Let reading color your world: Kids summer reading kicks off June 1

Reading Colors Your World

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Friends, can you believe summer is almost here? It feels like winter was just last month and also a full year ago! But the calendar does not lie: our summer reading program, Reading Colors Your World, starts next week on June 1! Kids, like adults, have been doing their best … Read more

Rhythm & rhyme & harmony: Videos & activities to help early learners practice self-regulation

Toddler clapping

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris This week, I shared a video on using breathing to regulate your body when you’re feeling stressed or getting too excited on a fun day. A lot of the songs we sing and games we play in storytime help kids practice self-regulation: kids are following patterns in movement and song, … Read more

Sharing books when you don’t feel like reading: Videos & activities for early learners

Grumpy baby with book

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris What do you think of when you see a book? Are books something stressful? Boring? Magical? Exciting? Something in between? All of those reactions are valid. Right now, I feel a little sad when I see books. Because of the stress of the pandemic, I don’t have the mental energy … Read more

Beyond ‘Twinkle Twinkle’: Videos & activities for early learners

Instruments and music notes

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris This week, the Fred Rogers Center shared an article from Zero to Three about the power of music for infants and toddlers. It ties music to key early development skills: physical, thinking, language, and literacy skills. As a librarian, I know the value of music; that’s why so much of … Read more

Wild, witty, wonderful words: Videos & activities for early learners

Letter tiles

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Marvelous! Splendiferous! Sensational! There are so many delightful and fun words that exist. The more words that kids know, the easier it will be for them to decode and read them when they’re ready.  Preschoolers young and old love to use big fancy words. How many can you use together? … Read more

Spring sensory play: Videos & activities for early learners

Child and grownup examining tulips

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Play is how kids learn.  We say this so often because it’s one of the most important things for adults who raise or work with kids to remember. Librarians included! Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn best when they can explore the things and world around them in their own way … Read more

Take a music & movement break: Videos & activities for early learners

Music notes on background

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Music is a valuable way for kids to learn! Songs can help kids hear how words are made, listen better to instructions, and take important movement breaks. All of these things will support kids when they are learning in school. Caregivers can use slow songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to … Read more

Sounds, science & snow: Videos & activities for early learners

Snowflakes

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris What kind of things do you hear during the winter? When there’s a lot of snow on the ground, it can actually be very quiet! Until a snowplow comes by. Or the wind starts blowing and whistling. Or kids start playing in the snow.  There are many benefits to paying … Read more

How to help young kids process upsetting events in the news

Ruthie and Miss Jenny talking

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Well, 2021 has certainly begun right where 2020 left off: with a lot of tough topics. Even our youngest kids know when big or upsetting things happen in the news. They may not know the details, but they can see and feel the strong emotions of their grownups and that … Read more

Virtual learning for early learners: Take a sad year & make it better

Take a Sad Year & Make It Better: Tips for helping kids share memories and deal with difficult emotions

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Every year, our final Early Bird Reader tip we send via text (Want weekly early learning tips from the Oak Park Public Library? Sign up now for Early Bird Readers ») is to share stories about the year that’s ending. Sharing memories is a great way to practice narrating stories, … Read more

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