Thursday, August 30, 2012

The 5 Early Literacy Practices: Writing

The Every Child Ready to Read @ your library initiative outlines five early literacy practices for parents and caregivers to do with young children (0-5 years). These five practices—talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing—provide kids with the skills they need to read! Let’s talk about writing. You can help your child understand that writing and reading are connected to each other. Try doing some writing activities together, such as making a grocery list. Write down the items on your list and then draw a picture of the item next to its word on the list. You could also write a letter to grandparents or a favorite friend: write down your child's message and then read it aloud before sending it. Make writing materials available to your child such as crayons, pencils, magnetic letters, or even an old keyboard. Using crayons is preferable to markers because they help children develop fine motor control. Know that what may look like “scribbling” is an important first step in learning how to write! You can make lines and simple shapes for your child to trace with a finger or crayon. These simple lines and shapes are a precursor to writing and fun for your child to practice!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DIY Puppetry at RFPL

Now through the end of August you can try your hand at puppetry at the River Forest Public Library. Children are invited to create their own puppet show at the RFPL Puppet Theater.
We also have a crafting station set up where kids can make their own bear or frog puppet. Kids who participate in DIY Puppetry can also enter their name to win a prize. Stop by the Children's Room to join in on the fun!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow

Rah, Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre
 Even as area farmers struggle with the extraordinary heat and lack of rain, home vegetable gardeners who have tended their patches well are beginning to see some early harvests.  This spring we built two raised bed gardens for growing vegetables in our back yard and they are now overflowing. We have already enjoyed radishes, swiss chard, and a few early cherry tomatoes.  Zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, and more tomatoes are on their way.  Even if you and your family did not plant vegetables this season you can visit one of our local farmers' markets AND check out these wonderful picture books to enjoy the earth's bounty.

Grandpa's Garden by Stella Fry

Plant a Seed by Bonnie Christensen

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The 5 Early Literacy Practices: Reading

During the past few months I have been writing a series of posts about the five early literacy practices for young children--talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing--outlined by the ALSC's Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library initiative. The single most important thing you can do to help your child get ready to read is to make reading an enjoyable and daily part of life in your home. Picture books with just a few words of text on each page and expressive illustrations provide a delightful way to share the reading experience with a child who is just beginning to decode words. Here are a couple recommended reads:
Banana! by Ed Vere     E Fiction Vere NEW

Two monkeys plus one banana equals serious drama! All expressed through the use of one simple word on each page: banana!

Two boys meet and become friends using just two words. Have your child help read this one with expression—be sure to point out and explain the punctuation marks!

Many picture books work on multiple levels—offering satisfying stories for kids, as well as references that adults appreciate. Recommended read:

This story about a little girl in a “wolfish” mood whose sister paints beautiful pictures to help her feel happy again will appeal to literary adults, as well as their kids.
Often, picture books are works of art in and of themselves and offer wonderful introductions to artists and art movements. Recommended read:

Dreamy, yet crisp illustrations tell a story about a painter and his magical hat. This book is inspired by the work of French surrealist artist Rene Magritte.
More ideas for making reading a part of your child’s daily life:
·    Make sure your child sees YOU reading your own books! (Your child is your biggest fan and wants to be just like you.)
·    Create a special place in your home to keep your child’s books, such as a low shelf or table. If space allows, make a “reading nook” with soft floor pillows or a bean bag chair and a nice, bright reading lamp for your child.
·    Read signs, menus, directions, instructions, and any other text you see when you’re out and about with your child.