Monday, March 2, 2015

In the Early Learning Center - There's more to picture books than you may know!

ABC's and 123's

We often have customers asking for alphabet or number books for their preschooler.  Did you know that we have a selection of them to the right of the Help Desk in the Early Learning Center?  Just ask us if you'd like to see more. 




Fun Facts

We've added a display of nonfiction books on the other side of the desk.  This display is called
Fun Facts and features three categories which will be changed from time to time.  We've started out with animals, art, and science.

Of course, this is just a small selection of what we have on our bookshelves.  Please let us know if we can help you find additional titles!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Storytime Programs - Week 8, Winter 2015

Welcome to the eighth and final week of our winter storytime programs.  We hope you and your child have enjoyed spending time with us.  We are all looking forward to spring and some better weather! The spring session of storytimes begins March 16 (registration opens March 2 for any of our storytimes which require pre-registration).  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books
Baby Day! -  Wallace 
How Do I Put It On? - Watanabe

Rhyme - I'm Going To Wear  A Jacket
I'm going to wear a jacket, a jacket, a jacket,
I'm going to wear a jacket when I go out today.
When I go out today, when I go out today,
I'm going to wear a jacket when I go out today.
(Hat, Scarf, Boots)

Narrative skills include being able to understand and tell stories.  When you narrate events in your child's day, you help him build this skill, and many others.  It is never too early to start.  Talk, talk, talk to your child!

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver) 

Books
Overboard - Weeks 
Bunny And Me - Greenspun

Rhyme: Five Plump Peas
Five plump peas in a pea pod pressed, (Hold up one fist)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest. (Open fist one finger at a time)
They grew and they grew and they never stopped,
(Put both hands together and move them apart on each "grew")
They grew so big that the pea pod popped! (Clap hands on "pop")

This simple rhyme is just plain fun for your toddler!  He is sure to enjoy listening for and anticipating the loud "pop" at the end!

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver) 

Books
Winter Is The Warmest Season - Stringer 
Winter Blanket - Brimner
Snowballs - Ehlert

Action Rhyme: This Is The Way 
This is the way we put on snowpants,
Put on snowpants, put on snowpants,
This is the way we put on snowpants on a cold and snowy morning.
(Boots/Coat/Hat/Mittens)

Just like with the babies in Baby Rhyme Time this week, this rhyme is an effective way of developing your child's narrative skills - the ability to understand and recount stories.  A great skill builder!


1, 2, 3, Go! (For children 1, 2, and 3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Aliens Love Underpants - Freedman and Cort 
What Color Is Your Underwear? - Lloyd

Action Rhyme: Once There Was A Snowman
Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman,
Once there was a snowman, tall, tall, tall.
In the sun he melted, melted, melted,
In the sun he melted, small, small, small.

Sing the rhyme at home with your toddler making sure he understands the concept of  "tall" and "small".  Can he find other things/people at home that are tall or small?  

Story Mix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books  

Jo MacDonald Saw A Pond - Quattlebaum 
Whose Chick Are You? - Tafuri
Little Lumpty - Imai

Rhyme: Down At The Pond
Down at the pond
What do you hear?
Ribbit, ribbit
What do you think it is?
A frog must be near!
(quack, quack - duck/buzz, buzz - bee/tweet, tweet - bird)


This week Story Mix is all about ovals, like eggs and ponds!  In the book Jo MacDonald Saw A Pond, we sing the Old MacDonald song but with different words to fit the story.  "Jo MacDonald saw a pond, E-I-E-I-O, And in that pond she saw some ducks, E-I-E-I-O.  With a quack-quack here and a quack-quack there..."  Make up your own verses using this familiar song!  Did you know singing and rhyming increases children's awareness to sounds in words.  This helps prepare children to decode written language.    

