Thursday, May 19, 2022

Stormy

It's been a little rainy this week ....and one of the best places to go when it rains is the library!  Our storytime books today were Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn and Raindrop Plop! by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.

After our stories, we painted a happy frog with an umbrella in the rain.  🐸☔






After our stories, we painted a happy frog in the rain with her umbrella:










Saturday, May 7, 2022

Children's Day in Japan

A few weeks ago, one of my storytime moms informed me that Children's Day is coming up on May 5 in Japan!

We all hear about Cinco de Mayo, but never Children's Day, which is celebrated on the same date.

In Japan, carp fish windsocks, called koinobori, are hung around cities and towns.  They are hung everywhere from busy streets, to front porches, and strung across wide rivers and streams. The koinobori symbolize strength, bravery, courage, and determination in children because these are the qualities of carp fish who have the ability to swim upstream.

In honor of this special holiday, our storytime craft was koinobori, made with toilet paper rolls, construction paper, crepe paper streamers, and a string for them to hang.

While Children's Day is not a holiday in the United States, I think we can all agree that children should be celebrated every day.

https://jobsinjapan.com/living-in-japan-guide/childrens-day/

https://blog.gaijinpot.com/golden-week-2019-make-the-most-of-this-years-super-sized-break/

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2020/05/02/travel/what-is-golden-week/

Our koinobori crafts


Friday, February 18, 2022

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

So many classic picture books are extremely outdated (in many ways!), but a few of them still make it work.  Every once in a while, I throw in an oldie-but-goodie for storytime that I am able to bring back to life.  One that falls in that category for me is The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone.  Using different voices back-and-forth, between the goats and the big ugly troll, keep the kids engaged the whole time.  They are on the edge of their seats waiting to see how it will end!  I recommend this read-aloud to anyone, especially if you are willing to use your big ugly troll voice!  

Fun fact about my storytime: I don't choose themesTrying to find books just to fit into a theme can leave you with books that really aren't that great.  Forcing a book into storytime just to fit a theme doesn't work well.  So when I do have a theme, it's coincidence!  

The "theme" on this particular day happened to be goats.  In addition to The Three Billy Goats Gruff, we read The Greedy Goat by Petr Horácek.  This one is plain silly, but presents an opportunity to talk about what greedy means.

Enjoy a few photos of the goats we made:








Friday, January 21, 2022

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

If you've read my last post (Babies and Books), you know the many benefits of reading to your baby.  

Did you also know that the ability to learn language skills is greatest before the age of 6?  Or that the most important predictor of school success is being read to at home during early childhood?

If you read just one book to your baby every day, you will reach 1,000 books in less than three years.  

Our library participates in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge, which encourages parents to read to their baby at home as much as possible.  If you'd like to sign up and get started, please find me in the library!  

To read more information about this challenge, please visit 1000booksbeforekindergarten.org

Below is a photo of our recognition wall that displays all the participants in the challenge.  Each name is on a clothespin that corresponds with how many books they have read so far.  Once the child's clothespin has reached 1,000, they get to choose a prize book and are invited to a party at the library, which is held twice per year.








Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Babies and Books

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 18-24 months should not have any screen time at all, aside from video chatting (Pappas, "What do we Really Know About Kids and Screens?").  For children ages 2-5 years, they recommend a limit of 1 hour of screen time or less per day.

These recommendations are all the more reason to turn to books instead of screens at such a young age.

Of course we can't expect infants to read, but the benefits of reading aloud to them are endless, and in fact, begin from the very day they are born!

