Baby Time 1.12.15

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Greetings!

We experienced another chilly Monday morning to start off our week. During Baby Time, we all read together the story How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?  by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. I chose this title because putting away toys and items is something the children experience at the end of each Baby Time when we clean-up together. I know some of the children enjoy cleaning. Last week, Margaret’s mother shared with me that her daughter has a toy broom that she likes to use at home. It was Margaret that sang the clean-up song during play time this week while she put balls into their container. I also chose to share this title because I wanted to introduce the families to the “How Do Dinosaurs” series of books by Yolen and Teague which includes my favorite, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

I invite you to view the slideshow from this week’s Baby Time play time. While documenting the children’s play, I observed that William and his older sister Gemma desired gross motor play. William picked up a ball and threw it. Then he chased it and grabbed the same or a new ball to repeat the process. He and Gemma would look for challenging places to walk, like the small ramp or the raised section of the sensory mats. William climbed on the chair by the paint and then quickly climbed back down to the ground.  Gemma climbed quickly through the tunnel, and when she had it all to herself, she rolled and turned her entire body to move the entire tunnel.

Nate was less interested in gross motor play and more interested in painting. His mom painted his feet, and he decided that he wanted to use the brushes to make marks on the paper. His mom cleaned him, and Nate played with other toys and then came back to the paint to do more.

Twins Gemma and Gianna, and Margaret seemed to float from one play area to the next. They interacted with the different toys and observed the other children play.

Charlie, the baby of the group today, did most of his exploring by using his hands to grasp and feel objects like the snow and the toys.

Next week is a holiday and the library is closed, so I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at the next Baby Time on Monday, January 26, at 10:10 am.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

 

 

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Toddler Story Time on January 8, 2015

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Hi everyone!

What an exciting start to the new year! The toddlers really enjoyed getting back into the story time routine after our open play time in December. We started with “A New Way to Say Hello” where we practiced blinking our eyes, stomping our feet, and playing our horns! The newest activity for story time this session is the nursery rhyme and song die! Each child took turns rolling the die, and then we all said the rhyme, sang the song, and danced! It was so much fun!

We all read the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr. together. Each child had their own copy of the book to hold as I read the story aloud to the group. I will be ordering multiple copies of the same book each week so we can all practice reading together! The best part of story time for everyone was the bubbles! We all tried to catch bubbles on our fingers and really enjoyed looking at the bubbles that landed in everyone’s hair!

Enjoy this week’s slide show!

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Until next week,

Miss JoAnna

Reminder: We are going to be getting messy on Thursday in play time, so please dress in clothes that can get messy! :-)

 

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Baby Time 1.5.15

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Greetings!

I hope all our families enjoyed celebrating their holiday traditions with each other and had a Happy New Year. We have had a chilly week that has likely kept young children indoors.  It may feel too cold to be outside with your young child, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t experience the outdoor wonders inside the comfort of their home. Bring the outside inside! Snow shouldn’t be wasted. I encourage parents to get a storage container and fill it with snow. Bring it inside, and set the container on a blanket on the floor. Add to the container different toys: things to scoop, fill, and pretend. Follow up the play experience with a great book about snow, like Baby Loves Winter or The Snowy Day.

I know the children at Baby Time have snow on their minds because last Monday, I observed some children calling the shredded paper and bubbles snow. I have made that connection before with the shredded paper. It was a new perspective for me with the bubbles. Imagine a room full of small color-catching bubbles gently descending. It does draw parallels to new fallen snowflakes.

If there is snow still outside on Monday morning, I will bring some in during the Baby Time play time for the children to play with to continue to build on their interest in snow, and their interest in filling and emptying containers.

I do my best to take pictures and notes during Baby Time. I do so to provide documentation for the parents and children about their experiences. I also do it to help me decide what to present at my next Baby Time. Upon reflection, some observations stood out to me from our play time that I want to share.

