Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Simple Literacy Activities To Do Together!

The busy holiday season is here and it's always helpful to have some fun activities to keep your child busy.  Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:



  • Ask your child to draw a picture and tell what he loves about Christmas or another holiday celebrated in his family.
  • Write out the word "Christmas" or any other word and see if your child can identify all the letters.
  • Write out the word "Winter" and see if your child can copy the letters.
  • Read a holiday book, or another favorite book, to your child and ask him to tell you the story.
  • Sing a holiday song together!  Add some dance moves!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Storytime Programs: Fall II, 2017 - Week Six

Welcome to the final week of Fall II storytime programs.  Even though weekly storytimes have ended till January, there are numerous special events happening so be sure to check our Events Calendar http://gailbweb.gailborden.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp, give us a call, or stop by the desk in the Early Learning Center if you would like more information.  We hope that you'll be joining us.  Remember, we have programs at all three locations!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books 
The Wheels on the Bus by Annie Kubler Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Duck & Goose Let's Dance by Tad Hills Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: If You're Happy And You Know It
If you're happy and you know it
Clap your hands
If you're happy and you know it
Clap you hands
If you're happy and you know it
Then your face will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it
Clap your hands
(Pat your belly/Touch your nose)

Singing and dancing with your baby is a wonderful way to soothe and comfort him.  Your voice is his favorite sound! 

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Bear & Hare: Snow by Emily Gravett Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Snowflake, Snowflake
Snowflake, snowflake dance around
Snowflake, snowflake touch the ground
Snowflake landing on my nose
Snowflake landing on my toes
Snowflake, snowflake dance around
Snowflake, snowflake sit right down

Where else can a snowflake land?  On your toddler's ears, hands, legs.......?

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone Click here to find the book in the catalog.
One Mitten by Kristine O'Connell George Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Counting Christmas by Karen Katz Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Light a Little Candle
Light a little candle
Hannukah will come
Eat a little latke  
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum 
I’m counting on my fingers
I’m counting on my thumbs
Just how many days till
Hannukah will come!

Light a little candle
Christmas Day will come
Eat a Christmas cookie  
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum 
I’m counting on my fingers
I’m counting on my thumbs
Just how many days till
Christmas Day will come!

If you celebrate a holiday at this time of year, check out some holiday books or music from the library.  Talk about what might be familiar to your toddler.  

1, 2, 3, Go!  (For children 1-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: If You're Wearing Something Blue 
If you’re wearing something blue
Clap your hands           
If you’re wearing something blue 
Clap your hands
If you’re wearing something blue 
Then stomp your feet, too
If you’re wearing something blue 
Clap your hands 

What color pants is your toddler wearing today?  
Shirt?  Socks? Have a conversation with your child! 

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books
A Train Goes Clickety -Clack by Jonathan London Click here to find the book in the catalog.

We All Go Traveling By by Sheena Roberts with CD by Fred Penner Click here to find the book in the catalog.  

Action Rhyme: There’s a Train
There’s a little red train going down the track
Look at the wheels go clickety-clack
And the train wheels are rolling, rolling rolling rolling
And the train wheels are rolling, rolling right along

Has your child ever been on a train ride?  What does he know about trains?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Storytime Programs: Fall II, 2017 - Week Five

Welcome to the fifth week of Fall II storytime programs.  In addition to our weekly storytimes, there are numerous special events happening so be sure to check our Events Calendar http://gailbweb.gailborden.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp, give us a call, or stop by the desk in the Early Learning Center if you would like more information.  We hope that you'll be joining us.  Remember, we have storytimes at all three locations!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books 
Sweet Child of Mine by Caroline Jayne Church Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Pepo and Lolo Are Friends by Ana Martin Larranaga Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Hello Toes
Hello toes, hello toes
How are you today?
I hope you had a good nap
And now you're ready to play
(knees/cheeks)

Rhymes like this one are simple enough to remember and repeat frequently.  Remember, babies and young children learn through repetition so repeat, repeat, repeat!  

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Whose Ears Are These? by Claire Belmont Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys 
Sitting in a tree 
Teasing Mr. Alligator-- 
"You can't catch me." 
"You can't catch me." 
Along comes Mr. Alligator 
As quiet as he can be-- 
And he SNAPS that monkey right out of the tree!!! 
Continue until all monkeys are gone
Away swims Mr. Alligator
As full as he can be!!!

Five Little Monkeys is of course a counting rhyme, but imagine how much more fun this would be if you used puppets to act it out!  Click on the links to our catalog below for more information on puppets.  As always, be sure to ask at the Help Desk if you need further assistance.   

Mitt and monkey finger puppets
Little alligator puppet

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake by Moira Kemp 
Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Click here to find the book in the catalog.  

