Archive for the ‘Early Literacy’ Category

Early Literacy Learning Lab Makes Play Time Brain Time

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Have you and your child attended one of our Learning Lab programs yet? Shake up your routine at the library!  Come try out some fun toys, meet new friends, and learn new skills at this informal, parent-led program.

Think of it as playgroup with a purpose.  We like to shake things up, so activities may vary each week.  But each session will highlight a fun game or activity that teaches one of the big six early literacy skills:

Drop in for a few minutes or stay the whole time, but please register so we know how many to expect!  Activities will be geared towards kids 2-5, but we’ll have stuff on hand to keep little sibs busy, too.

We’ll also send you home with some ideas to use on your own, like this fun take home recipe from our last program:


Imagine YOURSELF in a Book! The Top Ten Picture Books for Stimulating your Child’s Imagination

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Stretch your imagination muscles with our favorite picture books all about pretending! These librarian-picked books are fun and funny and perfect for a family read aloud…

#10 Mitchell’s License by Hallie Durand
Mitchell never wants to go to bed until, at the age of three years, nine months, and five days he gets his license so that he can drive there–at least until he and “the car” have a disagreement about what fuel goes in the tank.

#9 Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
A ladybug invites the reader to play a game of “let’s pretend.”

#8 Space Boy by Leo Landry
Having decided not to go to bed because his home is too noisy, Nicholas flies his spaceship to the Moon, where he enjoys a snack, takes a moonwalk, and enjoys the quiet–until he realizes what he is missing at home.

#7 Sally and the Purple Socks by Lisze Bechtold
When her tiny purple socks start to expand, Sally turns them into a scarf and then curtains, but things soon get out of hand.

#6 Peg Leg Peke by Brie Spangler
When Peke, a pekingese puppy breaks his leg, he fantasizes that he is a pirate in search of buried treasure.

#5 Alexander’s Pretending Day by Bunny Crumpacker
When Alexander asks his mother questions, they use their imaginations to play together

#4 My Garden by Kevin Henkes
After helping her mother weed, water, and chase the rabbits from their garden, a young girl imagines her dream garden complete with jellybean bushes, chocolate rabbits, and tomatoes the size of beach balls.

#3 Lets Do Nothing by Tony Fucile
Frankie and Sal have run out of things to do: “We’ve played every sport ever invented” and “baked enough cookies to feed a small country–” Then Sal hits upon a solution: “Let’s do nothing!” How hard could that be?

#2 Chalk by Bill Thomson
A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.

#1 Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
To an imaginative bunny, a box is not always just a box.

Imaginative play is not only fun, it is crucial to your child’s development and it supports early literacy. Pretending encourages extended vocabulary use, narrative skills and gives children a way to problem-solve and explore new interests in a safe environment. For more reasons why an imagination is your child’s greatest tool, read this article from the Scholastic web site.

Not sure how to encourage imaginative play in your kids? Check out these tips from the Frugal-Mama site.

What is your favorite imagination book?




Bookworms Book Club: Where Early Literacy is Big Fun!

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Who says you have to be able to read to join a book club? Not us! Bookworms is a pre-reader club geared for 4-6 year-olds and their parents. In this program kids and adults read, craft, chant and sing while they learn essential early literacy skills, delve into a book and spend time having fun at the library. Here is what the Bookworms kids were doing this month:

This month’s book was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

After reading the book at home, the kids came to the Bookworms meeting ready to discuss, craft and play! Now you can be a book worm too! Grab your copy of The Cat in the Hat and play along at home!

Discuss it! Talking about books helps your child develop narrative skills and introduces her to important vocabulary–both of which are crucial for reading!

  • Thing 1 and Thing 2 do not play in a “nice” way.  What do they do that isn’t nice?  Can you think of any other examples of naughty ways to play?  What is a nice way to play?
  • The books ends, and we never find out if the kids told their mother about the Cat in the Hat’s visit.  Would you tell your mother?  Why or why not?
  • What are some things you like to do on a rainy day?

Extend it! Extend the discussion about what to do on a rainy day by writing your child’s responses on rain-drop shaped pieces of paper. This is good practice understanding that spoken language can be written. Say each word as you write and name the letters. This helps your child with letter knowledge.  Can you cover the fridge with raindrops? What about the window?

Get Moving! In the book, the Cat teaches some pretty cool tricks! Here is a page of “cat tricks” How many can you do? Another fun game that helps kids listen to language and have fun with sounds is the game Seuss-aphone. It is like telephone but with more Cat(in the hat)ittude! Your child is having fun, but you know you are working on phonological awareness–and on your way to helping him learn to read.

Want more storytime fun at home? Subscribe to this blog or like us on Facebook! Want to join the fun? Registration for all of our storytimes, book clubs and special programs is still open!

Can’t get enough of the good doctor? Find him in our catalog or visit the official site of all things Seuss here and help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2!



Fall I Program Registration begins August 23!

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Are you ready to move with music, hear stories, sing songs and tell tales with yoga?

Fall I registration for some of our most popular programs is almost open! Beginning Tuesday, August 23 at 9am you may register your child for classes online or in person at the Youth Desk. Visit our Events calendar for a complete listing of programs.

Move with Music: Explore movement and music with favorite songs new and old. The music will be enhanced with movement activities using rhythm instruments, bean bags, the parachute and more!

Yoga Tales: Children ages 4-8 will listen to and act out stories, play games, sing songs using a variety of modified yoga poses.

Preschool Storytime: Sign up your 3 to 6 year old for stories, rhymes, songs and more!

Bookworms Book Club: You don’t have to be a reader for this book club! We’ll read, dance, chant and craft in this book club designed just for pre-readers. Parents will be an integral element of this program so come prepared to take part in the fun!

