Educational Gift Ideas: The Personal Library Kit

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Playing Library

When I was young, if we couldn’t be outside, my sister and I could often be found playing “Library.”

We were/are a family of readers. From a very young age we were at the library regularly, browsing the children’s section carefully, coming home with stacks of books. We also had a lot of books around the house, many old ones that belonged to our parents that included old school books on math and science.

Since a library was a favorite place, naturally we would want to ‘try that at home.’

Here’s a perfect little starter set for the little one in your life to play library at home too. Our set up wasn’t quite so high-tech. We managed with index cards and a pencil. I love this little set since it comes with a date stamp and ink pad. The little envelopes can be put in the front of each book with the check out card

We’d set up books everywhere around our room, so we could peruse those available, deciding which to check out. We spent hours setting it up—possibly the most fun part, labeling each book, making up a card for each. Every book title and author would be written on an index card.I remember passing many an afternoon that way!

No library would be complete without the check out counter. A desk works nicely. The person checking out the book would write their name on the card, and we’d give it the official stamp showing the return due date.

It’s another excellent way to encourage kids to read by getting them involved in the process.

I still love libraries.  Anytime I enter one I feel a sense of comfort and familiarity. Hopefully you all still take your children to the public library. Even if you have e-readers, a library is an experience not to be missed. There is something almost magical about walking into your favorite section, looking at all the books, and knowing you can borrow any of them that you want. It’s priceless and its free!

Buy or Build Your Own Library Kit

Whether you buy a clever set like these, or build your own library, it promises hours of fun! You need the date stamp and ink for let your library patrons know the due date of the loan, and you’ll need cards and envelopes for each book.

Think of all they can do and play…

  • Older children could make a running list of the books available, either by hand or on a computer or tablet.
  • Ebooks could be included for a pretend ebook check out system as well.
  • Set it up between friend’s houses and your children can have library exchanges for books. Be sure to list what’s checked out so you return and receive borrowed books.
  • Your little librarian can have “reading hours” for neighborhood children. I imagine most parents in your neighborhood would enjoy a little break while someone read a story to their kids.
  • A little check out station can be set up for the professional look.

It can be a little niche industry for your children and their friends too! Good for their social skills and their imagination!

That’s one of the benefits. Another is that it is something to do away from video games and television.

And perhaps the main benefit is that it will inspire your child to read. You can learn anything in a book. The love of reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child.

Book Cards with Envelopes

Do you have lots of books? If so, you might add this 100 pack to your librarian supplies. That way they won’t run out of cards for their library. Love this set that includes the envelopes as well. Realistic, educational play for your children.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

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