Best Books for Beginning to Read

Biscuit Beginning to Read bookA common assumption I’ve come across during my time in libraries is that picture books are for children to read. As a matter of fact, I think I probably made this same assumption before I started planning story times and the like. But here’s the thing: children’s picture books are really designed to be read aloud to children by adults. I know, I just blew your mind. Obviously there are some exceptions, like certain Dr. Seuss titles. (“Hop on Pop“, anyone?) But many picture books are actually too advanced for your average beginning reader to effectively tackle on his or her own.

If starting with traditional picture books is not ideal, then what in the world is? The answer varies. At DBRL, we call this collection “Beginning to Read.” These are also children’s books, and they also have a lot of pictures. They are different from most picture books in that their sentences are short, and the words are short, simple and do as much to help the reader figure them out contextually as possible. The words are big and few so they are not nearly as intimidating. You also won’t find any artsy typographies that, while charming in children’s books that are being read to them, can be daunting to new readers. Continue reading

Get Appy: Enjoy the Kitchen Without the Mess!

Choose one of four characters to feed.As a young tyke, my mom barred me from the kitchen. I was accident-prone enough without being near burner knobs, pointy knives and scalding water. She wanted to keep me safe (and maybe I was just a teenie bit of a distraction when she was measuring out chocolate chips). However, you can give your little ones a great kitchen experience without exposing them to any danger or mess!

Our Crayon Kiosk iPads now feature Toca Kitchen. This app encourages children to prepare food for one of four characters – boy, girl, cat and bull. Explore the world of cooking together with your little one. What happens when you boil carrots versus frying them? What is the cat’s favorite food? Learn to slice, cook and boil in an environment that won’t result in missing fingers, angry burns or large messes. Explore all kinds of food – there’s even a vegetarian mode! And for Toca Kitchen review from a mom and fellow DBRL coworker, check out this older blog entry.

 

“But I’m Not Tired!”

boy asleep with bookThe bedtime story already has been deeply planted in the early literacy landscape, the collective nostalgia and routines for tricking little ones into falling asleep. We have heard the benefits of reading to your baby bumpkins and terrible twosers daily touted near and far, but does the time of day a child is read to actually make any difference?

The answer is, um…well, probably. Maybe. Depends?

While there is some research on that question, obviously everyone is different. Personally, I am a big fan of the bedtime story, so what follows will be my case for the institution.

For one thing, your children are put to bed every day, so there’s a built-in “reminder” that allows reading to easily become part of a routine that’s already necessary. Plus, “bedtime story” rolls off the tongue a lot easier than, say, “after-school snack story.” If you have a snugglebunny or two who land closer to the reluctant side of the sleeper spectrum, sometimes a calming routine can help. According to chair of the Early Childhood Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Peter Gorski, M.D., the most cognitive benefits from reading are reaped when the child’s experience with books is enjoyable and associated with love, safety and comfort. Well, what is more loving and comfy than being tucked in, surrounded by a beloved stuffed animal or two, while mom and/or dad tell you a story? Letting your nugget choose the story they want to hear can be both a bedtime selling point and encourages a positive association with being read to. Continue reading

Tech Tips for Ages 2-5

PreK AppsYou may have seen our posts highlighting apps for kids or seen our dragon computers featuring all sorts of educational games. But do you wonder whether your child is old enough to have screen time? Daniel Boone Regional Library recently created a “Tech Tips” wallet-sized card just for you. These tips reflect the most up-to-date guidance from early childhood professionals for ages 2-5. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for kids younger than 2.)

  1. Limit screen time to 15-20 minutes a day, and stick to it.
  2. Teach your child to ask you whether it’s OK to turn on a device.
  3. Be aware of what your child will be doing on the device.
  4. Select activities and apps that encourage creativity, collaboration and discovery.
  5. Encourage your child to record a story or song, take pictures or draw.
  6. Look for apps that support your child’s interests.
  7. While your child is using a device, be actively involved with him or her.
  8. With eBooks, explore the technology first, then your child can focus on the book.
  9. Don’t keep TVs, computers and electronic devices in your young child’s bedroom.
  10. Lead by example. Don’t spend big chunks of your time on your devices.

Continue reading

Fall into Fun Programs

The kids are back to school, the temperatures will (hopefully!) cool down soon and the fall edition of “At Your Library” is now available. Here’s a look at just a few of the up and coming fall programs you can find at your local library in the next couple weeks.

Block Party

Wednesday, September 3 • 10-11 a.m. , 3:30-4:30 p.m. , 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Columbia

Playing with blocks develops a child’s math, language, social and science skills, as well as being lots of fun! Come to our block party to build, talk, explore and create together. Families, ages 2-6.

Otis program on September 4th!Otis the Tractor Party

Thursday, September 4, 2014 • 5:30-7 p.m. in Columbia

The calf is stuck in Mud Pond, and only you can help Otis the tractor rescue him! So starts another adventure involving Otis, the star of a beloved book series by Loren Long. Drop in anytime during this session to create your own farm animal puppet, join a tractor parade and try to escape the treacherous mud maze. Ages 3 and older. Continue reading