Don’t want to register?
Check out these drop-in programs:

Wee Wonders: Lap babies and walkers through 18 months are invited to join us for books, songs and rhymes specially chosen for them. Registration is not required.

Rhyme Time: Rhymes,songs,books and games for children 18 months through 2 years and their caregivers. Registration is not required.

Open Preschool Storytime: Stories, rhymes, songs and more for 3 to 6 year olds! Registration is not required.

Saturday Tales: Join us for stories, songs, rhymes and fun for the entire family – presented each Saturday at 11:00 am. Registration is not required.

See you at the library!

Born to Read: Letter Knowledge

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Learning how to read is not just about reciting the alphabet.

There are 6 early literacy skills that will help your child learn to read, including:

Letter knowledge is understanding that letters are different from one another and that they have different names and sounds. There are many different ways to encourage letter knowledge in your child.

  • Help your baby recognize simple shapes like circles and squares. When pointing out the shapes of toys, describe it out loud by saying, “This ball is round” and “This block has corners.”
  • Read alphabet books and sing alphabet songs to introduce your baby or toddler to letters.
  • When children are ready to learn about letters, start with letters that are the most interesting to them, such as the first letter of their name.

Check out this list of suggested books for developing letter knowledge skills.


Tuesday, April 12th, 2011


Today is APRIL 12 and there is a lot going on at the library! Not only is it Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but it is also D.E.A.R. day! D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything And Read and it is a lot of fun! Telling kids to read is great, but it is also important to show kids that you value reading, this helps your child develop print motivation or an interest in reading and an enjoyment of books. We are all busy so when we drop everything and read it sends a message that reading is valuable…so much so that we will drop everything to do it! Read today and make reading a part of your routine everyday!

Come to the library for great books to read aloud and FREE D.E.A.R. stickers! Wear your sticker with pride to show how much reading means to you!

OH-IO Bookworms!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Attention kids aged 4-6 and parents!!
Get ready for fun with these books by Ohio Authors!

In this special Choose to Read Ohio edition of our popular pre-reader book club, Bookworms, children will dance, craft and explore four books by Ohio authors! But wait, there’s more! Will Hillenbrand, Ohio illustrator of Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep will beour special guest on April 18th. Kids will get up close and personal with a real live author and illustrator to learn what it’s like to be a professional picture book writer.  You will not want to miss this! Register today!

Launching Young Readers

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We just got a video series that I am SO excited about I can’t wait another minute to share it with you.  Please allow me to introduce Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers.

Each 30 minute episode of this series designed just for parents and  caregivers like you is bursting with useful and accessible information about early literacy and childhood development.  Although they’re incredibly informative, the shows are far from boring — guest hosts like Jaime Lee Curtis, LeVar Burton (you remember Reading Rainbow, right?), and Mr. Rogers keep it entertaining, and tips you can take home and use with your kids right away provide instant gratification.

I can’t really express how much I love this series.  It does such a great job of explaining just how crucial reading, rhyming, and early literacy based activities are to a child’s development and school readiness without being overwhelming or overly technical.

The following clip is a great example.  Did you know that pontential reading difficulties can be discovered literally days after a child is born?  Check out the video to learn more:

Research has shown the earlier we can intervene with children who are having a hard time learning to read, the more effective the interverntion is.  Approximately 90-95% of poor readers can reach average reading skills with early intervention.  But, when intervention is delayed until 9 years of age, 75% of those children will still have reading problems in 12th grade.  Can you imagine what an amazing head start a child would have if pontential reading disorders were discovered this early?

And I love that nursery rhymes are specifically mentioned.  Phonological awareness, or the ability to hear and play with the smaller parts of words, is an essential skill for decoding the written word.  Kids who have a hard time rhyming in Kindergarten tend to have much more difficulty learning to read than those who are proficient rhymers.  So when you recite nursery rhymes to your sleepy newborn or sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider with your active toddler, you’re helping to build a skill that will be crucial to her future reading success!

Check out the videos and if you love them as much as I do, spend some time on the Launching Young Readers website.  It provides complete overviews of each episode, as well as tons of tips and additional resources.  I feel like I need to write these guys a thank you card.

Read This: Higher! Higher!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Higher!  Higher! by Leslie Patricelli

A little girl being pushed on a swing has just one request:  Higher!  Higher! 

Her grown up pal happily complies, pushing the girl so high that she makes friends with a giraffe, some kids playing board games on the roof of an apartment building, a mountain climber, travelers on a plane, and many others.

Kids will delight in this fantastical story.  And with only a handful of words in the entire book, many will be able to read it on their own!  Or you can sharpen your child’s vocabulary and narrative skills by having her tell you the story or describe what’s happening in the pictures.

If Higher!  Higher! isn’t in and you can’t stand the wait, check out some of Leslie Patricelli’s other books.  She’s quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!

Gather ‘Round the Fire!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Some of my favorite childhood memories include my family and a big bonfire.  Sometimes we’d make s’mores, sometimes we’d sing or tell stories, and sometimes we’d just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. 

Imagine my surprise when, as an adult, I learned that those fun times had a hand in building literacy skills.  As you probably know from many previous posts, singing is a great tool for building phonological awareness because the different notes break words down into smaller parts.  And telling stories is a great way to work on narrative skills, which are an essential first step towards reading comprehension.

So there’s your excuse for some good ol’ quality time around the fire with the kids.  It’s not only fun, it’s a learning experience in disguise.  So break out your guitar (or just check out some CDs with great songs for kids), check out some great books for reading aloud or storytelling, and wait for sun down.

And don’t forget about Family Campfire at the library — we’ve got the stories, songs, and (fake) fire, with none of the bugs!