Kids Blog: 1St Through 3Rd Grade
Today is my “Gotcha Day”, so I would like to write about adoption!
For those who don't know, a "gotcha day" is the anniversary of the day a child was adopted.
Adoption books provide great stories and entertainment while also making the topic easier to discuss with your child. As children develop, so do the questions in their minds about where they are from, why they are here and so on. They help bring comfort and normalcy to the idea that a child has two sets of parents: biological and adoptive.
A few things that helped me when I was younger:
- Discuss the topic so your child will feel comfortable asking questions.
- Use children’s books to help explain the idea of adoption to your child. (Fictional stories are easy to relate to.)
- Be attentive to your childs emotions involving his or her adoption.
- Educate family and friends with the process. Also speak with them on effective ways of communicating about the subject with your child.
Here are several excellent books on the topic of adoption:
We have these available for checkout in our system in addition to many more!
Play is the number one way that children learn. Finding new ways to incorporate play into literacy will make learning fun and more affective for your child. Don’t be afraid to be creative in making your own games and activities as you teach letters, sounds, and words to your little ones.
Click on the images below for a few fun ways to teach literacy through play at home:
MY SHADOW by Robert Louis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow --
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And he can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrogant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
If you hear any mysterious drumming in the air, WATCH OUT! The Wild Things might be near!
My own fascination with the book actually began in college when I was cast as a non-existent character for our university’s children’s production. (Perhaps I felt a bit guilty being in a role not even created by the author, but I still couldn’t help getting swept away in the story).
When Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are was first introduced to the world in 1963, the book received mixed reviews. Some thought it too frightening and even had it banned from their libraries. Despite this setback, children and librarians fought for it to stay on the shelves. Millions of copies later, generations of readers can still enjoy the story of Max today.
To find the closest wild rumpus, journey over this Saturday to the Southeast Branch where our SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA kicks off with Where the Wild Things Are Puppet Show…and other WILD Adventures.
Until then, feast your eyes on the artwork below, curated by Corey Godbey.
The Five Finger Test
Often it's difficult to know if a book is going to be too easy or too hard just by looking at the cover. The Five Finger Rule is one way to "test" a book before you spend too much time with it and get frustrated.
Try these steps to pick the perfect book for you:
1. Select a book you’d like to read.
2. Open to any page in the middle of the book.
3. Begin reading aloud, so you can hear the words you have difficulty pronouncing.
4. Hold up a finger each time you come to a word you don't know right away.
5. If you have all five fingers up before you get to the end of the page, this book may be too difficult for you to read on your own.
Note: You may only have one or two fingers up. However, if you are sounding out most words on the page, this book is still too hard for you. Try an easier book.
Use this graphic as a guide:
Here are some suggested Award Winning titles that you may enjoy:
Caldecott Medal Winners
Newberry Medal Winner & Honor Books
We are excited to officially announce the details for our first ever SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA!
March 7 @ 10:30 a.m.: Where the Wild Things Are Puppet Show...and other WILD Adventures
March 10 @ 6:30 p.m.: Shadow Puppet Play
March 14 @ 10:30 a.m.: Rockin' Sockin' Puppet Palooza
Hope to see you all!
Debate time. Who is the world’s most popular puppet? I can almost hear a chorus of people shouting over each other, “ELMO!” “ERNIE!” “KERMIT!” “LAMBCHOP!” But Shari Lewis, Sesame Street, and even Jim Hensen might have to bow down to a certain wooden boy without strings.
Italian writer, Carlo Collodi, led his own thread of adventures before breathing life into the ever-famous Pinocchio. After graduating from primary school he was shipped off to study priesthood but wound up working for a bookseller. He jumped into political journalism, took on the position of magazine editor, and ended up translating Charles Perrault’s fairy tales from French to Italian. It was this new world of fairy tales that set him into thinking of writing his own. Much like Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist, Pinocchio was first introduced to the world through a weekly newspaper serial.
Yet Collodi’s Pinocchio is far more selfish than the wide-eyed character Disney created. The moralistic Cricket gets squashed in the original tale…by the puppet himself! "...I am a heedless Marionette--heedless and heartless," Pinocchio says. "Oh! If I had only had a bit of heart..."
Whichever version you prefer, one thing is certain: something about this wooden boy has captivated generations of readers. Explore the literature and decide for yourself. Then mark your calendars for this spring break when we will be hosting a series of lighter-hearted puppet events for families to enjoy. (hint hint hint: If you happen by East Branch on March 12, you might have the opportunity to see some awesome marionette-inspired moves by Studio 74 dancers).
Until then, here is a fascinating video of a real-life modern Geppetto who works in an Italian toy shop.
To get you in the proper mood for our upcoming SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA, here are some lovely Valentine's-inspired puppets.
Chomp, chomp went the tiny red heart one day....
What did fox say on Valentine's?
Even skunks have their sweet spot.
It seems every moment you blink, a new smart phone is born, yet even in this buzzing world of gizmos an appreciation for hand-made craftsmanship has soared. A sort of renaissance for simple dedicated nostalgia. Here is one such mother who built a ship to go along with reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
Indeed, parents all over the world are gleefully assisting their children in playtime. But having so much fun is serious business! According to a report done by the American Academy of Pediatrics, play “allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.”
Did you ever stop to think that when children play, they are actually storytelling? And what better way to tell stories than with toys and puppets! Coming this March, the Arlington Public Library will host our first-ever SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA. Information regarding this event will be available soon! Until then, try your hand at one of these fun DIY puppet-inspired toys.
This past week children came to the library dressed in their favorite pajamas for a special holiday pajama storytime! After reading some festive holiday books and singing everyone's favorite holiday tunes, we finished the night by constructing reindeer hats and feasting on cookies and hot cocoa.
We will be taking a break from storytimes for the rest of December but we will start back up the first full week of January 2015. Due to the Central library's closing there have been some changes to the spring storytime schedule so please check out our storytime page to find out more information on those times and locations .
Happy Holidays from the Early Learning Team
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