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Recommendations

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

 

Dear Duncan,

Esteban the Magnificent here...formerly known as PEA GREEN CRAYON...we don't talk about that though, such an unfortunate color name!

I mean really, PEA GREEN?

Kids hate peas!

Who wants to color with their least favorite food?

Oh...and poor MAROON CRAYON, lost beneath the sofa cushions, just tragic!

And BURNT SIENNA CRAYON...chewed up and spit out by the dog...EWWWWW!

Not to mention TURQUOISE CRAYON...tumbled dry, low!!! The horror!

I recently heard that the Original 12, and you know who you are, almost QUIT!

Can you imagine, crayons quitting? It's back to school time!

Well, they did, and you, Duncan, listened.

I hear the Original 12 have it better than ever now.

Well, we're special too, we're the CRAYON CLASSIC COLOR PACK - 64 COUNT, with sharpener in the back!

There might be a lot of us, but that doesn't mean you can do with us as you please, we have feelings too you know, and we want to come home.

The world can be a cold hard place for a lone crayon.

So Duncan, if you're reading this, remember there's more to life than RED, BLUE and GREEN, we're here for you too, buddy.

We just want to come home (AUGUST 18th, if you'll have us),

Esteban the Magnificent (aka PEA GREEN)

 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

 

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Having nine nieces and nephews as well as knowing a lot of friends with children, I have been invited to countless babyshowers.  My favorite gift items?  Bath toys!!  You can never go wrong with bathtime books, foam letters or rubber duckies.  Bathtime is a wonderful opportunity to engage your baby, toddler or preschooler in the Five Early Literacy Practices: Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play.  

On pbs.org, they describe many ways you can encourage language and literacy development during bathtime; from naming body parts to asking your child what are they going to need for bathtime.  There are even suggestions for first graders. My favorite one was to make up stories about the different bath toys.  Once upon a time, there was a Pirate Duck named Orange Beak.  He was on a mission to locate the treasure stolen by Princess Barbie and her Little Pony friends...

Ideas that incorporate the Five Early Literacy Practices into bathtime:

TALK- Use different words to describe how toys move in the water: splash, dip, sink, float, rock, glide, etc...

SING- Sing to baby about body parts (ie. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes).  Make up or learn new bathtime songs like the one about the turtle, Tiny Tim, on Jbrary (I LOVE JBRARY!!!)

READ- Read bathtime books to your baby or point out words on your child's bubble bath or shampoo bottle

WRITE- Use bathtime crayons to write baby's name on the tile or use foam letters to spell out words

PLAY- Mix in science and math concepts by adding measuring cups and spoons to your bathtub toy collection

Read a good book before or after bathtime:

 

A board book. Great for babies and toddlers!

A cute story about an elephant reluctant to take a bath.

One of my favorite characters, the Pigeon!  Mo Willems' books make me laugh!

Rub-a-dub!  Now get those kiddos into the tub!  And keep logging Summer Reading minutes!

by: 
Jill J. Outreach Librarian, Kids & Families

One of the most difficult things for parents to manage is witnessing their children experience intense emotions. How do we help our children manage these powerful and sometimes upsetting experiences?  

Parents don't need to go through lenghty, verbal explanations of emotions.  We can help our kids explore self identification using books that show emotions simply through pictures. With my own 5-year-old son, I find that many picture books help connect him with characters and scenarios he can relate to and empathize with. 

From my experience, one of the best books I have seen that helps kids focus on and identify emotions is:

How are You Peeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann  

I have read this book to groups of kids spanning a pretty big range of ages: from 15 months to 6 years old. Each time I read it to a group, I notice that the kids become very quiet and focused. Since kids are so very observant of the world around them, I think this particular book grabs their attention.  The pictures are intruiging to look at because they are so uniquely expressive. The author creatively transforms a variety of fruits and vegetables into creatures who show a range of emotional facial expressions. It is kind of strange but it works!  Kids really focus their attention on this book.