Last Monday next to the large shredded paper container I had a large empty container for the children, like Harper last week, to transfer the paper. Ella found a rubber duck and brought the empty container to me and told me right away that her duck needed water. I love it when the children interpret the play materials differently than I do. I filled up the container with a few inches of water, and she put the duck in it. Afterwards, she played with the duck and added shredded paper and pretended the duck was searching for food. Ella, Margaret and others added more paper, and soon it looked like the duck was hiding in a marsh.

Nate and his mother were playing with the light table toys. Nate smelled the containers. I found out it was similar to a container he had at home that has something in it with an appealing smell. Next Monday I will have to have something during play time that encourages children to use their sense of smell.

I want to also have something at next Monday’s Baby Time that allows the children to continue to experiment with the idea of things that roll. Sebastian liked rolling the marbles on the music tree. At one point, he switched to acorns and observed that they did not roll as well because sometimes one would get stuck half-way down and create a sort of traffic jam. Another child rolled a ball with me and then tried to roll a paper cup.

The slideshow contains pictures taken of play at the light table. I try to be diligent and capture images and take notes of the children’s investigative play, but I can’t always be everywhere. I observed clusters of children at the light table including Nate and his mother and visits from almost every child during play time. I did not get a chance to take notes about their discoveries, but I thought the pictures were still valuable to see.

Please take a look at the slideshow to see the fun the children had during last Monday’s Baby Time, and I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces next Monday.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Preschool Story Time: January 8, 2015

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Hi everyone!

Thursday was such a fun morning at preschool story time! To help us get excited about Miss KT’s stuffed animal sleepover event, we talked about teddy bears! We all particularly enjoyed Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess. Nora was especially excited when she figured out who the surprise person was at the end! We also looked at the beautiful illustrations in Kadir Nelson’s 2014 book Baby Bear.

All of the children, both older and younger, were amazed by my Gymboree bubbles! Everyone enjoyed catching them on our fingers, watching them float all around the room, and laughing as bubbles stuck to each other’s hair. Bubbles will definitely be making more appearances this month!

After story time and bubbles, the children thought of creative ways to position stuffed animals and toys in the library to create silly pictures! Evie, Nora, Miranda, and Wyatt took turns creating silly scenes and using my iPhone to take their own pictures! This week’s slide show is filled with the pictures and video that the children designed and took themselves. (Only the very first picture was taken by me!)

I hope you enjoy all of the silly antics at the library this week!

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Until next time,

Miss JoAnna

Reminder: Next week I am hoping to have lots of messy activities to promote our messy play day on Saturday, January 17. Please dress ready to make a mess at story time!

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Baby Time 12.29.14

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Hi,

We had another fun Baby Time this morning! There isn’t much snow outside…yet…but I found a winter slideshow theme with penguins in it that I think your child will enjoy watching when you share today’s slideshow.

The play time featured shredded paper, which the children loved experiencing in their own way. It is an inexpensive open-ended toy that your child will make his or her own. Gianna liked putting in inside of a container while Harper and Daffney liked traveling with it. Another favorite toy was the music tree that plays different sounds when marbles travel down the leaves. Elias spotted this toy right away even before story time started.

Today we read the book Baby at the Farm by the very popular Karen Katz. I selected this book because it is a touch-and-feel book. These types of books are great to not only engage the child but also to expose children to different textures, which is great for neurological development. It is easy and beneficial to help your baby have these different sensory experiences. Touching rough sticks, pokey pine needles, soft grass, silky ribbons, sticky tape, and other easy-to-find materials both natural and man made is something your child will love to experience and is really an easy and inexpensive way to nurture your child’s natural curiosity.

As always, thank you to the families that joined me today. Also, a big thanks to the parents that helped clean up after story time. :-)

-Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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The Importance of Telling Stories

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Over the last few weeks, I have been exploring the idea of talking to children and sharing stories with them. One of my favorite activities, both as a librarian and as a parent, is to talk with children and share ideas. As Jennifer Birckmayer, Anne Kennedy, and Anne Stonehouse argue in their book From Lullabies to Literature: Stories in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers (2008), talking with children matter for very young children by “enrich[ing] children’s lives, strengthen[ing] relationships, and support[ing] their emergent literacy.” We as adults in our society can support the early literacy of children by simply talking with them.

