Do More With Less

DoMoreWithLessThis December, the NaBloPoMo (the what?? see my sidebar for a link. It's a daily blogging challenge) theme is "More-Less".

Given our family's current financial situation, I felt inspired to interpret this theme as "How to Do More With Less"... because, well, we're going to be doing so whether we wanted to or not!

So, look for thirty one days of anecdotes about how our family is trimming costs and putting the pennies back in the piggy bank (ours is anorexic at this point!) as well as hints and tips that you can use to try to enjoy family more while spending less. (Given the economy, I doubt our family is the only one going through these issues!)

Today, I'd like to look at our favorite frugal friend: the public library. We love the public library in Lewiston. (If you haven't been to the new building, you are SERIOUSLY missing out.) We don't just get books... we can check out DVDs and books on CD as well... this makes our commute to Lewiston (60 miles) much more enjoyable and provides some much needed variety to the kids "quiet time movie/nap" (okay, who are we kidding... "Mommy's sanity time movie/nap for the kids") without spending money on DVD rentals or purchases.

They also check out "activity kits" for the kids... books that go with matching toys and even dress-up outfits. We don't check those out (I am petrified of losing parts of them as they scatter over the house), but on Mondays when we are stuck in town, it's a great way to spend the day and the kids love it. The librarians have become some of our kids' best friends. (And what better friend could a child have than a librarian? Seriously... a great children's librarian is worth her weight in GOLD.)

Also, make sure to check out your local library's website. Most of the big city libraries now have TumbleBooks on their websites for kids to access... as entertaining as videos for kids, but with the words there and highlighted as they explore interactive versions of some of the best kids' books around. (Our kids are particularly fond of the Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective series.) There are also learning games and activities to go along with the books. Total win-win!!

Plus, I love to read to the kids. Evenings this December will see the TV turned off and Mom expanding reading from just in the afternoon to time for all the kids (even the big ones) to enjoy classic books. (Don't let the boys fool you. Even teenagers like it when Mommy reads to them!)

What are your favorite books to read with your kids? Do you have any favorite websites for educational or book-based activities?

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