Check it out at the library and see how your kids respond to these creative pictures! You can also try to incorporate crafting, drawing and painting to tie into this book. Try your hand at creating your own expressive fruit and veggie creatures with your kids. Freymann's other books are full of great ideas.

 

Image credit: Flipsen&Gaabstra on Flickr 

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Tips for Choosing Books

Look for books with some of these attributes:

For Storytime

Babies

  • Large, bright images pictures as babies vision isn't great yet

  • Books that you can sing

  • Books that rhyme

  • Concept books; ABC's, 1,2,3's

  • Books with animal noise

1,2,3 To The Zoo, Eric Carle

Toddlers

  • High contrast images

  • Very simple stories

  • One to two sentences per page

  • Interactive stories; movement, animal noises, etc.

  • Books you can sing and move to

  • Books with repeated phrases

The Seals on the Bus, Lenny Hort

Preschoolers

  • ​Humorous books without sarcasm, especially about underwear

  • Books with simple plots

  • Books with predictive plots

  • Fiction and non-fiction books

The Book With No Pictures, B.J. Novak

Bilingual

Buenas Noches Gorila, Peggy Rathman

For Parents 

Babies 

  • Books with real baby faces

  • Sturdy books that babies can chew on

  • Lift-the-flap and other interactive elements, like textures

  • First word books

  • Nursery Rhymes

  • Concept books; ABC's, 1,2,3's

Baby Faces!, Dawn Sirett

Toddlers

  • Books about your child's favorite interests

  • Books with large fun pictures

  • Favorite characters

  • Books you loved as a kid

  • Concept books; ABC's 1,2,3's

  • Wordless Books

  • Books you and your child enjoy (you will have to read them a million times)

Happy, Mie van Hout

Preschoolers

  • Books that relate to your child's life

  • Wordless books

  • Longer books with more in depth stories

  • Search and Find books

  • Favorite characters

  • Non-fiction

Peanut Butter & Cupcake, Terry Border

Bilingual

Un Amigo de Veras Maravilloso, Suzanne Bloom

CHOICES, CHOICES...

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Bubbles! Fun to chase, fun to catch, fun to POP!  I love bubbles!  When I was a teacher, one of my favorite field trips was to the Children's Museum in Denver.  The year the "bubble room" was added, I was esctatic! The kids, families, and teachers had SO much fun doing bubble experiments, making giant bubbles and trapping each other inside of a bubble.  

Some people may see bubbles only as entertainment, but did you know playing with bubbles actually can help build hand/eye coordination in babies and small children? Catching and popping bubbles encourages concentration and physical movement as well as strengthens our eyes ability to track motion.  Here is a list activities and benefits associated with bubble play:

  • Sing songs to baby or play music while you blow bubbles.  Music engages the brain. Bubbles provide amusement AND eye tracking practice.
  • Ask you child questions like "Where did the bubble go after it popped?" or "Why is the bubble colored like a rainbow?" to stimulate scientific thinking.
  • Challenge your child to pop 5 bubbles, 10 bubbles, 20 bubbles...and count out loud along with your child.
  • Let your child blow the bubbles.  This helps strengthen mouth muscles and concentration skills.  

Storytime Katie is a great resource for children's book and activity ideas.  I love these BUBBLE activity suggestions!

  • Bubble Bounce- a different kind of bubble. Throw balloons into the air and have your child keep the “bubbles” afloat.
  • Bubble Art. Add 2 teaspoons of paint to bubble solution.  Have your child blow the paint bubbles onto white construction paper. You can provide lots of different kinds of tools to make bubbles. Try straws, bubbles wands, bubble pipes, etc... 

I can't leave out a good bubble themed book!

Go to the website Preschool Express by Jean Warren to find bubble themed songs and rhymes. This one is great for rhyming and math skills.

FIVE BIG BUBBLES

Five big bubbles floating all around.

Until one popped when it landed on the ground.

Four big bubbles floating high and free.

Until one popped when it landed in a tree.

Three big bubbles floating quiet as a mouse.

Until one popped when it landed on the house.

Two big bubbles floating down to land.

Until one popped when it landed in my hand.

