With the school holidays in full swing, lots of mums and dads will be thinking about how to keep their children engaged with all of that extra free time on their hands.
The health and brain boosting benefits of reading at a young age have been well-documented so getting your little one stuck into a good book over the holidays is a great alternative to staving off boredom instead of resorting to the TV or playing video games.
To make summer reading an even better choice for parents this summer, the Mayo library service is running a great new Summer Reading Adventure at six public libraries across the county.
The free programme is open to all children in the Castlebar, Ballina, Westport, Kiltimagh, Ballyhaunis, and Crossmolina libraries and runs until the end of August.
The idea is that children register for the adventure at their local library and choose books to read during their summer holidays.
They will receive a 'Summer Reading Card' to record their progress along the way and a library reward stamp will be added to their reading card at the library after each book is finished.
There will also be events such as talks, story time sessions and activities in their local library.
The general exposure children have to books has been found to be particularly important for children’s overall development.
Numerous studies have shown strong connections between reading and children’s levels of self-confidence, independence, emotional development, empathy, imagination, and creativity as well as their social skills and overall wellbeing.
The research has also found that children who have easy access to books in their homes, schools, or from regular visits to a library develop stronger reading skills and more positive attitudes towards learning.
Call in to your local friendly library to check out what it has in store for you this summer. Visit www.mayolibrary.ie for full branch information and opening hours.