Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Combat Cabin Fever in The Learn and Play Space

Catching butterflies in the Learn and Play Space
Grandparents are so important in a young child’s life. Whether you see your grandkids every day or once a year, you want to share experiences that form a lasting bond with them. During these chilly days and freezing evenings, the library is the perfect destination for grandparents with their visiting grandchildren to find relief from cabin fever. Children’s Services offers many great features for young ones in our preschool area and in the Learn and Play Space. Children and their grandparents can take a break from selecting books, CDs, DVDs and computer games to explore all of the things to do in the gathering area near the baby board books. You will find comfy seating, a doll house, a train table, activity cubes, a puzzle table and a nest of AWE computers preloaded with exciting learning games.

Catching butterflies in the Learn and Play Space

The Learn and Play Space is a room dedicated to children ages birth through 6 years. Here you will find a Writing Center to practice writing notes and drawing pictures. There are a Kitchen, a Store, and a Puppet stage where you and your grandchildren can engage in pretend play. The center of the room features puzzles and other activities on our theme of the month, ”Winter.” The building area houses an exciting polar scene where children can build a world of igloos and icebergs. You'll even find a place dedicated to babies who are not yet walking.

Creating a masterpiece at the writing center in the Learn and Play Space.

These areas were designed to support your grandchild’s early literacy development. Studies show that guidance from a caring adult is critical to helping children get the most from these experiences. Come visit the library. Your grandchildren will think you are playing together, but you will know that you are helping to lay the foundation for their future success in reading and in life.

Having fun at the train table!

Frozen Preschool Science and Math Fun at Home and at the Library

 

non-fiction book on winter

One of my favorite things to hear from parents during our monthly Preschool Science and Math program is, "We are going to try this at home!" Creating opportunities for parents and their preschool-aged children explore science together is a big part of our mission in the promotion of early literacy – and why we devote time and resources to preschool science and math. Research tells us that the more children know about the world, and the more opportunities they have to talk with adults about what they know, the more likely they will become successful readers. While talking about science and math may sound daunting, in a preschool context it has to be playful, hands-on, and fun! Below are a few things we did earlier in the month exploring winter topics. Try them at home and see if you had as much fun as we did at the library.

Show Me a Story! (Why Picture Books Matter)

“Before they read words, children are reading pictures. In picture books, the illustrations work in concert with the text in a way that is unique among art forms.”

In the forward to Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators, award-winning author and illustrator David Wiesner explains why we celebrate National Picture Book Month in November (actually, MCPL Children’s Services Librarians celebrate them year-round! Here’s more from Wiesner about why we love picturebooks…):

Big Library Read features Nancy Clancy eBook

It’s always hard to say goodbye at a story’s end to characters you’ve grown fond of and enjoyed spending time with. That’s one of the great joys of series books and why they appeal to readers of all ages: you don’t have to say goodbye; you can look forward to meeting up with familiar characters in the next book.

Learning Right From Wrong with the Brief Thief

We often get requests for books that help teach children about proper rules of behavior – everything from sharing to telling the truth. While we frequently turn to our nonfiction collection for titles designed to teach children about specific subjects or topics, often picture books more powerfully portray the importance of doing the right thing.

The use of humor is one reason the messages in picture books can have a greater impact with children. And you can’t get much funnier with preschoolers (or even the K-2 crowd) than the word underpants – not to mention the word poo. (Please, don’t mention it!) The picturebook Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier uses both words in a span of a few pages while reminding readers that it’s not right to take things that don’t belong to you.

You see, poor Leon the Lizard finds himself without a necessary item after relieving himself. He notices an old pair of underpants hanging from a nearby tree branch and uses them to “finish his business.” As he discards the underpants behind a bush, a voice calls to him. It claims to be Leon’s conscience: “The little voice you hear inside your head whenever you get up to something naughty.” The voice continues: “… Since when are we allowed to touch other people’s things? What do they teach you in school, anyway?”

Leon never learns the real identity of his conscience, but readers will be amused to learn that the voice belongs to a rabbit who had been using the underpants to complete his superhero costume. We don’t learn his superhero name, but I’m guessing that it’s Superego.

Recommended for ages 3-8.

 

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