From Lullabies to Literature presents eleven ways that “sharing stories” or information with children can help to bridge the word gap and prepare children for life-long learning. (Fore more information on the thirty million word gap please refer to Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture Site: http://centerforeducation.rice.edu/slc/LS/30MillionWordGap.html)

1. Access Information: discover answers to simple and complex questions such as “Why is the sky blue?” and “Why does eating my vegetables make my mom happy?”

2.Learn New Concepts

3. Learn to wonder and ask questions and have the satisfaction of getting answers to their questions: not only does this allow children to contemplate what they do and do not know, but children will begin to gain confidence and trust that their questions are valid and will be answered

4. Experience the rhythms, rhymes, and beauty of language

5. Reflect on and clarify past experiences and link them to the present: reading a variety of books and looking at the wide range of their illustrations will help children link their personal experiences with similar situations and concepts

6. Anticipate experiences that lie ahead: for example, books about going to the doctor can help prepare children for a checkup.

7. Become informed about experiences they may not have had: telling stories about a favorite vacation spot, holiday, or other experience can stretch the child’s imagination and help their world view grow

8. See a reflection of themselves and their experiences: like individuals of all ages, children enjoy “Just like me!” moments in oral and written stories

9. Be lifted out of the tedium of daily routines

10. Imagine: stories can stimulate children’s ability to think beyond their daily lives

11. Have fun!

There are so many ways that you can tell stories with a child. You can read a book, explore a digital app, talk about the clothes you are putting on to go outside, describe the meal you are cooking, or develop a story with their toys. There is no right way to develop a child’s love of language and self-exploration; exposing a child to words, ideas, and images from their first day of life is a key way to enrich a child’s life and instill a life-long love of learning.

If you are interested in more information about early literacy, please ask any library staff member!

Have a great week, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Highland Square Branch Library!

Until next time,

Miss JoAnna

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Baby Time: December 22, 2014

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Hi everyone!

Leading baby time this morning was such a special surprise for me! One of the best parts about being part of a children’s librarian team here at Highland Square is having another person to share ideas and programming. While I usually work with the toddlers and preschooler groups on Thursday, sharing books, rhymes, songs, and activities with babies and early walkers is something I love and enjoy seeing new faces when I can.

This week, we practiced some sign language with the song “The More We Get Together”.  Here is a link to a video if you would like to practice at home!

The More We Get Together

We also sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, the alphabet, and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Everyone really loved “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and were dancing and jumping to the CD by the end! We also practiced getting dressed with “The Dressing Song” and moving our arms to the rhyme “Roly Poly”. We read Baby Faces by Orli Zuravicky and My Day: Playtime.

My favorite activity to watch at this morning’s baby time was the children’s interest in the shredded paper. The younger children explored by grabbing fist fulls of paper to experience the different texture of the paper. The older children enjoyed tossing the paper in the air, watching it fall down, and hearing the babies laugh as a result. The kids kept saying “It’s snowing!” because the white shredded paper looked like snow when it fell to the ground and got stuck on everyone’s clothes. Two short videos are included in this week’s slideshow! Look at how much fun we had!

 

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Until next time,

Miss JoAnna

 

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Baby Time 12.15.14

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Hello,

Like the children who come to my programs, I am always experimenting. I have been observing that I get a mixed age group of children at Baby Time, and they all love music and movement. With that in mind, instead of doing rhymes with the shakers, last week we danced with the shakers to “The Freeze” by Greg and Steve. The children and parents shook the shakers to the music’s beat, and then when the music stopped, we all stopped shaking our shakers until the music started again. The children had fun dancing to this. I observed Alice, who is less than a year old,  moving her arms and upper body to dance when we listened to different songs.

Because I have a mixed age group of children, I am also doing less bouncing and tickler rhymes at the beginning of Baby Time. I want to allow as much time as possible for play. I observed the children really benefit from the mixed age group. We recently acquired a new, small light table that can be put on the floor for young babies. Charlie and Alice were able to play with this light table better than they would be able to interact with the large one that stands off the ground. Gemma played at the new light table with the two young children, and they benefited from her guidance as she set out new items of interest on the table and arranged them.