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Storytime Programs - Week Seven, Winter 2015

Welcome to the seventh week of our winter storytime programs.   Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books
Ten Tiny Tickles - Katz
How Do You Make A Baby Smile? - Sturges

Rhyme -You Be The Ice Cream
You be the ice cream, (touch baby on chin)
And I'll be the freezer. (hug)
You be the lemon, (touch baby on chin)
And I'll be the squeezer. (hug)
You be the hotdog, (pretend to take a bite somewhere)
And I'll be the bun. (hug)
You be the baby, (tap baby on chin)
And we'll have some fun! (end with a tickle)


Interacting and being silly with your child will help him feel safe and secure.  How do you make your baby smile?  Does he love to be tickled, bounced...?  

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver) 

Books
Ten Tiny Babies - Katz
One Beautiful Baby - Oborne

Rhyme: Five In The Bed
There were five in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over."
So they all rolled over and one fell out.
There were four in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over."
So they all rolled over and one fell out.
(Repeat until you count down to one)
There was one in the bed and the little one said, "Good night!"

Who doesn't love a fun rhyme that involves rolling and falling?  Sit your little one on your lap and repeat this one at home.  For even more fun, line up five stuffed animals and sing the rhyme again!

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver) 

Books
Under My Hood I Have A Hat - Kuskin
A Hat For Minerva Louise - Stoeke
Sneezy The Snowman - Wright


Action Rhyme: Magic Hat
Put on your magic, put on your magic hat,
You can do almost anything in your hat.
You can clap and clap and clap,
You can stamp and stamp and stamp,
You can hop and hop and hop,
You can bend your knees,
You can nod your head,
You can wiggle all around,
You can sit so still

Does your child have a "magic hat" that he can wear while singing this rhyme with you at home? What else can your toddler do in his "magic hat"?    

1, 2, 3, Go! (For children 1, 2, and 3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Ooh La La Polka Dot Boots - Olson-Brown 
Snowy, Blowy Winter - Raczka

Action Rhyme: Itsy Bitsy Snowflake
(Tune: Itsy bitsy spider)
The itsy bitsy snowflake 
Fell down from the sky.
It landed on my nose
And bounced upon my eye.
It slid down to my chin
And it landed on my tongue.
Then it melted all away
My snowflake song is done. 

Show your toddler snow, whether you are outside and able to touch it or inside your warm home and looking at it through the window.  Talk to your child about snow.  Is it cold or hot?  What color is it? Does it make a noise when you step on it with your boots?  What can you do in the snow? 

Story Mix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books  
When The Moon Smiled - Horacek
One Starry Night - Butler
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - Cabrera

Action Rhyme: Spaceship
Ring around the spaceship, (walk in circle)
Try to grab a star. (reach up high)
Stardust, stardust, (wiggle fingers)
Fall where you are. (fall down)

This week Story Mix is all about stars.  Play Shape of the Day Hunt.  Look around your house and see if you can find things in the shape of a star (maybe on a toy or in a book).  Now choose another shape from your StoryMix Shape Scene and look for that shape.  Good hunting! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Storytime Programs - Week Six, Winter 2015

Welcome to the sixth week of our winter storytime programs.  Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Of course some of us are reading and singing about everyone we love! Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books
Baby Cakes - Wilson
Love - Wells

Rhyme -Up To The Heavens
Up to the heavens (Swing baby up)
Down to the sea (Swing baby down)
How many kisses from you to me?  (Give kisses)
Up to the heavens
Down to the sea
How many fishes can you see?  
1, 2, 3, 4, 5!  (Tickle fingers or toes)

Simple rhymes such as this one give your child a whole body experience of opposites.  The babies in this program enjoy a lot of whole body movement every week with music, bouncing rhymes, and during free playtime!   

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver) 

Books
How About A Kiss For Me? - Tarpley
More And More - Dodd

Rhyme: Love Grows
Love grows one by one
Two by two and four by four
Love goes round like a circle
And comes back knocking at your front door


During this session of Wonderful Ones we have introduced some simple American Sign Language for the grown ups and little ones to practice if they'd like.  This week we are using some easy signs as we sing Love Grows.  Did you know that using sign language has many developmental benefits for your child?  

