Last evening I stepped in for a coworker and did her Littles (birth to 3) story time.
I had the best time! Of course the kids were adorable and the parents were fantastic. But this time everything ran like clockwork, with a couple adorable hiccups.
The box of shaky eggs was opened early by a little one, but she shared with the others. It was so cute. I had a few rhythms to read by but it was a soft sound. I adjusted & did a shaky egg song a bit earlier than planned.
The little ones were attentive to the stories and I read with newfound confidence and enthusiasm. The stories rolled off my tongue, as the pages turned the little ones were waiting to find out what happened next.
Titles for this story time:
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill
Ten Hungry Pigs by Derek Anderson
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Popcorn Kernels (to the tune of Frere Jacques) was the scarf action play and we all smiled when one of the little ones took my scarf too. It is such a fun song with little ones!
(waving scarf in the air) Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels
(balling scarf in hands) in the pot, in the pot
(Shaking hands cupped shake them, shake them, shake them
around scarf) shake them, shake them, shake them
(throwing scarf in the air) ‘Til they POP! ‘Til they POP!
There were a few tears at the end when a little one didn’t want to leave.
The stars aligned, the little ones and their parents were in great moods and it flowed.
It was pretty close to perfect. Nah, it was perfect!
Low literacy rates are not just a concern locally. It is a nationwide problem. If a child is not ready for kindergarten when they start school, statistically, there is a very good chance they will never catch up. Identifying children who may need extra help before they reach school has always been difficult. Parents may not realize the importance of reading to their children or how to encourage early literacy skills in their children through play. They also may not be aware of different services available to them.
At a recent Public Library Association conference many libraries discussed different methods their communities have tried to improve literacy rates. One way was to encourage people to speak to their neighbors with young children, letting them know what their local library can offer them such as free story times, books and educational material as well as other local resources. The Moline Public Library would also like to suggest giving out an Imagination Library form. When signing up their child under the age of 5 for this program, each child receives a book every month for free. If you pick up this form at our Children’s Desk, you may also pick out a United Way paperback book from our cart to give with the enrollment card. This will give the parent an idea of what to expect and is a nice gift to get them started. This simple gift is a great way to get a child started with those all-important literacy skills.
Together, we can make a difference.
Sometimes, but not always, I like to do a “themed” storytime. This week was one of those times! We read these books about cars and trucks:
I’m a Truck Driver by Jonathan London
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Car by Kate Dopirak
Here’s a fun link to tell you a bit more about the book, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Car: an interview with the author describing the process of writing a book all about a “little car’s night trip”!
For play time, I put out the road throw rug, surrounded by our foam snap together road tiles, with a big tub of cars, trucks, and construction vehicles.
For the art table, I found a cute garbage truck coloring sheet that the children could color and glue on some “garbage” (which was actually tissue paper squares).
For music time, I played the video of Jim Gill’s Truck Stop. I think everyone had fun pretending to start their trucks and stop at the truck stop!
Finally, please, if you love Jim Gill as much as we do here at the library, put this on your calendar:
Jim Gill will be at the Moline Public Library on Monday, August 6th, 2018, at 10:30am to do a kids concert! Join us for this free event!
In our storytime planning, we like to incorporate the “Every Child Ready to Read” 5 pre-literacy practices. These seemingly simple practices help us to model to and encourage parents on how to help their child become a great reader.
Here are those five practices:
1. Talking: Talking with children helps them learn oral language, one of the most critical early literacy skills. Children learn about language by listening to parents talk and joining in the conversation.
2. Singing: Singing develops language skills. Slows down language so children can hear the different sounds in words. Helps children learn new words and information.
3. Reading: Reading together develops vocabulary and comprehension, nurtures a love for reading, and motivates children to want to learn to read.
4. Writing: Children become aware that printed letters stand for spoken words as they see print used in their daily lives.
5. Playing: Play is one of the best ways for children to learn language and literacy skills. They learn about language through playing as the activities help them put thoughts into words and talk about what they are doing.
As a parent, you can incorporate these five practices very easily in your daily routine! Here are some suggestions:
- Talking: Keep up conversations as you go about your daily routine, for example, as you walk down the sidewalk, point out a street sign and say “Here’s the name of our street! It’s called Main Street”. Or talk about the color socks they are putting on. Or count the number of crackers or apple slices they are having for a snack.
- Singing: Sing familiar songs together – I’ll bet your child sings some storytime songs at home! Ask him or her to sing it again, or teach it to you.
- Reading: It goes without saying that you should be reading to your child every day. If you haven’t already, enroll your infant-preschool aged child in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.
- Writing: Drawing, scribbling, and practicing letters all help those emergent fine- motor skills and print recognition.
- Playing: This is the work of childhood! Play with your child often!
If you need more ideas to help you incorporate these five practices into your daily routine, here’s a link to a fun calendar produced by Upstart (part of Demco, a library supply company). This calendar prompts you to do one fun thing each day of the month that will that will help your child build pre-reading skills: Daily Fun with Your Little One!
Download a free calendar each month!
I love to incorporate music into my story time sessions, and I think it’s very popular with our attendees, too. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers often tell me their child “has been singing that song all week!” We know music is fun, but are there other reasons to include music into play?
According to a 2014 article in School Library Journal, the answer is yes!
The author of that article, Sarah Bayliss, reports that “A growing body of research is affirming the central role of music in early literacy. Librarians are listening—and designing programs with a deep mindfulness of how music supports PreK–learning. Music has been proven to do everything from boosting numeracy to developing empathy among children; from improving speech-language delays to augmenting comprehension. One study from the Music-Science Lab at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev showed that young children who played hand-clapping games had better cognitive and social skills than those who didn’t.”
The article goes on to detail other reasons to include music in programming, complete with online music links, artists and CD’s kids love, and academic resources. While I found the author’s suggestions to include some fantastic resources, many of which I use, I thought it might be fun to let you know what three of my favorite children’s musicians are! So, in no particular order, here they are, complete with links to our library catalog and YouTube videos as well!
On this album is her famous “I Know a Chicken” song, AKA the Shaky Egg song from storytime! Pick up any album by Laurie Berkner for a fun time. Or, connect with her via YouTube and sing along to “We Are the Dinosaurs”. While you’re at it, she also has picture books that you can read and sing along with, such as Pillowland
My favorite storytime song on this album is “List of Dances” – it’s a list that is sixteen dances long! Kids have a great time following along with this one, and after going through all 16, Jim Gill sings that it would be fun to do them again, this time from the bottom to the top. Click on this link to watch him in concert! By the way, we are very excited to let you in on a secret ….. Jim Gill will be doing a concert here at the Moline Public Library this summer! Details coming soon!
My all-time favorite song on this album is “The Freeze”. Click here to listen! I think I like these guys because they’ve been entertaining kids since the late 70’s and early 80’s, but they are still going strong and still relevant!
I hope you check out some of these kids artists, and if you ever need any other music ideas, just ask one of us in the Children’s Department for suggestions!