Fun Music for Kids

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!

Laurie Berkner

Whaddaya Think of That?

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

Jim Gill

Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho

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!

Greg and Steve

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!

Miss Teresa

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Special Visitors at the library!

The last few weeks we have been lucky to have special class visits from a local preschool. We LOVE these visits! Schools and daycares (even in home day cares) contact us and we create a free story time with crafts and activities just for their group.  It is great because it really allows us to adapt a program to fit their specific needs and age ranges.

We tell stories, act out action plays, shake shaky eggs to music and use the felt board. These activities last for about 20 minutes. Then the craziness begins. We have the teachers divide their students into groups and the kids are able to visit several stations that we set up.

On this particular visit, our sensory table was filled with a great recipe for Play Snow that we found over at Huckleberry Love. The kids had a great time filling containers and making forts, snow figures and squishing the “snow” between their fingers.  This is by far our favorite recipe and parents and teachers alike love it!

We set up a Veterinary station at one table. Each chair had a lab coat and a small stuffed cat or dog. The table was filled with various toy medical instruments.

One table had a small dog cutout which matched the dog from the story Dog’s Colorful Day. The children colored their dog from their memory of the story. A popsicle stick was taped to the back and they had a puppet.

There was a table with Magnatiles that the kids build alone or with a friend. The crashing as towers fell was as much fun as the building.

Another table had play dough (we make our own) with rolling pins of various sizes and designs, lots of plastic cutting tools and plastic cookie cutters. It is always a favorite table.

An unusual station for us was the Yeti. He is a 7 foot tall drawing that Miss Marta drew for our Choose Your Own Adventure program, but he was such a hit we kept him up. The kids were able to show off their throwing arms as they threw cloth snowballs at the Yeti. We did have to keep a bit of an eye on the kids with this one, but it was worth it.

Some of the groups were rather large so we also added a transportation rug and vehicles for the kids to play with.

For a surprise, we sent home a ball of our Color Surprise Playdough for each child. The surprise is that each ball has gel food coloring inside the ball so they had no idea which color they would receive.

Miss Sarah

Winter Reading Program

Just a quick reminder:

If you’ve been participating in our “Choose Your Own Winter Reading Adventure”, you must finish your reading by February 10, 2018.  Return your completed adventure log to the children’s desk by February 14 to claim your book prize!

Thanks to Meemic Insurance for sponsoring this year’s Winter Reading Program!

Miss Teresa

New Blue Blocks in Children’s

We have new blocks from Imagination Playground for your children to explore in the Children’s Department. These soft block are just the right size for young children to build their dreams. And they are quiet. Which is nice in a library setting.

The blue blocks encourage children to work together, use their creativity and imagination, develop fine and gross motor skills that help with literacy skills, and give them an opportunity for learning building concepts—all while having fun.

These blocks were made possible by a generous grant given to us by the Moline Kiwanis Club.

Miss Sarah

Play at the Library

One thing we pride ourselves on is providing an environment that helps build community.  Not only do we offer an awesome collection of items people can check out and take home, but we provide spaces, toys, and activities that encourage kids and parents to socialize and play with others in the department.  We frequently hear surprised patrons if it is their first time here. “I didn’t realize you had so much!”

 

Here are just a few activities you will find on your visit…

 

We have an amazing puppet theater with a stash of puppets that stay in the department just to make up creative, fun  stories to share.

 

We offer a variety of blocks from large foam blocks to make big structures, to Lego Duplos, to Bristle Blocks.

 

We keep board games near the children’s desk and if you ask the librarian you can select a game to play during your visit.  Coloring pages, crayons and occasionally other craft projects can also be found at the children’s desk.  You can use these in the library or take color sheets home with you!

 

Our magnetic pillar is a big hit!  Currently we have letters out, fun for leaving messages for friends or practicing ABC’s but we do swap these out with different activities from time to time so come in and check it out!  We also have games attached to the walls for the very young.  These games feature nursery rhymes and songs and are very durable.

 

Our oversized stuffed animal collection has been a favorite for many years.  Let me give you some insider info on these!  If the animals are on the floor, they are there to curl up and read with or play with.  If you see some on top of the shelves, we ask that they stay there.  These are animals that may be old and have had many visits to the stuffed animal “hospital” and can’t be played with anymore but still like to be out on display.

 

The AWE computers are a great resource!  These have no internet connection, touch screens, and are preloaded with fun (and sneakily educational) games so any kiddo can play, from the very young to the middle grades.

 

We do have some toys we DON’T want you to play with in the library, but that is only because we want you to take them home instead!  We have some awesome kits, puppets, and puzzles in special sections of the library.  These items will be in special containers, like bags, totes, or boxes and will have a barcode.

These check out for 3 weeks like a library book and cost nothing to check out and play with.  We encourage you to NOT play with these items at the library unless you have asked the librarian and there will be a grown-up supervising the play.  As harsh as this may sound, it is with good reason, I promise.

If a puzzle piece, puppet, or pieces from a kit go missing, then we can’t let kids or their families check them out.  They sit and wait until we can locate the pieces.  If those can’t be found, the kits end up being withdrawn from our collection and the community loses that resource.  We want to make sure anyone who wants to enjoy these has access so before grabbing one and opening it up at the library, talk to the librarian at the children’s desk first!  We are happy to let a child play with them as long as they are only being used one at a time, under the supervision of a grown-up.  We just ask you bring it back to the desk if you aren’t taking it home so we can check the pieces and reshelve it.

 

Miss Marta