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver) 

Books
Snow Family - Kirk
My Little Polar Bear - Rueda
A Book Of Hugs - Ross

Action Rhyme: Love Bug
It begins with a grin
It turns to a giggle
Then you start to laugh
And your legs start to wiggle
You look all around for someone to hug
Uh-oh!  You've caught the love bug!

This simple little rhyme is the perfect excuse to spend some time hugging and giggling with your toddler!  What a great way to spend time with loved ones!

1, 2, 3, Go! (For children 1, 2, and 3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Snow - Stojic 
Too Purpley! - Reidy

Action Rhyme: We're Marching In The Snow
We're marching in the snow
We're marching in the snow
Hi-ho the wind doth blow
We're marching in the snow
Brr!
(We're rolling/tiptoeing/running/skating)

Sing the rhyme at home with your toddler.  How many other actions can you think of to complete this rhyme again?

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books  
My Heart Is Like A Zoo - Hall
Secret Valentine - Stock
Sweet Hearts - Carr

Action Rhyme: Snip, Snip
Snip, snip, snip the paper
Paste, paste, paste the paper
Press, press, press the paper
Here's a valentine for you! 

This week StoryMix is all about hearts and Valentine's Day!  Make valentine cards together for the whole family.  Have your child tell you a message to write on the cards.  When finished, read the cards again before you share them with your sweethearts!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Winter Reading Finishers

Have Book Will Travel Winter Reading Program Finishers
Birth – 8th grade
Through February 28
Reading logs still available at:
  • Main Library
  • Rakow Branch
  • Online
Return your completed reading log to the Main Library or Rakow Branch beginning February 2 to receive a prize and coupons for Spring Hill Gymnastics, Colonial CafĂ©, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Barnes & Noble, Lazer Maxx, Epic Air and the Centre of Elgin. Finishers will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win more prizes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Storytime Programs - Week Five, Winter 2015

Welcome to the fifth week of our winter storytime programs.  We hope you are finding us to be a warm and inviting place to spend some quality time with your child.  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books
Big Little - Patricelli
Big And Little Things That Go - Rookie Toddler

Rhyme - This Is Big!
This is big, big, big, (hold arms out)
This is small, small, small.
This is short, short, short,
This is tall, tall, tall.
This is fast, fast, fast, (clap hands)
This is slow, slow, slow.
This is yes, yes, yes, (nod head)
This is no, no, no.

Acting out rhymes helps your baby learn about size and shape.  You can also develop your baby's vocabulary about these concepts by comparing the sizes and shapes of objects around the house.

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
Emily Loves To Bounce - King
Bouncing Babies - Brownlow

Rhyme: I'm Bouncing
I'm bouncing, bouncing everywhere,
I bounce and bounce into the air.
I'm bouncing, bouncing like a ball,
I bounce and bounce and down I fall.

Bouncing and clapping rhymes are an effective way of listening to, and feeling, the rhythm of language.  Not only is the movement fun, but it introduces toddlers to the idea of rhythm--a fundamental component of language and reading.  Can you think of any other rhymes to bounce along to?  How about Humpty Dumpty or Jack and Jill Went Up The Hill?  Both of these nursery rhymes also include the action of "falling down" - sure to cause a giggle or two from your toddler!

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! - Colandro
Three Little Kittens - Siomades
One Mitten - George

Action Rhyme:Today I Wore My Snow Suit
Today I wore my snow suit
That goes from heels to throat (point)
It closes with a zipper (zip)
And is much warmer than a coat. (hug self)
I wore a scarf around my neck (put on)
And a wooly cap bright red (put on)
It fitted snugly upon my ears (cover ears)
And covered my whole head (circle around head)
I wore boots with buckles (put on)
And mittens lined with fur (put on)
But just the same, when I went out (point to self)
I shivered and said, "Burr-rr-rr!" (shiver)

Does your toddler wear a snow suit when he goes outside?  A scarf and hat?  Gloves or mittens?  Next time you get ready to go somewhere, talk about what he must wear.  What color is his hat?  How many mittens must he wear?  Does his coat have a zipper or buttons?  The opportunities to have a conversation with your toddler during the day are endless!

