Author Archive

Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Everyone Loves a Parade 

There are many opportunities to watch a parade this time of year. Whether you visit a high school football game or catch a holiday parade, the booming rhythm of a big band can get your child excited about music and movement.

Try out different instruments at home, then get ready to march! Pots and pans make great simple drums. Take turns leading the band. Set the tempo with a drum and play along as you march around the room. Practice playing fast and slow, quiet and loud.

Little Pig Joins the Band by David Hyde Costello provides lots of marching band inspiration. Each member of Little Pig’s family finds a place in the band, but Little Pig just can’t seem to find an instrument that works for him. Then he discovers that the band needs a leader!

For more musical inspiration, try one of KDL’s many classical music CDs available for children.

— Sara M. at the Sand Lake / Nelson Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: App Review — Go Away, Big Green Monster

Sunday, November 9th, 2014
The Go Away, Big Green Monster! app is a fun and interactive adaptation of the popular picture book of the same name by Ed Emberley. As in the book, the monster is assembled and then taken apart again as his various face parts are told to “go away.” Follow along as the author reads the book. Have fun changing the monster’s face. Being in control of this monster just might make him a little less scary to little ones. The app allows children to read the book alone or to sing along to a catchy musical version of the book. Watch the book come alive in this engaging app available for Apple, Android and Amazon devices.

— Julie R.  at KDL’s Caledonia Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — Little Green Peas

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors by Keith Baker

Keith Baker’s third concept book is sure to be a hit with your preschooler.  Baker’s previous books, LMNO Peas and 1-2-3 Peas, illustrate numbers and letters with the help of a fun-loving group of little peas.  This installment finds the peas exploring colors in large, two-page illustrations, perfect for sharing with a group.  Encourage them to repeat the phrase “little green peas” as it occurs after each new color.  In one-on-one reading, have your child point to and name the different activities the peas are doing.  Can you find the ladybug and paper airplane hidden in each scene? Ask which color is your child’s favorite.  Talking together about the pictures and asking questions are great ways to help get your child ready to read!

— Elizabeth W.  at KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Acorn Boxes

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Acorn Boxes

Autumn walks turn up special little treasures. We often come home with our pockets full of acorns, pebbles and maple tree wings. Appreciate nature’s tiny gifts by making a special acorn box to house small objects collected on walks. Use two small sections of a paper egg carton to form the top and bottom of the box. Paint the top egg cup brown and the bottom beige. Cut a ½” slit in the bottom of the brown cup and pull a ribbon loop through to form a handle.  Knot the ribbon on the inside of the cup.  Now place your little treasures in the other cup (the bottom of the box) and glue the top on. Children may want others to guess what’s in the box or simply keep the secret as a reminder of time spent outside in the fall. You can find this craft and others like it at All Free Kids Crafts.

— Dana D. at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 

 


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Fun with Scarves

Fall is a great time to incorporate scarves into music play. The flowing movement of the scarves simulates the movement of leaves floating down from the trees. Trying singing the following song together:

Autumn Leaves (to the tune of “London Bridge”)
Autumn leaves are falling down,
falling down, falling down.
Autumn leaves are falling down,
to the ground.

Red and yellow, orange and brown,
orange and brown, orange and brown.
Red and yellow, orange and brown,
on the ground.

With a scarf in each hand, children can practice swinging their arms in time to the rhythm or act out motions.

Scarves are a good way to combine music with movement.

Give children a dance challenge. Can you dance with the scarf on your head? Your knee? Continue to add body parts as children dance to the music.

Looking for good music to use with scarves? Try “Shake Your Scarves” from The Second Line: Scarf Activity Songs by Johnette Downing or “The Airplane Song” from Laurie Berkner’s Whaddaya Think of That!

