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The Art of Becoming Your Child’s Best Friend

Now is a great time to visit the Mercer County Library’s website to learn about all the different ways you can become your child’s best friend. Our youth librarians have assembled quite a selection of ideas, crafts, and activities you can explore with your child, be it through learning new crafts together, watching virtual storytimes on our YouTube channel, reading digital books, or simply engaging in active play sessions together.

I often babysit for my six-year-old cousin and it seems that simply playing with her throughout the day is what she loves the most. She looks forward to it again and again. She, of course, has a whole play routine. The second she walks through the door the routine kicks off, even before the coat or the shoes, and she’ll say to me, “Krista, come play.” I enjoy entering her world in this way--getting down on the carpet, surrounding myself with her toys, and immersing myself in her enthusiasm. If I happen to step away to get a drink of water, instantly I hear the polite demand, “Krista, come play!” Forget answering the phone, doing laundry, or dishes. She won’t have it. It’s important to explore your child’s play world in this way, for as long as it takes them to understand that they are that important to you.

Babysitting for her also means playing hide and seek and having scavenger hunts in the backyard. This is another activity that kids heartily enjoy. Children are great at finding things and also at identifying and finding what’s missing. Case in point - my little cousin often knows exactly where she’s left even her smallest toys or play pieces. When she was just a year and a half, I took her to the pool one afternoon. This particular day she was wandering around, walking back and forth, muttering “flowerpot, flowerpot.” I turned to her and asked, “You’re looking for a flowerpot?” I didn’t know what she was talking about. Later on, as I was returning the tubes and rafts to the lifeguard’s closet, there on the floor was a little flowerpot-watering can. She must have left the toy there the weekend before. She had known exactly what she was looking for!

Check out the MCLS YouTube channel for some cool, relevant video ideas, including "Spring Scavenger Hunt with Miss Laura" and "I Spy with Miss Andrea". Also, visit our library catalog for the following books, Dora the Explorer: Scavenger Hunt by Robert Roper, which lists scavenger hunt activities in the back of the book, and Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom.

When the library reopens our buildings to our patrons, you can visit us once again to spend some quality time with your child doing what we love the most—reading, reading, and reading more books, a tried and true way of becoming your child’s best friend!

The following are some titles from our catalog to help you with the art of becoming your child’s best friend.

The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children
by David Elkind.

Why Will No One Play with Me? The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive by Caroline Maguire.

Joyful Toddlers & Preschoolers: Create a Life that You and Your Child Both Love by Faith Collins.

The Opposite of Worry: the Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears
by Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.

- by Krista DiCostanzo, Interlibrary Loan

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