1, 2, 3, Go! (For children 1, 2, and 3 years and a caregiver)

Books
One Mitten - George
Three Little Kittens - Siomades

Action Rhyme: Warm Mittens
I wiggle my left hand,
I wiggle my right,
Inside of my mittens,
So warm and tight.
I wiggle my pinkie,
I wiggle my thumb,
So when I make snowballs,
My hands don't get numb!

Fingerplays help children develop and improve their fine motor coordination.  Toddlers learn how to manipulate their fingers independently of each other and strengthen the muscles in both hands. Developing fine motor skills is essential because it paves the way for activities such as writing, drawing, and cutting with scissors.  

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books  
Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon - Viola
Moon Sandwich Mom - Jacobson
On The Moon - Milbourne

Action Rhyme: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We're going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We're going to the moon.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We're going to the moon.

This week StoryMix is all about crescents!  Draw some crescent shapes on a piece of paper. Together with your child add some other shapes and lines to make a picture.  Easy idea: a happy face

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Storytime Programs - Week Four, Winter 2015

Welcome to the fourth week of our winter storytime programs.  It's hard to believe that we are already half way through the session!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books
One Sleepy Night - Braun 
Sleep Tight, Teddy! - Kubler

Action Rhyme - Rock the Baby (Tune: London Bridge)
Rock the baby side to side,
Side to side, side to side.
Rock the baby side to side,
Just like this.

Swaying activities such as in this rhyme help little ones develop balance.  This could be a slow, calming down rhyme before bedtime or a rather energetic playtime one!

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
I Can Fly - Krauss 
Peek-A-Moo! - Cimarusti

Rhyme: Old McDonald
Old McDonald had a farm, EIEIO
And on his farm he had a cow, EIEIO
With a moo moo here and a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo
Old McDonald had a farm, EIEIO
(Repeat with other animals) 

Everyone knows the song Old McDonald.  This is a great one to sing at home with your child.  Why not check out some of our puppets to make it even more fun and interactive?  If you need help finding some, please ask at the desk in the Early Learning Center.

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Bear Snores On - Wilson 
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit - Na
Winter Friends - Sams

Action Rhyme: Here Is a Cave
Here is a cave, inside is a bear (fist with thumb in)
Now he comes out to get some fresh air (thumb out)
He stays out all summer in sunshine and heat (raise arms for sun and fan face for heat)
He hunts in the forest for berries to eat (hands like glasses)
When snow starts to fall, he hurries inside (wiggle fingers then thumb in)
His warm little cave and there he will hide (hide face)
Snow covers the cave like a fluffy rug (cover fist)
Inside sleeps the bear, all cozy and snug (hands folded next to cheek)

Fingerplays provide an opportunity for young children to explore language and increase the number of words they know in a fun way.  This is very important for developing their literacy skills.

1, 2, 3, Go! (For children 1, 2, and 3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Whose Hat Is That? - Bijsterbosch 
A Hat For Minerva Louise - Stoeke

Action Rhyme: Silly Hat Song
On my head, I wear my hat
It is such a silly hat
That my head will wiggle waggle to and fro
Where else can my silly hat go?
(Repeat using foot, elbow, knee)

Silly rhymes make learning so much fun!  This is a great way to learn and reinforce the names of body parts.  How many crazy verses can you and your child make up?

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books 
The Way To the Zoo - Burningham
Harry's Box - McAllister
My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes - Sutton

Action Rhyme: This Little Boy/Girl

This little boy is ready for bed
Down on the pillow he lays his head
Wrap the covers around him tight
And that's the way he sleeps all night
 

This week StoryMix is all about rectangles.  A box can be a rectangle shape and boxes can be lots of fun!  You can hide in a box or pretend that the box is many different things.  A box could be a bed for a doll or stuffed animal.  Get your baby ready for bed and sing the rhyme above.  Perhaps you know some other lullabies you can sing?  Hush Little Baby?  Rock-A-Baby?  Are You Sleeping?  If you need some more song ideas, check out the CD collection in the Early Learning Center.