As a parent to three little ones, I’m always searching for new resources to pull out at a moment’s notice. There are times that play dough and building blocks don’t excite enough, and I resort to media. When I do, I want to make sure that what I’m putting in front of my kids is safe and quality entertainment.
In today’s technology-driven world, it can be easy to forget that educating our children about practical life skills is just as important as, say, instructing them on operating their smart devices. Going a step further, chances are that basic life skills kids learn today (such as how to prepare a meal, do laundry, count change and so on) will be utilized long after the latest technology is obsolete.
However, even if teaching life skills is on your radar, you many not immediately think of sewing as one of them. And yet, as with all basic skills, learning to sew helps children become more self-reliant. The act of sewing helps a child improve dexterity, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Sewing also builds self-confidence, encourages creativity and fosters a sense of accomplishment. When a child sews, they learn patience and perseverance, as well as the satisfaction of a job well done. Continue reading “Ready…Set…Sew!”
Valentine’s day can be a tricky day to explain to kids. My favorite way to find descriptions of love is through books!
“Love” by Emma Dodd is a beautiful picture book that explains that love is so much more than hugs and presents. In her book, Dodd says that “Sometimes love is quiet and it needs no words at all.” After reading the book, can you think about ways your family shows love to each other?
Another great discussion starter is “Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love” by Kimberly and James Dean. What makes this picture book unique? It’s filled with quotes, and Pete then applies all the quotes to himself. Can you create a quote about love that describes your family? Which one is your favorite and why?
We are going to play a game. I’ll give you a handful of facts about a famous person, and you try and guess the person. If you are right, there is a prize for you at the end of this post. Ready? Here we go!
We don’t know his exact birthday because he was born a slave. Historians think it was around 1864. We do know he died on January 5, 1943.
He was born in Diamond, Missouri.
He studied plants, especially the peanut.
He only filed for three patents in his life, though by his own admittance he made over 300 products.
Hoopla has always offered eBooks at the picture book level, but now they have added another awesome feature: read-along eBooks! With this new feature, kids can now follow along as a narrator enthusiastically reads each individually highlighted word. This is perfect for kids who are learning a new language or for kids who can’t quite finish a book on their own. Hoopla has a lot of up-to-date content, including favorites like Star Wars, Pete the Cat, Finding Nemo and Disney princesses. With over 100 books to choose from, there won’t be a shortage of awesome content to entertain your child while they learn how to read.
You can log into Hoopla using your library card. Simply type “read-along” into the search bar to access the read-along picture books. You get 10 checkouts a month completely free, so take advantage!
There is something magical about being read to, which is why I absolutely love listening to audiobooks. The library offers many ways to listen to your favorite audiobooks, including audio CDs, downloadables on the Hoopla or Libby app and Playaways. Playaways are easy to use, preloaded audiobooks, and they are great for kids! They are durable and come with a lanyard, so kids can listen to them on the go. Playaways can be used with standard headphones or they can be plugged into external speakers and car adapters. I enjoy using Playaways when walking to class or completing chores.
We have a wide variety for every reader. Check out one of our newer playaways, “Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan, or listen to a classic like “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco.
For a complete list of children’s Playaways available at our branches, click here.
How do you make a friend feel better when you accidentally eat their lollipop? You jump up and down, make silly faces and yell a funny phrase to make them laugh! Little Penguin needs our help doing just that. He accidentally ate Kenneth the seagull’s razzle dazzle seaweed lollipop and Kenneth is mad at him. What will it take for the seagull to forgive Little Penguin?
“Little Penguin and the Lollipop” by Tadgh Bentley is a delightful companion to “Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups.” Bentley’s simple and creative illustrations and quirky humor make this book a perfect read-aloud. The characters display many facial expressions, which can lead to great discussions with your kids about different emotions. Benltey’s book is also a gentle reminder to kids that everyone makes mistakes. Do you think penguin fixed his mistake? What would you do differently?
Everyone in my house (even my cats) enjoyed the “Little Penguin and the Lollipop.” I hope you do too!
Let’s be honest, parent to parent – getting your little ones out of the house during the winter is difficult, stressful and all-around inconvenient. The taking off and on of all the coats, hats, scarves and everything else is a pain. Do you almost wish there was a way to bring the library home with you?
A passage in “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco never fails to bring tears to my eyes: “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” Even as an adult, I relate to Skin Horse at that moment because he is experiencing human emotions.
For most of us, childhood is when we learn to master feelings and emotions. And this can be challenging to say the least. Just ask any adult who has carried a screaming child out of a store.
According to an article in Psychology Today, reading to your child is one of the best ways to help them develop their emotional skill sets. Children realize they are not alone when they see fictional characters struggle to make sense of their emotions. They learn that it’s okay tohave feelings that you don’t always understand and that working through them is just a part of growing up. Continue reading “Feelings Are Universal”