard sales.”
- Hold a “Book Swap” with your neighbors. Enjoy good company, combine it with a play date, or meet at the park to share story time.
- Attend community story times which are held at no additional costs other than what you will spend on travel.
- If you have older children in school, ask if you can visit the school library to enjoy a story time with you little ones. Make sure you ask what the best time would be to stop in for a visit. Your school may have additional requirements or limitations based on their size and location. It never hurts to ask. (Always make sure you check in with the main office and obtain a visitor’s pass once you have determined this is an option at your school.)
- Wal Mart and Target often have reduced books. Look for specials. Target frequently features simple board books, the classics in paperback form, and educational picture books on a variety of topics in their $1.00 bargain section. (Found near the store entrance.)
- The Library is a great place to replenish a temporary/revolving library for your home book shelf/basket. This is great if you want to introduce “theme based” books that stay with you for a special project or to develop a family interest. (Think “Vacation” based books, “Spring is Coming”, and “Science Projects for Spring Break”.)
Optional Family Book Challenge for March 1st Kick Off
- Pick a Theme for one week or for the month
- Start a special box, basket, or shelf that will be designated as your book display area.
- Begin by adding a few books you select together.(One per family member?)
- Pick a time that you will dedicate to reading. Even just 15 minutes a day is awesome!
- You may decide to have a special cue that indicates story time is about to happen. (A song, special word, or even a physical activity like jumping to the story time spot can add elements of fun.)
- Consider adding a prop box that will encourage interaction with the story. (Puppets to develop additional dialogue or act out scenes, Bubbles to accompany a story about playing with bubbles, etc…)
- When you discover a new book, you can add it to your display area.
- It’s ok if your children want to focus on the same book. You can prompt them with, “I love that book too. Let’s read it and maybe see what’s happening in this story over here next! ” (Repetition is pretty normal and kids have no problem with hearing the same story. You can offer variety by changing up your voice, how you express yourself as the story is presented, and wondering aloud about something new that the book doesn’t reveal.)
Hope you have fun with this! Can’t wait to hear how you celebrate
MARCH Read Aloud Month!