Action Rhyme: Make a Cake
Mix the batter, stir the batter
Shake some flour in
Mix the batter, stir the batter
Pour it in a tin
Sprinkle raisins on it
Pop it in to bake
Open up the oven door
And out comes a cake

Include your toddler in simple food preparation whenever possible.  There are so many learning opportunities possible - proper hand washing, new vocabulary, following directions.....

1, 2, 3, Go!  (For children 1-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Purple Little Bird by Greg Foley Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Too Purpley by Jean Reidy Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Purple Stew
We’re making a purple stew 
Whip, whip, whip, whip
We're making a purple stew
Shoo-be-do-be-do  
With purple potatoes and purple tomatoes    
We want you! What are you going to add?  
(let the kids say a food to add)
We want to eat it!  Yum, yum!                                                                          
(Credit: YouTube's Go Noodle - Click on the image below to watch!)
                


What foods does your toddler like to eat?  Talk about the colors of food when you serve it to him - green peas, brown crackers, red strawberries....   

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books
Old MacDonald's Things That Go by Jane Clarke Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon Click here to find the book in the catalog.
New Red Bike by James E. Ransome Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Pedal Round and Round (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
Pedal round and round (roll hands around each other)
Pedal round and round
I steer my bike to where I like (pretend to steer bike)
Pedal round and round

Give your child plenty of opportunities to practice large motor skills indoors during inclement weather.  Set up an obstacle course using pillows to jump on, chairs to crawl under, a masking tape line to balance along.  Make a game out of tossing balled up socks into laundry baskets.  Use a blanket or towel as a parachute and toss stuffed animals, balled up socks or anything else soft. What else can you think of?    

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Storytime Programs: Fall II, 2017 - Week Four

Welcome to the fourth week of Fall II storytime programs.  In addition to our weekly storytimes, there are numerous special events happening so be sure to check our Events Calendar http://gailbweb.gailborden.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp, give us a call, or stop by the desk in the Early Learning Center if you would like more information.  We hope that you'll be joining us.  Remember, we have storytimes at all three locations!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books 
Babies Don't Walk, They Ride! by Kathy Henderson Click here to find the book in the catalog.
This Little Baby Goes Out by Lynn Breeze Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Hello Little Babies
Hello little babies
Let's go rocking, rocking
Hello little babies
Let's go rocking now
(Bouncing, tickling)

When you bounce, tap, clap and sing to a song with a strong rhythm, your child both hears and feels the rhythm of spoken language.  

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
A Lullaby For Little One by Dawn Casey Click here to find the book in the catalog.
I Love My Daddy by Sebastien Braun Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Round and Round the Garden
Round and round the garden (make circular motions on child's tummy with fingers)
Goes the teddy bear
One step, two steps (fingers walk up child’s arm) 
Tickle you under there (gently tickle child under arm) 
Round and round the haystack (make circular motions on child's tummy with fingers)
Goes the little mouse 
One step, two steps (fingers walk up child’s arm) 
Into his little house (gently tickle child under arm)

Sharing rhymes and songs with your toddler that tell stories will help him develop sequencing skills.

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Feast For 10 by Cathryn Falwell Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sing a song of sixpence
A pocket full of rye
Four-and-twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing
Now wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king

"Traditional rhymes like this one often contain vocabulary that you wouldn't use in everyday life.  And that's fine, because children need to hear vocabulary in many different contexts."
Baby Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker

1, 2, 3, Go!  (For children 1-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson Click here to find the book in the catalog.
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B. G. Hennessy Click here to find the link in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: If You're Thankful
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re thankful and you know it and you really want to show it
If you’re thankful and you know, it clap your hands
 (stomp your feet, shout “hooray”, do all three)

It is never too early to begin teaching your child good manners. Remember to say "please" and "thank you" to your child and encourage him to do the same to you and others.      

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Go Go Gorillas by Julia Durango Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Who Is Driving? by Leo Timmers Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Can You See the Traffic Light? (Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Can you see the traffic light?
Traffic light, traffic light?
Green means go and yellow means slow
And red means stop!  Stop!  Stop!

Use a red crayon to write the word "red" on a piece of paper.  Can your child copy the letters?  Repeat with the words "green" and "yellow" using the appropriate colored crayons.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Storytime Programs: Fall II, 2017 - Week Three

Welcome to the third week of Fall II storytime programs.  In addition to our weekly storytimes, there are numerous special events happening so be sure to check our Events Calendar http://gailbweb.gailborden.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp, give us a call, or stop by the desk in the Early Learning Center if you would like more information.  We hope that you'll be joining us.  Remember, we have storytimes at all three locations!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books 
Please Pick Me Up, Mama! by Robin Luebs Click here to find the book in the catalog.
That's Not My Squirrel by Fiona Watt Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Squirrel Counting (Use fingers or toes)
One little, two little, three little squirrels
Four little, five little, six little squirrels
Seven little, eight little, nine little squirrels
Ten little squirrels scamper away

Take your baby out for a ride in his stroller and talk about any animals you see - dogs, cats, squirrels, birds.  It does not matter that he won't understand every word that you say.  He needs to hear your words for his own language development.  

