Category Archives: Early literacy

Early literacy fun for kids

early literacy installation photos

There’s lots to love in the Children’s area at your library.

Have you visited the library since we added our Early Literacy installation? We’ve got a fun tractor in the middle of the children’s area, as well as hands-on learning panels that have been added to the Story Barn.

All these additions to our Children’s area provide opportunities for simple learning activities that help get your child ready to read. And they reinforce five of the best ways for children to develop early literacy skills: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing.

Parents are a child’s first teacher, and the library is the child’s first classroom. So come on in and play! Bring your children, your grandchildren, or your inner-child–they’ll have fun, and learn to love their library.

library lovers month

Janice

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What is a book app?

So you got an e-reader or a tablet or a smart phone for the holidays? Or you gave one to your child? Having made the big choice, now dozens of new questions arise, and you see a lengthy learning curve spreading out before you. Some people really enjoy that; others, not so much.

(We’ve a workshop coming up to help you, coming February 16.  More info soon.)

So here is one picky question we can take care of for you: the book app.

Now, there are apps (applications: little software programs) to read e-books, and you want them to read e-books on your tablet or computer: the two big ones are from Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Nobles.  Those we can call reading apps.

Then there are the e-books themselves, that you can buy, or download for free, or check out from your library!

And then there are book apps. Book apps are very fancy e-books which have interactive features. They read the story to you; you can touch on objects on the screen and unexpected things happen; you can “color” in the illustrations; there might be animation, music, and other special effects. Many are for children– both for entertainment and for education– but not all. Book apps are device-specific, so you need to look and see that the one you’re interested in is made for the device you have.

Kirkus put together a list of the “best of 2012” book apps – browse through these to get a sense of what they can do.

And here’s a list of book apps for teens and adults.

happy apping!

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Filed under Books, E-books, Early literacy, Internet, Reading

Websites for Kids

We’re all aware of how much kids love anything to do with computers.

This can create concern for parents, who don’t always have time to research the best websites for their kids to use.  Here’s a handy resource: The Association for Library Service to Children researches and vets hundreds of sites, and publishes the best of them on (what else) a website: Great Websites for Kids.

The websites evaluated are aimed at children 14 years and younger.  The ratings include a grade level,  a rating system of five stars, and details such as any fees or purchases available on the site.   The ALSC adds sites three times a year, and reviews all the sites twice a year for relevancy and accessibility.

One other nifty resource on their site is their Selection Criteria page, on which they share just what they look for in a site that makes it credible and worthwhile.  Parents looking to learn how to evaluate the websites their children visit might find this page very useful.

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Filed under Early literacy, Internet

You’re invited!

We’re planning a party to celebrate our new Early Literacy Center. It’s happening Thursday, August 23, and you’re all invited.

SInger-songwriter, Charlie Hope

The fun will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a kid’s concert featuring singer-songwriter Charlie Hope. Hope’s music is “bright and charming,” and her approach to family music grew out of her background in art therapy and as a preschool teacher.

Following the concert, at 11:15 a.m. there will be a short program to thank all the donors who made our new Early Literacy Center possible.Then you’re invited to hang out and play at the library, while you enjoy refreshments served by the Friends of the Library.

The new hands-on Early Literacy Center here at the library is a product of The Burgeon Group, go to their website to read their thoughts on the intersection between play and learning.

So please join us for the party. ~Janice

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Filed under Early literacy, Libraries

Come in and play!

The children’s area here at the library has been transformed into an “interactive learning space.” That just means that there are now some very cool new things to play with. The library was a construction zone all day Thursday during the installation, and now there’s a tractor, flying geese, and lots of things that spin or otherwise move when they encounter little fingers.

Construction Zone. Do Not Enter!

Building a tractor.

Come play!

So come on in and play! Bring your children, your grandchildren, or your inner-child. We’re planning a program and open house to celebrate the installation on Thursday, August 23–watch for more details on that.

~Janice

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Filed under Art, Early literacy

Online Summer Resources for the Kids

We’ve been reminding you about downloadable audiobooks for your summer road trips, but we don’t want to neglect your kids.

We’ve got two excellent resources you shouldn’t miss:  Tumble Books, and Tumblereadables.  Both of them stream from the Internet, so a connection is necessary.   Click on the logo below to check it out!

 

TumbleBooks can keep the kids entertained educationally for hours.  It features read-aloud stories, ebooks, and audiobooks to use online.  It has language learning activities, books in French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Russian, plus word, memory, and spelling games and puzzles.

 

  Tumblereadables features chapter books, early readers, graphic novels, YA/teen novels, and ‘relunctant reader’ books for both middle school and high school students, plus classics of American and English literature.  Some titles are also en Espanol.  No download is necessary and you can just bookmark your place if you can’t finish in one sitting. It works on Android tablets and most mobile devices.

Here’s to a fun, peaceful, educational summer for your kids!

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Filed under Audiobooks, Early literacy, Internet, Reading

Read to your children; read, read, read.

The other day there was a father and small daughter snuggled up in the puppet playhouse, heads bent together over a book as he read aloud softly.  It’s a scene to warm any book-lover’s heart, and a co-worker and I cooed over it.  Later she said, “Why do we think it’s so great when fathers come to the library?  When we see a mom and her kids, we don’t say ‘Oh, how great to see a mom bringing her kids to the library.’”

 I’m still thinking that one over. 

Social commentary aside, it’s still great when dads support reading.  Here’s a nifty resource from Geekdad.com called “67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10.”  There’s a great variety of books for different ages; click on a book to read a summary.  You have to scroll all the way down underneath the book covers to see the summary.

 

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Filed under Books, Early literacy, Reading

You’re never too old

Today is Read Across America Day, a time set aside to celebrate children’s author, Dr. Seuss, and to encourage everyone to read with a child.  Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, and began his career as an author with the publication of And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street in 1937.

I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books, I read them to my own children, and I’ll be reading them with my grandchildren. I think my favorite is The Sneetches, a story about racial equality that teaches us that it really doesn’t matter who has “stars upon thars.”

What about you? Reply and share your favorite Dr. Seuss story. And remember, as Theodore Seuss Geisel pointed out, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

~Janice

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Filed under Early literacy

It’s that time again!

Back to school: those three words mean very different things to different people. Here are just a few back-to-school topics that you can explore @ your library. We’ve got: 

  • Early Readers for beginning readers, and Children’s Chapter Books for older kids who are ready to take their reading to the next level.
  • Books and kid-friendly online resources for school reports, plus fifteen public access internet computers.
  • New books on order for parents who have more time to read now that the kids are back in school and summer activities are winding down.
  • Cookbooks with great ideas for school lunches, afterschool snacks, and quick dinners for those nights when you have to hurry to practice.
  • DVDs for weekend family movie-and-popcorn nights.

So what does back to school mean to you? Reply back and let us know, and chances are we’ve got it– whatever your back-to-school needs may be.

~Janice

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Filed under Early literacy, Internet

Help your child get ready for Kindergarten

On Saturday, July 30th, you’re invited to drop by the library any time between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. with your 3- to 6-year-old.  You’ll find a room full of activities to do with your child that will help him or her develop the math skills they need to enter kindergarten.

These games include playing with big, colorful shapes; making patterns from multi-colored blocks, and using your body to count from 1 to 10.  These absorbing activities develop concepts your child needs to learn math.  “Family Fun with Math” is child’s play with a purpose.

 This event is free of charge and open to any child from 3 to 6 with a parent or adult caregiver.  Please tell your friends and help us spread the word!

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Filed under Children's programs, Early literacy, Library events