Kids Blog: 1St Through 3Rd Grade

Spring Activities to do at Home

It isn't Summer just yet, so enjoy these spring themed activities while we are on storytime break.

Seeds and flowers are really enjoyable for young children, and adults, to play around with. The Fantastic Fun and Learning blog and Life Over C's blog both provide fun activities involving seeds for you to do at home with the children. These crafts and activities provide great learning experiences for children that parents can be a part of.

For a beautfiul flower sensory suncatcher activity, check out the Hands On As We Grow blog for a cheap and easy sensory idea that will engage children of all ages.

While you are experimenting with these seed themed activities you can sing this song to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell:

The farmer plants the seeds
The Farmer plants the seeds
Hi, Ho and Cheery O
The farmer plants the seeds.

(Use the following verses.)
The sun begins to shine
The rain begins to fall
The plants begin to grow

 

Be sure to stop by the library and check out some great books about flowers, seeds, and Spring!


 

 

El Dia

Come join us this Saturday for our El Dia Celebration at the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington!

Librarian Adventures

This past week some of your very own librarians visited the city of Austin for the Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing we did was explore the exhibit hall where many library partners set up booths to show off what they had to offer libraries all around Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

We saw a fellow Arlington librarian, Nancy, showing off our brand new Read It Again (RIA)  Kits that will soon be available for you to check out from the library. These themed kits come with books, and other activities that you can do at home to make learning more fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abby and Bethany, two librarians on our Early Learning team, gave a presentation on the new iPads that you might have been seeing in your storytimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a lot of fun at the conference, but most importantly we learned a lot that we can hopefully use in the future to make our library even better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotcha!

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!

Literacy Play

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadow Fun

photos by Katie Sokoler @ http://colormekatie.blogspot.com/

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.

 

A WILD Kick-Off

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.

                              

                              

                              

                             

                                             

                                           

                            

Five Finger Rule: Selecting the Perfect Book for YOU!!

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

  

Spring Break Puppet Bonanza

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 12 @ 2:30 p.m.: Marionette-Inspired Hip Hop Dance (by Studio 74)

March 14 @ 10:30 a.m.: Rockin' Sockin' Puppet Palooza 

 

Hope to see you all!

 

                                     

                              

 

Got Strings?

                                    

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.