— Sara M. at KDL’s Sand Lake / Nelson Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: App Review – iWriteWords

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

iWriteWords is a colorful and educational app that helps to teach kids letters, numbers and simple words. Use a finger to drag the crab character along a letter or number and follow the numbered dots to make the shape. When done correctly, you will hear the letter name. Drag the letter or tilt your device to drop the letter into the corner. When spelling words, a related picture will appear. The cute illustrations and easy-to-use format will engage a child while also helping children to recognize letters and their names. It also will help them begin to learn how to form letters, which aids in preparing them to be ready to write. Try other features as you change the letter size, practice with upper and lower case letters or tap the tune of the alphabet song. Sing, talk and read together as you try out this app available from the Apple app store. The Lite version is free, and the full version is $2.99.

– Julie R. at KDL’s Caledonia Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Countablock”

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli

Christopher Franceschelli, author of Alphablock, now explores numbers in this fun new counting book. Bright illustrations and thick board pages that are die cut into the shapes of numbers make this count book stand out. Two pages are devoted to each number: the first gives a number of objects and the second shows what those objects become. One acorn becomes one oak tree and two snowmen become two puddles on a sunny day. After number ten, the book starts counting by tens and eventually reaches one hundred. Have fun introducing young children to the names of numbers or counting by tens with older children as you share this book.

— Anjie Gleisner at KDL’s Walker Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Leafy Hedgehog

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Leafy Hedgehog

A crisp fall morning is a great time to enjoy a walk together. All kinds of interesting natural items fall to the ground in autumn. Talk about textures in nature with your child. Can you find leaves that are rough, wrinkly or spiky? Take a walk outside and collect a few interesting leaves to use to make a hedgehog craft.

Materials

  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Dried leaves

Directions

  1. Fold the plate in half
  2. Trim to match the profile of a hedgehog
  3. Add eyes, ears, nose and a smile with markers
  4. Fringe the curve of the plate with scissors OR
  5. Attach dry leaves to the curve with glue

Learn more about hedgehogs in the Homework Help section of KDL’s website. Then curl up together and read The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle in which a little girl searching for her lost handkerchief visits a very peculiar little hedgehog.

— Dana D. at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute – Transition Through Song

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Transitioning from one activity to the next can be difficult for young children. Music is an excellent way to make these transitions easier. Singing the same song for a regularly repeated activity helps children know what’s expected of them and what’s coming next.

Singing a short song during every diaper change helps babies understand that this “down time” is temporary and will be over when the song ends. It’s a great way to prevent wiggles and frustration at the changing table.

Singing a clean-up song while putting away signals to children that play time is over, and that they are expected to pick up toys. Songs can ease many transitions such as saying goodbye to family after a vacation visit or getting ready to send older siblings off to school.

Check out some of the circle time songs available at the library such as Ready, Set, Move by Greg & Steve or Rockin’ Red by Eric Litwin.

Try singing the following song on the way to school or library programs:

Off to Class We Go
(Sung to the tune of “A-Hunting We Will Go”)

Off to class we go,
It’s off to class we go,
We’ll sing some songs and read along,
With everyone we know.
Off to class we go,
It’s off to class we go,
We learn our ABCs and more,
With everyone we know.

Try adapting this song to different activities such as “off to work we go” or “off to sleep we go” “…sing a song and read along, because I love you so.”

— Sara M. at KDL’s Sand Lake/Nelson Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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Early Lit Bits: App Review – Beck and Bo

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Have fun and explore while playing Beck and Bo. This attractive and well-designed app will stimulate your child’s creativity and logic skills.  Drag-and-drop items as you build a scene and move the characters “Beck” and “Bo” around on their different adventures. When all items are correctly placed, players are rewarded with a virtual “album” where they can hear and see the names of the objects in the scenes. This app is not only fun to play, but also helps teach cause and effect, association skills and creative thinking. Play together as you explore the ocean, go to the store, travel on a safari and more! This app is available for both Apple and Android devices for $2.99.

— Julie R. at KDL’s Caledonia Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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