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Local library gives ideas to keep kids occupied, educated while social distancing

"Every moment is a moment to educate."

BRYAN, Texas — With area schools and many businesses closed for at least the next few weeks, parents are having to step in and help with their kids’ education. 

Luckily, there’s lots of resources to help out, even some in the Brazos Valley.

“Parents are always the teachers. You’re the first teacher. So regardless of quarantine or any situation we have, they’re looking to you for guidance,” said Jenny Stadler, the Youth Services Librarian at the Clara B. Mounce Library in Bryan.

It can be tough for parents to figure out how to keep their kiddos occupied and educated, but the library says it all starts with leading by example. 

“My first advice to parents is, if they see you reading a book, kids are more interested in seeing that and through being ready to learn and being ready to teach,” Stadler said.

There’s plenty of resources to get you ready. Like the library’s own website, BCSLibrary.org.

“We have resources, our E-books, our E-audio books and other resources both for parents and for children all the way through high school and beyond, for different educational fiction and non-fiction books for fun books as well. You can do different interactive things with a book like, okay, read this book, what actor would you cast to play this role or this character,” said Stadler.

There’s also free, printable math worksheets and coloring pages on Crayola.com for the kids, in all of us, but if you want a break from print, “watching a movie, if you interact, ask questions ‘Why did this character do that?’ 'What would you do if you were writing this play? 'How would you make this movie?' Even those interactions all count as literacy.”

Stadler also says encouraging down time is important too.

“I’m a mom too, sometimes I'm like, girl, you are driving me crazy little one. Just take a breath and okay, count to five. Can you take five deep breaths in five deep breaths out... and make every little thing a fun little game. Every moment is a moment to educate.”