One big bubble still floating in the air.

Until it popped when it landed in my hair.

Remember to log singing, rhyming and bubble play as Summer Reading minutes for your 0-5 year olds! 

 

Image credit:flickr

 

by: 
Anna Weyeneth Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

School is over. Now what can we do to help our little pre-readers and readers to keep from getting bored? How about putting together a Story Telling Basket?

1) Choose a familiar story your child enjoys. I'll use Goldilocks and the Three Bears  for my example. 

2) Collect a few items from around the house that relate to the story. Three stuffed animals to represent the three bears and a doll or action figure to play the role of Goldilocks. Three plastic bowls, spoons, and three various size "blankets". These blankets could be easily substituted for washcloths. Keep in mind kids really don't care if the objects match the story. Your objects don't even have to be the right scale or size. (Goldilocks could be bigger than Papa Bear.)

3) Lastly, add the correspondingbook from your local library or your home library. Toss these items into a basket (or box) and you've got your very own Story Telling Basket! Quick-and-easy, right? Yet you'll soon be tapping into a couple of important pre-literacy skills and practices: talking and playing

Use this Story Telling Basket to TALK and PLAY with your child and watch as their imagination takes them away. Listen how they create and retell their own story. Interacting with the Story Telling Basket will give them a chance to practice their new vocabulary. You might even get some insight to things they are experiencing, curious about, or interested in. Let it be their story no matter how far it strays from the actual story in the book. Have fun and don't forget to log those minutes and get your chance to win prizes in our summer reading program

Photo Credit: Daniel Rocal 

 

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Ever feel rushed?  I have a bad back, which constantly reminds me to stop and take care of myself.  If only I got a text before the twinge of pain!  But wait!  Texts and tweets for healthy living are out there.  And, there are texts and tweets for fun things to do with your child to help stimulate their brains.  Perfect for those days when you are not feeling creative or are just plain rushed.

I love this tag line from the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Baby Coalition: "Your baby has you. You have text4baby."  Text BABY to 511411 and get free messages during pregnancy and your baby's first year.   

A local organization, Bright By Three, sends weekly texts in English or Spanish about ways to support healthy development in babies and toddlers.  Just text 'BRIGHT' for English or 'BRILLANTE' for Spanish to 444999.  

Does Jeffco Public Library offer Early Literacy tips?  Oh yes!  Follow us on Twitter: #EarlyLiteracyTips or follow us on Facebook. To access our past Early Literacy posts, click on this link.  Some are simple like, "Sing along with your favorite song" or "Snuggle up with a good book".  Here is one I really love to share: 

My Early Literacy tip for this summer?  Register you, your family and your baby for Summer Reading '15! It's for all ages, 0 to 100 and beyond. Doing learning activities with baby counts as brain exercise and reading minutes.  When you read books, magazines, whatever you fancy, in front of baby, you are modeling that reading is important as well as enjoyable to your baby. Help us reach 1,000,001 minutes in Jefferson County!  You can register online or at the library starting May 29.  Log minutes online weekly and win prizes!  

It may sound silly to have to remind ourselves to sing a song or snuggle up with a book. But, let's face it.  We are busy people!  A little nudge to take 5 minutes to stretch my back saves me lots of time (not to mention money;) that I would otherwise spend at the chiropractor's office.  Happy texting and tweeting!!!  

Image credit: Flickr

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

VOCABULARY: knowing all kinds of words

Did you know?

That the average 1 to 1 1/2 year old child has a vocabulary consisting of around 20 words.

Fast forward one year to age 2, and this same child will have a 200–300-word vocabulary.

Add one more year and by the time they reach the age of 3, their vocabulary has grown to be about 900–1,000 words!!!

This means that by the age of 3, the average child's vocabulary is 50 times larger than it was just two years before...that's astounding!

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

Why Is It Important?

It's much easier to read a word when it's a word you already know. Children with bigger vocabularies have an easier time when they start to read, since it's much easier for them to make sense of what they're sounding out.

What Can You Do to Help Build This Skill?

