Stacking, Sequencing and Narrative Skills

Can stacking cups really help with your child’s literacy? The answer is yes! Stacking is an early sequencing skill. When children successfully stack cups, they have also put them in a sequence. Sequencing is the process of putting events, ideas and objects in logical order, such as from large to small.This concept appears in stories like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” where Goldilocks progresses from large to small with a variety of objects. Once children understand that Goldilocks starts with the largest item, then tries the middle and ends with the smallest, they show their grasp of beginning, middle and end – a key component of narrative learning.

PAL Kit #8

PAL Kit #8

If you want to play with some stacking and sequencing toys from the library, check out our Play as Learning Kits. Kits number two (Encouraging Brain Development), and eight (Encouraging Creativity) have stacking toys. Kit five (Encouraging Family Reading) has a spindle puzzle, which also uses sequencing skills. You can ask about these kits at the Children’s desk at the Columbia Public Library. They are also listed in our catalog under “Play as Learning Kit” and are available to be placed on hold for delivery to any of our branches or bookmobile stops.

Seven Books for Your Summer Travel

Audiobook of Matilda by Roald DahlSchool kids (and – let’s be honest – their teachers) are counting down the days until summer begins. For some, summer means road trips to grandma’s house, camping trips or airplane rides to someplace with a beach or mountains. For others it means many deliciously unstructured days near home, in local parks or at the city pool. This time of year is made for reading, whether you have long stretches of time to spend in a car or aren’t traveling any farther than your backyard. Here are seven recommended books for summer.

Audiobooks
Even though parents now have all sorts of high-tech options to keep the kiddos entertained – portable DVD players, license plate game apps for your smart phone – I still think books are one of the best ways to pass the time during a car trip or flight.

Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
White himself reads this audiobook version of the children’s classic, and the experience is nothing short of lovely. His New England accent and the character of his voice invoke the cozy feeling of being read to by a grandfather. Read my full review of this tale of Wilbur the pig, saved once by 8-year-old Fern and then again by a literate spider.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children” narrated by Jim Dale
Jim Dale! What a talent. He narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks, creating a dizzying number of unique voices. This collection of gentle animals tales is perfect for the younger set and lasts about 90 minutes – the perfect length for that car trip to see family a couple of counties over.

Matilda” by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet Continue reading

2015 Summer Reading Bookmark Contest Winners

Owl superhero bookmark

Designed by Abby Law

A group of very talented kids and teens created bookmarks to promote our upcoming Summer Reading program. The theme for all ages this year is “Every Hero Has a Story.” See the 2015 winners, and be sure to pick up a bookmark when you visit the library!

Classics for a New Generation

My Little Pony. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Strawberry Shortcake. The Baby-Sitters Club. If you were a child of the 80s and 90s like me, then you probably remember when these were popular…the first time. Lucky for us (and our children), these titles are making a comeback!

Baby-Sitters Club graphic novelAt my ripe old age of 26, it’s hard for me to believe that these titles could be considered “classics,” but that is exactly what they are. These titles have staying power and characters with the potential to remain beloved throughout time. I first noticed this new popularity when I stumbled across the juvenile graphic novel versions of the Baby-Sitters Club, illustrated by the popular Raina Telgemeier (of “Smile” and “Sisters” fame). I immediately checked out the four titles that have been published and devoured them, feeling like it was 1998 again and I didn’t have a care in the world. Reading these novels evoked a strong feeling of nostalgia in me, and I wanted to share these books that meant so much to me as a child with any 10-year-old I saw. But it wasn’t just nostalgia that had me wanting to share these books — the stories and characters actually held up over time. The issues these characters face are still so relevant. Claudia doesn’t get along with her older sister. Stacey is embarrassed about a medical condition. Kristy is still healing from her parents divorce. Mary Ann has a strict father. The woes of these characters are still relatable to any middle grade reader. Which is the awesome thing about this new wave of “classics.” Much like the books that we think of when we hear “classics,” these stories and characters stand the test of time for a reason. Continue reading

Summer Reading 2015

SR-emblem-colorGet ready for Summer Reading! You can stop by your library or bookmobile and sign up starting on Monday, June 1. The library’s Summer Reading program is a fun way to stay engaged in reading and learning over the summer.

This year’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story!” Whether your hero is someone real you see every day or a fantastical superhero you imagine flying in the sky above, we celebrate the heroes both around us and inside us.

The Summer Reading program is free, and there are versions for all ages, from the youngest babies to kids, teens and even adults.  Find out more about Summer Reading!