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Recommendations

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Ever notice when you hear someone speak another language how different not only the words sound, but how different the rhythm is?  Music is great for learning our native language rhythms and also for exposing your child to another language. Singing songs slows down the words.  Each sound is more emphasized. Music also triggers our memory. I find it funny I can't find my keys half the time, but I can still remember all the words to "Frère Jacques" at any given moment!  

A great website to check out is www.storyblocks.org.  On it you'll find videos of songs and rhymes in 3 languages to try with your little ones: English, Vietnamese and Spanish. The songs and rhymes are taught by local parents and librarians! I love the video with our very own librarian, Cecilia, singing in Spanish 'Dos Manitas, Diez Deditos' or 'Two little hands, Ten Little Fingers'. The words are also transcribed just below and to the right of  the video.  I recently sang this song during a guest baby time appearance at the Evergreen library.  I was impressed by the mamas who learned it along with their babies!  

An easy song to learn body parts is 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes'. I have written it out in Spanish:  

Cabeza (Ka bay za)  Head 
Hombros (Ohm bros) Shoulders
Rodillas (Row dee ahs) Knees
Pies (Peeyays) Feet
Rodillas 
Pies 
Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies, Rodillas, Pies

Ojos (O hos)  Eyes
Orejas (Or ay hahs) Ears
Boca (Bo Ka) Mouth
Y Nariz (EE Na Rees) Nose  Y= 'and'
Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies, Rodillas, Pies

Not ready to sing a song in another language?  Never fear!  There are CD's and You Tube videos out there to do the singing for you!  For example, when I was teaching, I really liked playing Hap Palmer songs. On 'Learning in two Languages/Aprendiendo en dos idiomas', he sings each song in English and Spanish.  He sings very clearly and you can find his lyrics written out online.

Here is a link to a lovely YouTube video by Natasha Morgan.  It is simply animated and shows her hand drawing animals while she sings and writes out greetings as well as counts numbers up to 12 in French and English.   

 

Adiós, Au Revoir and Goodbye for now!

 

Image credit: flickr

 

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

LETTER KNOWLEDGE: Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing letter names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere. 

BIG A

little a

What begins with A?

Oooh, oooh...I know, I know!!!

I can also tell you what begins with BIG B, little b, BIG C, and little c...

I have Dr. Seuss to thank for this pithy little saying sticking with me all these years, and that is how simple creating letter recognition is with your child. Repetition, rhyme and enjoyment go a very long way in developing your child's interest in letters.

According to The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), that's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights LETTER KNOWLEDGE as one of their 6 early literacy skills designed to promote early literacy in young children.

Why Is It Important?

To read words, children have to understand that a word is made up of individual letters.

What Can You Do to Help Build This Skill?

  • Look at and talk about different shapes (letters are based on shapes).

  • Play “same and different” type games.

  • Look at “I Spy” type books.

  • Notice different types of letters (“a” or “A”) on signs and in books.

  • Read ABC books.

  • Talk about and draw the letters of a child's own name.

BIG A

little a

What begins with A?

Aunt Annie's alligator...A...a...A.

Oh, sweeter words have never been said!

by: 
Jill J.

Singing plays a vital role in a child's early reading skills. Our friends at Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy tell us that:

  • Singing helps children learn new words.
  • Singing slows down language so that children can hear the different sounds in words and learn about syllables.
  • Singing together is a fun bonding experience with your child — whether you're a good singer or not!
  • Singing develops listening and memory skills and makes repetition easier for young children — it's easier to remember a short song than a short story.
  • Movement gets the oxygen to flowing to those young brain and allows for a nice break to “Shake your sillies out.”

Pete the Cat is always a big hit with kids but why not try some other books that feature a sing-a-long song and picture book all wrapped up in one?  

Give these books a try:

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas  

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler

The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long  

 

Photo credit: dok1 on Flickr

by: 
Jill Hinn, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Last week I saw on the news that families were spending less time together over the holiday due to time spent shopping, among other things. This year, why not take some time out from the hustle and bustle to craft great gifts with your kids? The benefits are numerous. First, you're creating connections with your children. You are creating a special time when they can be the focus--who knows what kind of great conversations you might have! Second, you're making something to give to someone. What better way to tell someone you love them than with a gift you've made? Third, depending on the craft you pick, you might be saving yourself some money!        

You're not crafty, you say? Never fear, help is here! There are many resources out there for you; you just have to be able to follow directions. And I know you can do that! Start at the library. There are a multitude of books about making crafts. Here are a few about making presents specifically: 

You can always check out some library events too. You never know when we might have a program about a craft!

Pinterest is another excellent place to get ideas. Pins generally have links back to more detailed instructions. You'll be surprised at the variety and number of options there are when you search Pinterest for "christmas gift crafts for kids." 

You can also go to one of the big craft stores and buy kits that are all ready to put together. Remember, the idea is for you to spend some quality time with your child(ren), not to stress out about how to make something.