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
Ten In the Den by John Butler Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Who's In the Forest by Phillis Gershator Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Hands Are Clapping
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Clap your hands, my darling.
(Toes are tapping, fingers are wiggling, eyes are hiding “peek-a-boo”) 

What else can you and your toddler do with hands?  Can he hold your hand?  Shake your hand?  Pat his knees with his hands?

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Cows In the Kitchen by June Crebbin Click here to find the book in the catalog.  
I Love Animals by Flora McDonnell Click here to find the book in the catalog.
What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby? by Cressida Crewell Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers
Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance your fingers to the side, dance them all around
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed

Make a fun game out of this rhyme.  Where else can your toddler dance his fingers?  On his toes? Under a chair?  On you!  

1, 2, 3, Go!  (For children 1-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Pete the Cat: The Wheels On the Bus by James Dean Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni Click here to find the book in the catlog.

Action Rhyme: If You See Something Yellow
If you see something yellow, wiggle, jiggle
If you see something yellow, wiggle, jiggle
If you see something yellow
Wiggle, jiggle just like Jell-O
If you see something yellow, wiggle, jiggle

Go on a "yellow" hunt in your house.  What can you find?    

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books
Moon Plane by Peter McCarty Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Up, Up, Up by Susan Reed
Zelda's Big Adventure by Marie Alafaci Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Five Little Rockets
Five little rockets ready to zoom
This one says, “There’s not enough room.”
It starts its engine, ready to fly
Looks at the others and waves good-bye      
Four little rockets, 3,2..

One little rocket ready to zoom
This one says, “Everyone’s gone!”
It starts its engine; ready to fly
Looks at us and waves good-bye
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 blast off!


This is a great rhyme to repeat at home and practice counting down!  Use fingers or whatever else you would like to illustrate the concept of counting down.  Repeat, repeat, repeat!  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Storytime Programs: Fall II, 2017 - Week Two

Welcome to the second week of Fall II storytime programs.  In addition to our weekly storytimes, there are numerous special events happening so be sure to check our Events Calendar http://gailbweb.gailborden.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp, give us a call, or stop by the desk in the Early Learning Center if you would like more information.  We hope that you'll be joining us.  Remember, we have storytimes at all three locations!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books 
Baby's Toys by Fiona Watt Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Ben Loves Bear by David McPhail Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Merry-Go-Round (Tune: This Old Man)
Merry-go-round, merry-go-round
We go riding all around
First we're up, then we're down
We go riding all around
Off to town, off to town
We go riding all around
Hold on tight, don't fall down
We go riding all around

"You are your child's first teacher.  Fun and silly interactions like this may seem meaningless, but in fact your baby is absorbing vocabulary and the rhythm of speech each time you talk to him."  
Baby Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books
Baby Says "Moo!" by Joann Macken Click here to find the book in the catalog.
I Love Korky by Cristiano Sorrentino Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: The Animals on the Farm (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The cows on the farm go moo, moo, moo
Moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo
The cows on the farm go moo, moo, moo
All day long
Horses – Neigh
Pigs – Oink
Duck - Quack

Children love animals!  Continue the theme at home by checking out some picture books and puppets!  Ask at the Help Desk for some recommendations if you would like.

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Hickory Dickory Dock by Keith Baker Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Whose Mouse Are You? by Robert Kraus Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Where Is My Friend? by Betsy & Giulio Maestro

Action Rhyme: Where Are The Baby Mice?
Where are the baby mice? (Fold fingers inside closed fist)
"Squeak, squeak, squeak"
I do not see them
Peek, peek, peek
Here they come out of their hole in the wall
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - That's all! (Open fist and straighten each finger one by one)

Repeat this fun rhyme at home with your toddler so that he can practice moving his fingers independently of each other.  Doing so will strengthen the muscles in his fingers and hands which is essential for many developmental skills.  

1, 2, 3, Go!  (For children 1-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anne Dewdney Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Twinkle, Twinkle Traffic Light 
Twinkle twinkle traffic light
Round the corner shining bright
Red means stop 
Green mean go 
Yellow means very very slow
Twinkle twinkle traffic light
Round the corner shining bright



Turn this rhyme into a fun game at home for more color recognition practice!  Find something red, green, and yellow in your house (socks, for example), hold up one color and perform the appropriate action with your child.  As he progresses, see if he can perform the appropriate action without your prompting.    

StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books
Toot and Pop! by Sebastien Braun Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Iza Trapani Click here to find the book in the catalog.
I Love Boats by Flora McDonnell Click here to find the book in the catalog.


Action Rhyme: The Waves on the Sea (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The waves on the sea
Go up and down
Up and down
Up and down
The waves on the sea
Go up and down
All day long

The sharks in the sea
Go snap, snap, snap
Snap, snap, snap
Snap, snap, snap
The sharks in the sea
Go snap, snap, snap
All day long

Boats are fun to play with in the bath tub.  Have a conversation about them with your child.  Do they float?  Sink?  Do they have an engine?  Sails?  What are they used for?









Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Storytime Programs: Fall I, 2017 Week Six

Welcome to the final week of Fall I storytime programs.  In addition to our weekly storytimes, there are numerous special events happening so be sure to check our Events Calendar http://gailbweb.gailborden.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp, give us a call, or stop by the desk in the Early Learning Center if you would like more information.  We hope that you'll be joining us.  Remember, we have storytimes at all three locations!  Below you will find some of the books, rhymes, and fingerplays we are presenting this week.

Baby Rhyme Time (For babies 0-11 months and a caregiver)

Books 
Early Bird by Toni Yuly Click here to find the book in the catalog.
I Say, You Say Animal Sounds! by Tad Carpenter Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Rhyme: Where, Oh Where Are Baby Fingers?
Where, oh where are baby's fingers?
Where, oh where are baby's toes?
Where's the baby's belly button?
'Round and round it goes.
Where, oh where are baby's ears?
Where, oh where is baby's nose?
Where's the baby's belly button?
Round and round it goes.

Babies learn through repetition.  Each time they hear a rhyme, song, or book they remember something more.  So don't worry if you read the same books or sing the same rhymes!

Wonderful Ones (For babies 12-23 months and a caregiver)

Books 
Time For Bed by Mem Fox Click here to find the book in the catalog. 
Are You Sleepy Yet, Petey? by Marie Hodge Click here to find the book in the catalog. 

Action Rhyme: Bedtime for Piggies(Count with toes or fingers)
“It’s time for all piggies to go to bed,”
Mother Piggie said.
“I will count them up to see,
If all of my piggies came back to me.
One little piggy, two little piggies,
Three little piggies, dear,
Four little piggies, five little piggies,
Yes, they are all here.
You are the dearest little piggies alive,
One, two, three, four five.”


Repetition is key when it comes to learning to count, so practice every day with your toddler.  Count toes and socks as you get dressed, count toys in the bath tub, count chairs at the table.

Terrific Twos (For toddlers 2-3 years and a caregiver)

Books 
Jack and Jill by Liza Woodruff Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Cookie's Week by Cindy Ward Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch by Mary Peterson Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: The Roly-Poly Pumpkin (Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)
Oh, the roly-poly pumpkin 
Went rolling down the hill.
Once it started rolling
It couldn't keep still.
It rolled and rolled
Until it bumped into a rock.
Then the roly-poly pumpkin
Rolled to a stop. 
                 
Do you have a pumpkin at home or have you pointed them out to your toddler in the grocery store?  What words can your toddler use to describe them?  Orange?  Big?  Smooth?  Bumpy?

1, 2, 3, Go!  (For children 1-3 years and a caregiver)

Books
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Boats For Bedtime by Olga Litowinsky Click here to find the book in the catalog.  

Action Rhyme: Row, Row, Row Your Boat    
Row, row, row your boat                                      
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
Rock, rock, rock your boat
Gently down the stream
If you should see a crocodile
Don’t forget to scream!

Toddlers love this action song!  Sit down and row together and "Don't forget to scream!"


StoryMix For 3 to 6 (For children 3-6 years without caregiver)

Books
The Snake Who Said Shhh by Jodie Parachini Click here to find the book in the catalog.
Wally Wants To Hug by Barbara Joosse Click here to find the book in the catalog.

Action Rhyme: Five Little Snakes (using fingers)
Five little snakes hid under Mom’s chair
My brother grabbed one
Leaving four there

Four little snakes swinging in a tree.
One slipped and fell
Leaving only three

Three little snakes wondered what to do
One took a nap
Leaving just two

Two little snakes basking in the sun
One slithered off,
Leaving only one

One little snake lonely as could be
He went looking for some fun and
Came and played with me!

Repeat finger rhymes at home with your preschooler so that he can practice moving his fingers independently of each other.  Movements like this develop and strengthen the muscles needed for writing.