Encourage children to learn their native or home language first; this makes learning another language (speaking and reading) easier later.

  • Talk with children in positive and conversational ways; commands and “no’s” do not encourage language development.

  • Carry on lots of conversations with children.

  • Explain the meanings of new words.

  • Read books! Picture books use a different vocabulary than casual spoken conversation.

Think your toddler isn't listening to what you say? THINK AGAIN!

 

by: 
Jill J., Outreach Librarian, Kids & Families

When my son was around 3 years old and started showing an interest in super heroes and Star Wars, I became one very excited parent!  

All of a sudden, I realized that I was going to be able to introduce him to Yoda and to explain Thor the Mighty's origin story.

My son is now 5 years old and we both share a love for super heroes and Star Wars.  In fact, I think he might know more details about various characters and realms than I do!  I have been using graphic novels specifically targeted at preschool kids, to bond with my son over a common interest, to nurture a love for reading and to have fun learning about super heroes together.  

 Not so many years ago, comic books in school were considered the enemy. Kids caught sneaking comics between the pages of bulky—and less engaging—textbooks were likely sent to the principal!  Don't let that happen!  

Sharing graphic novels can be a lot of fun for parents and their preschool aged kids. Don't worry about the long held assumption that they aren't good enough because they aren't considered serious literature.  Have fun and enjoy!  

And if you are worried about it, recent research has suggested that:

  • Reluctant readers might pay more attention to graphic novels: The visual component can help kids imagine the story better and may help them become better writers and readers
  • Providing a variety of formats to those already hooked on reading enhances the love of reading
  • Reading graphic novels may enhance creativity and promote literacy by fostering a love for reading

 With Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 2nd and the Denver ComiCon right around the corner on May 23-25, take an opportunity to check out how much fun you and your child can have together exploring graphic novels!

 Here are some great titles that are available at the library:

5 Minute Marvel Stories

The Mighty Thor:  an Origin Story

 

DC Superheroes Storybook Collection

Wonder Woman:  the Story of the Amazon Princess

 Star Wars The Adventures of Luke Skywalker

 

Image Credit

by: 
Anna Weyeneth, Kids & Families Outreach Librarian

I'm an advocate for children with learning disabilities and children who aren't comfortable in front of a book. According to a National Institutes of Health study, one in seven people struggle with some kind of learning disability.

Learning disabilities are difficult to discover in young children. However, it is important for us as parents to be aware of the early warning sign of a learning disability. If you are not sure what these warning signs are read this article by Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia in the second grade. I learned to overcome it and your child can too. I'm convinced reading humorous books will help children who have learning disabilities and children who don't learn to love reading! 

Have you ever had the chance to read the book Moo! with your kids? My 3 year old, 5 year old, and I love it! The illustrations are amusing, brightly colored, and that cow is just adorable! In two turns of the page, you and your children will relate to the cow and farmer as their interactions parallel that of a parent-child relationship.

Surprisingly, "moo" is the only word in the book, so you'll have to use your voice to distinguish and describe the story. I enjoy asking my boys their interpretation of the story. It's a book they can read. The word "moo" turns into a sight word; which means they see the word, remember what it looks like, and read it. To encourage your child to learn how to read the word moo, or any word, pass your finger under the word as you read it out loud. This book has won a CLEL Bell award for its focus on Early Child Literacy. You and your children are guaranteed to enjoy it.

 

Peanut Butter and Cupcake  is another book my boys and I enjoy! The characters in this book are food. They are photographs of actual, tasty-looking food! One time, after reading this book with my boys, they immediately asked for a snack after we closed the book. That is how appetizing the pictures are in this book.

The story is about a piece of peanut butter toast who is trying to make a new friend. Peanut Butter has to be brave and invite other "kids" to play with him. Not all of the "kids" want to play, but Peanut Butter doesn't give up. Terry Border, the author, chose a nice use of repetition in the story. Soon your child will be reading it along with you. There are a couple of jokes for parents too! I love it when authors do that for the adults! I hope you LOL with your children when you read! Enjoy!

 

 Image credit a4gpa 

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