These are some of my favorites:          

  • Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds - these are easy to do, even the smallest helper can pour sugar and stir and then when they're done, help put them into decorative bags or boxes to gift. The people we gave them out to last year loved them, so we'll be doing them again this year.  
  • Ceramic Tile Coasters are one of my favorite crafts to make with kids. They are cheap and there are so many ways to decorate them that you can really tailor your design to different people. Color them with sharpies, paint your kid's hand and immortalize their handprint on one, glue a picture or a favorite team sports logo on them, the choice is yours. Here is one quick and easy tutorial.
  • Ornaments are always a go-to at this time of year, too, and there are so many fun ideas floating around the web, you should easily be able to find one that fits your time, ability, and budget. How about this cute Cupcake Liner Christmas Tree

Here's wishing you a holiday season full of joy, good cheer, time spent with loved ones, and maybe, a little crafting.

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

PRINT MOTIVATION: Being interested in and enjoying books.

I LOVE BOOKS!!!

I know, you're saying "Well duh, you're a librarian". But, even if I was a rocket scientist or a zoo vet I would still love books!

Even before my children were sleeping through the night (and believe me I don't miss those days) I would sit in my rocking chair and read to them. It would be just us, gently rocking, and listening to "a quiet old lady who was whispering 'hush'". You can inspire the same love of reading in your children, whether it's the wee hours of the morning or the middle of the afternoon, showing interest and enjoying reading with your children is where their love of reading begins.

According to The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), that's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights PRINT MOTIVATION as one of their 6 early literacy skills designed to promote early literacy in young children.

Why Is It Important?

Kids who enjoy books and reading will be curious about reading and motivated to learn to read for themselves. Motivation is important because learning to read is HARD WORK!

It's important that we make sure our children start reading and listening to books from day one and that they have a good time with books.

What Can You Do to Help Build This Skill?

  • Have fun!

  • Read books you both like

  • Stop (or shift gears) when it is no longer fun. Length of time is not important; enjoyment is!

If you're looking for a tried and true classic...you're never too old or too young to enjoy, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise-Brown. I promise!

So, find a comfy spot, curl up with a fun book and your little one, and let the magic begin!

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Have you ever read a goosebumps book? Not the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. I mean a book that no matter how many times you read or re-read it, it gives you goosebumps. WONDER by R.J. Palacio is one of those books!!

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

WONDER, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

The magic of Wonder continues in these beautifully written companion books.

365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This companion book features conversations between Mr. Browne and Auggie, Julian, Summer, Jack Will, and others, giving readers a special peek at their lives after Wonder ends. Mr. Browne's essays and correspondence are rounded out by a precept for each day of the year—drawn from popular songs to children’s books to inscriptions on Egyptian tombstones to fortune cookies. His selections celebrate the goodness of human beings, the strength of people’s hearts, and the power of people’s wills.
 
There’s something for everyone here, with words of wisdom from such noteworthy people as Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Confucius, Goethe, Sappho—and over 100 readers of Wonder who sent R. J. Palacio their own precepts.

The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book's most controversial character—Julian.

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the Wonder, it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking. Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?

CHOOSE KIND! It'll give you goosebumps!

 

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

You daydream about catching your child reading Huck Finn or War and Peace but are rudely awakened to find them in front of the TV again. It seems like every conversation with your child ends with, "but books aren't as good as TV."

Why not capture your child's attention by introducing them to books based on their favorite TV shows or movies? The library owns several titles at many different reading levels based on popular TV shows and movies such as Scooby Doo and Star Wars. They may not be classic masterpieces but they just might get your child to read! Here are just a few of the popular TV shows or movies that you can find in books at your library:

 Barbie

 

Lego Ninjago

My Little Pony

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

Start your kids off on the path to reading with their TV and movie pals. Once the door to reading has been opened the possibilities are endless!

 

Photo credit: Lubs Mary. on Flickr

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Can we talk?

So far in Ready to Read Reminder, I have reminded you to WRITE, PLAY, READ, and SING and now we get to TALK. Just talk. What could be easier than talking?

I love to talk. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you. I can turn a simple Yes or No answer into a 20 minute monologue on what I saw driving to work this morning. I actually blame Dr. Seuss', And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, for my keen powers of observation while driving to and from home. You never know when you'll spot a blue elephant pulling a sleigh, with a Rajah, with rubies, perched high on his throne on your daily commute. I live in Evergreen, you know.

 I've had this love of talking since I was little. My report cards always came home with this curious addendum, "Barbara likes to visit with neighbors." They were right, I do! The gift of gab can be a wonderful thing!

That's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights TALK as one of their 5 practices designed to promote early literacy in young children.

How does talking with children help them get ready to read? According to  The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), talking with children helps them practice (and eventually master) the following skills:

Vocabulary

The more words children hear in conversations during their early childhoods, the larger their vocabulary when they go to school. That big vocabulary helps them recognize words when they see them for the first time in print. They will understand more of what they read and be less frustrated as beginning readers.

