Author Archive

Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Recycled Planters and Watering Can

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Recycled Planters and Watering Can:Play-Grow-Read

Spring is just around the corner. It’s time to garden. Gardening teaches patience, nurturing skills and even builds vocabulary as children learn the names of different vegetables and plants. Repurpose containers from around the house to make fun planters and a simple watering can.

Materials:

  • Seeds (fast-growing seeds such as beans or grass work well)
  • Potting soil
  • Yogurt cups, coffee pods, old baby shoes, empty eggshells or stale ice cream cones
  • A one-gallon milk jug
  • Drill with small drill bit (adult use only)

To Make:

Look around the house for fun containers to use for planting. Any small plastic container will do. Stale flat-bottomed ice cream cones make excellent seedling planters and are completely biodegradable. Simply start a seed by sowing it in a cone filled with soil and plant the whole cone in the ground once the seedling is established. Outgrown shoes and boots also make fun outdoor planters too. Fill a planter with soil and sow the seeds according to the directions on the package. Water gently and set in a sunny window.

Make a simple watering can by drilling several small holes in the cap of a milk jug. Partially fill the jug with water so that it’s not too heavy for children to lift and screw the top on.  Encourage children to water the plants and observe the seeds as they sprout and grow.

To Use:

As the seeds sprout, talk about the different parts of the plant: the root, stem and leaves. Use a ruler to measure the plant every day or take a picture of the plant every day to record its growth.

–Anjie G. 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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KDL Top Ten — Adult Inspirational Fiction

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Stir the soul and brighten your day with this week’s Top Ten!  These are ten of the most popular Adult Inspirational Fiction titles at KDL this month:

Top Ten Adult Inspirational 04-18-2014

Tell us: What’s your favorite Inspirational title?

 


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Rhyme Time SmallDoes music make you smarter? According to many researchers, it does!  Children involved in music groups reap many benefits. Music helps children identify emotion and it can stimulate creativity. Experiences with musical instruments can improve motor and reasoning skills.

Rhyme Time at KDL is a great way for children to experience music. Kids and caregivers move and groove together with action rhymes, songs, games and hands-on musical activities. Rhyme Time is a great opportunity to learn new songs, explore music games and activities, and get hands on experience with basic musical instruments.

– 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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KDL Top Ten — Most Popular Items

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Check out what everyone else is reading and watching! Click on the link to the Top Ten list to find the hottest items at KDL right now:

Top Ten Most Popular 04-04-2014

And if you’re away from home this spring break, stop by our eBooks & Downloads page to discover all the fantastic books, movies, magazines and music KDL’s digital collection has to offer!

 


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Early Lit Bits: App Review — Hideout: Early Reading

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

HideoutHideout: Early Reading  is an app that helps kids learn to read through emphasizing letter sounds and word repetition. It also has catchy music and engagingly simple games to help keep users interested as they play. When playing, you have the option to choose a word ending and then play with the words in that “family.” Through activities such as popping kernels, breaking rocks or helping pets, words and sounds are reinforced as you blend them together to do the activities and read the sentences. Read and play together with your child while using this free app available from the Apple app store.

– 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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KDL Top Ten — Gardening Books

Friday, March 28th, 2014

This week’s Top Ten tills it like it is:  You’re one mowtivated bunch, KDL!  Here are the most popular books this month in our Garden section:

Top Ten Gardening 03-28-2014

And if this list makes you happy, check out information on our new Seed Library!


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Say Hello Like This”

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Say Hello Like ThisSay Hello Like This! by Mary Murphy

Dogs, cats, chickens and even donkeys have their own way of saying “hello” in this colorful picture book. Each page has a half-flap to lift, revealing how animals greet one another in their special way. Ask your child which animal has the funniest hello, and pretend you are that animal. Can you think of an animal not pictured in the book that says hello in a unique way? Playing pretend is a great way to practice language skills and gets your child ready to read!

– Liz W. at KDL’s Plainfield 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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KDL Top Ten — Michigan Travel

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Click on this week’s Top Ten list to view 10 of the most popular Michigan Travel books at KDL!

Top Ten Michigan Travel 03-21-2014

Do you have a favorite nearby destination for spring break fun? Please share your ideas with us!


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Flower Power

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Play-Grow-Read

Flower Power

It has been a very long and very cold winter. Help lift everyone’s spirits with this colorful home experiment that transforms the color of carnation flowers or celery stems. Talk about how plants and flowers “drink” water by taking it up the stem of the plant. Try mixing different drops of food coloring in the same cup of water to make secondary colors such as purple.

Materials

  • several plain white carnations (or several sticks of celery with leaves)
  • food coloring
  • water
  • mason jars, vases or tall drinking glasses

Directions

  1. Add about 20-30 drops of food coloring to each of the cups of water (red, blue, and green)
  2. Before placing any of the flowers in the cups of water, have an adult trim the stem of each flower at an angle to create a fresh cut. Try to cut the stem while it is underwater. (If air gets into the stem, the water will not travel as well up the stem to color the flower.)
  3. Place a freshly cut white carnation in each of the cups of colored water and check on the flowers every few hours to see what happens. Save a couple white carnations for the idea below.

Other Ideas

Have an adult helper use a sharp knife to slit the stem of a carnation straight down the middle. Put each half of the stem into a cup of different colored water. See what happens to the flower. Read Lois Ehlert’s Planting a Rainbow to learn about the names and colors of flowers. Go to the store to pick out seed packets to plant in your garden this spring!

–Anjie G. 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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KDL Top Ten — Freegal Downloads

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Time to face the music — Try KDL’s Freegal Music site today!  Download DRM-free MP3 files for millions of songs from Sony Music. And while you’re visiting, check out “My Library Top 10“:

Top Ten Freegal 03-14-2014


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