Here are some benefits of reading aloud to your baby:
  • Learning language skills - Reading introduces babies to more and complex language than what they hear in everyday conversation.
  • Bonding - Reading together provides the feeling of safety, love, and emotional connection.
  • Emotional learning - In addition to babies looking at the pictures on a page, they observe your facial expressions when the character is sad or happy, etc.
  • Establishing routines - Routines are a necessary part of a child's day and incorporating reading into the schedule can let them know, for example, that it's time for bed.
  • School success - About one third of those who start kindergarten do not have the language skills they need in order to learn to read.  Reading to your baby is one huge way to set them up for success in school.
This list was taken from the Cleveland Clinic ("The Benefits of Reading to Babies").  They also go on to explain how and what to read to a baby, which include:
  • Reading to them daily - Whether it's a few minutes at a time throughout the day or one long reading session, try to read to your baby every single day!
  • Follow their lead - Finishing the story doesn't have to be the goal. If your baby wants to look at the same page repeatedly, let them!  Allow them to point to the pictures. Talk about what's on that page!
  • Don't expect perfection - As your child gets older and more wiggly, they might not sit still to hear a story, however, they can still benefit from hearing you reading to them.
  • Let them explore - If your baby wants to hold the book and it's upside down, that's perfectly okay. Let them explore the book in their hands.
  • Pick the right books - Board books are appropriate for babies because they don't have pages made of paper that can tear.  These books are sturdy and have bright colors.
  • Talk about it - Ask questions about what you see in the pictures. Talk to your baby about what is happening on the page.  You don't need to limit yourself to read only the text.
  • Get ready to repeat yourself - Children often want to hear the same story over and over again.   Repetition is how they learn!
  • Keep it going - Once your little one is not a baby anymore, they will be able to read words on their own!  When they are school aged, you and them can take turns reading aloud, back and forth, to each other.  Soon enough, they will be reading independently and on their own.

So ...the next time you walk past those board books on the shelves and think, "My baby is too young for books,"  Think again!

It is never too early to begin reading to your child!

Here are a few of my board book picks from our shelf at the library (titles and authors are listed below):



Off to the Park by Stephen Cheetham
Stir Crack Whisk Bake by Maddie Frost
A Pile of Leaves by Tamara Shopsin
Who's Hiding in the Woods? by Katharine McEwen
We Love Each Other by Yusuke Yonezu
Hello, World! Ocean Life by Jill McDonald
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
I Love Me by Sally Morgan
Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
Big Dog and Little Dog by Dav Pilkey
You're My Little Cuddle Bug by Nicola Edwards
Making Tracks: Park by Cocoretto
Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli
Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli
Dinoblock by Christopher Franceschelli
Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone
My First Busy Book by Eric Carle
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
I Love the Earth by Todd Parr
Holi Colors by Rina Singh



Works Cited:
Pappas, Stephanie.  "What do we Really Know About Kids and Screens?" apa, 1 April 2020,
        https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/cover-kids-screens. Accessed 21 Dec. 2021.

"The Benefits of Reading to Babies." Cleveland Clinic, 27 Oct. 2020,
        https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-benefits-of-reading-to-babies/. Accessed 21 Dec. 2021.


Monday, December 13, 2021

Winter Craft Day

We had our Winter Craft Day over the weekend.  Our crafts represented the winter season, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa!

The kids were able to use their own creativity, which make these crafts extra special.  They had so much fun with the glitter glue, sparkly gems, buttons, and cutting shapes with foam paper. I wasn't able to take a photo of every piece, but here are a good many:



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Cold and Cozy

It's gotten cold this week and we even saw a few snow flurries, so I picked out some cozy stories:

On Mother's Lap is a sweet book that depicts an Inuit family, including two children and a mom.  The little boy wants to bring his toys to sit in mother's lap, but isn't thrilled about his baby sister joining.  As it turns out, though, they all fit comfortably.




Bear Needs Help is a must-read.  The twist at the end is hilarious.  :)


One of my storytime families wrote me a very sweet card this week and it inspired me to prepare a card craft this morning.  To go along with our cold weather theme, we put polar bears on the front.  I'm sure their loved ones will enjoy receiving these cards this year.













They All Saw a Cat

We had a kitty-cat storytime today.

Brendan Wenzel is a lovely illustrator and They All Saw A Cat is one of my favorite books.  In the story, different characters see a cat, but the cat looks very different to each character and that is because we all see things differently sometimes.  

Pete the Cat is a very well known and well loved cat.  In our story today, he started out with four groovy buttons and then lost them all!  

We made sure he got them all back after storytime.  :)










Rainy Days

It's been a little rainy lately, so we had a rainy day storytime and craft.  I highly recommend both of these books:



For our craft, we made rain clouds and raindrops!  To make the drops, I created a large stamp with cardboard and bubble wrap.  The children moved the stamp around in the paint and then pressed it onto their paper for some magical raindrops.











Thankful

Todd Parr's The Thankful Book is a conversation starter about what we are thankful for.  No matter how bad our day is, there is always something to be thankful for.


















Big Green Monster

Go Away Big Green Monster is a sure favorite at storytime.  After we read the book, we re-enact it with my puppet!  The kids enjoy shouting out the "go away" phrases until the monster finally goes away.











Stormy

It's been a little rainy this week ....and one of the best places to go when it rains is the library!  Our storytime books today were Lo...