Print Motivation

The more books children read, and the more adults talk to children about the story, characters, and ideas in books, the more children can make connections between the books they read and their own lives. Children enjoy recognizing themselves in print and that pleasure motivates them to read more and discover more connections.

Narrative Skills

When adults tell stories to children, either familiar folktales, or family stories, it helps children learn that stories have a specific structure: they have a beginning, middle, and end, they have characters who take action and encounter conflict before resolving a problem. When children understand how stories work, they can carry that framework to their reading, where it can support them as they try to determine the meaning of the text.

Comprehension is such a critical part of successful reading. If you don’t understand what you read, you won’t be motivated to read more. The more children know about the world before they start to read, the more this background knowledge can inform their attempt to decipher what’s on the page. Parents who discuss new information about how and why and when things happen with their children are giving their children an excellent foundation they will build on every day as readers.

Phonological Awareness

We’re used to thinking about Singing as the main practice that books phonological awareness, due to the ways songs stretch out syllables, slow down language, and provide lots of practice with rhyming sounds. But studies show that kids who are immersed in a lot of verbal conversations and a rich oral language environment show gains in their phonological awareness skills, as well. There’s just so much to learn about the sounds of our language, that the more information the brain receives, the better it can start to sort, classify, and understand the way those sounds work.

Letter Knowledge

We know that children need to know three things about letters: the names of the letters, the shapes of the letters, and the sound or sounds that are associated with those letters. Although some children may seem like they absorb this information on their own, most children build what they know about the letters through conversations with their parents and caregivers. Naming letters on signs and billboards, pointing out letter shapes in sidewalk cracks or buildings, and voicing letter sounds while reading alphabet books or playing with blocks are all ways these conversations help make these connections.

Print Awareness

A recent study showed that early childhood teachers can make a measurable impact on their childrens’ reading readiness just by adding a few simple activities to their shared reading every week. Teachers were trained to draw their children’s attention to print by simple activities such as pointing to the words in the title of a book, or underlining the words with their fingers as they read, or noticing the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters on the page. Children who received this type of guided reading showed greater achievements than children who didn’t in phonological awareness and letter knowledge skills up to two years later. Simple conversations can make a big difference!

The spoken word is a powerful thing...why just this morning I saw a flock of geese dancing across the road, while the foxes kicked a soccer ball around the field...it was amazing! But wait, wait, wait...there's more....

 

 Photo credit: Ed Yourdon on Flickr

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

What do you think of when you hear the words Book Club? A group of moms, sitting around someone's coffee table, discussing the latest chick lit? Or maybe a group of teens, sipping Starbucks and waxing prophetically?

Well, here at JCPL , we have our own kind of book club, and KIDS may apply!

Not only do you get to read a great book and share your thoughts about it with other kids, you also get to do a fun activity that relates to the book. Zen gardens, creating your own cartoon, quiz shows, scavenger hunts, and making Rube Goldberg machines are just a few of the things we have done so far. And what kids meeting would be complete without a snack?

Check out what your local library will be doing this month:

COLUMBINE YOUNG READER'S FUN CLUB

Columbine Library

Tuesday, October 7th, 4:30-5:30pm

Ages 8 & up

This Month's Book: The Escape by Kathryn Lasky

 YOUNG READERS BOOK CLUB

Evergreen Library

Monday, October 20th, 4:00-5:00pm

Ages 8-11

This Month's Book: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

GOLDEN YOUNG READERS CLUB

Golden Library

Monday, October 6th, 6:30-7:30pm

Ages 8 & up

This Month's Book: Wait Till Helen Comes: a ghost story by Mary Downing Hahn

LAKEWOOD LIBRARY YOUNG READERS FUN CLUB

Lakewood Library

Tuesday, October 21st, 4:00-5:00pm

Ages 8 & up

This Month's Book: A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

Can't make it to a meeting? No worries! Evergreen Library also offers Book Club in a Bag. Book Club in a Bag has 8 titles for a 6 week check out. Each bag is filled with 10 paperback copies, one for each of your friends, a Book Club Promise bookmark for everyone to keep, and a folder with discussion questions, a summary of the book, an author bio, and activities for your book group.

Available Titles:

Shipwrecked by Rhoda Blumberg

Please Write in This Book by Mary Amato

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Peter & the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

The Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Sounder by William H Armstrong

Book Club...it's not just for the BIG kids anymore!

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Today is the Fall Equinox! To learn more about this fascinating time of year, try these fun activities out with your little ones:

 Snuggle up and read about the Fall Equinox:

By The Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert

Thanking the Moon : celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin

The autumn equinox : celebrating the harvest / Ellen Jackson ; illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis.

Finished reading? Make a leaf mask to celebrate!

 Then, strap on your leaf masks and sing the following rhyme with your kids while you twist and twirl around!

(to the tune of Row, Row, Row your Boat)

Leaves, leaves falling down

Falling on the ground.

Red and orange and yellow and brown,

Leaves are falling down.

 

Happy Fall everyone! :)

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