Gemma also played with Ellen at the projector, another popular tool used to experiment with light. Miss JoAnna’s programming gave me the idea to put dry-erase markers and an eraser at the projector. Ellen and Gemma made marks and were fascinated with how they could draw something and then make it disappear with the eraser.

I get so many wonderful ideas from Miss JoAnna, other children’s librarians, parents, and educators. Last week Corrine’s mom told me about mixing baking soda with conditioner to make snow. I still have to experiment with that. I am currently reading the book Designs for Living and Learning and find it a wealth of inspiration for me as an educator and a parent. It is filled with colorful pictures of children at work playing in the coolest learning spaces. I highly recommend it.

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As always, I want to thank the families that joined me earlier this week at the library, and I look forward to seeing everyone again at next Monday’s  Baby Time.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Investigations: An Open Play Time 12/18/2014

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Hi everyone!

What a great ending to this month’s Investigations! I am so impressed at the thoughtfulness and growth of these little minds!

Building on the preference for dumping materials and transferring materials between containers, we focused a lot of attention today on fine motor skills. Kayleigh, Nora, Noah, and Wyatt practiced using the tongs today, while Brady, Chase, and Nora explored eye droppers with watercolors. Wyatt, Liam, Sawyer, and Hannah all focused on pouring, scouping, and transferring between tables at the rice funnel station. At one point, Tatum brought some small pom poms to the rice pouring activity and created some interesting texture differences!

We used the overhead projector again today with dry-erase markers. Hannah almost absentmindly drew on the screen while watching other kids while Alanna demonstrated incredible focus on her scribbles. This is a great activity that we will continue using to practice early writing, focus our attention on light and shadow, and expand on the idea of projecting.

The musical insturments and toy cupboard were also big hits today. Eli really enjoyed sharing the magnets on the door with Bull and Liam. Tatum further explored the idea of electronic musical toys with a band set I brought from home. Every time she pushed a button a new rhythm would play, and she danced!

Toting things around and grasping new objects was a new interest that Sasha, Bull, and many of the younger kids demonstrated. In January, I will include more opportunities for sensory exploration and grasping.

Thank you all again for sharing your children with me and celebrating their growth and inquiry! I look forward to seeing everyone back in January for story time!

Please enjoy this week’s slideshow video!

 

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Until Next Time,

Miss JoAnna

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Investigations: An Open Play Time 12/11/2014

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Hi everyone!

This week at Explorations, the kids began to showcase specific interest in a variety of future study topics.

Chase and Brady began showing a distinctive interest in transferring materials from one container to the floor, Zoe expressed an interest in moving materials from one container to another, and many of the other children investigated moving materials used in one activity to another activity. This upcoming week, I will offer more ways to investigate material transfer using different textures, weights, and containers.

Many of the children were extremely captivated by the overhead projector. The most interesting, and revealing, interaction occurred between Wyatt, Noah, and Tatum. Wyatt approached the overhead by himself, picked up a marker, and began coloring on the screen. After a minute of coloring, he realized from previous experiences with the overhead projector that something was projected on the wall. He investigated that by drawing a mark, looking up at the wall, and then looking back at the screen. He did this over and over again until he looked confident that he understood the cause and effect of drawing on the overhead. After a bit, Tatum and Noah joined Wyatt at the overhead. At first, the two younger children just watched Wyatt marking on the overhead and looking back at the wall. Tatum then walked in front of the projector and began examining the light and lens. Noah picked up a marker and began drawing like Wyatt. After a minute or so, the interaction changed:

Noah: Why no work?

Wyatt (looking at Noah): The cap is on. Let me take it off.

Wyatt took off the cap and handed it back to Noah.

Wyatt: Now draw.

At this point, Tatum had picked up a drum stick and began to move it on the screen. Wyatt took the drum stick from his sister, colored on the end of it, and told her to color now. Wyatt then began coloring on the eraser and any other materials nearby and testing to see if they would transfer ink from the object to the projector screen. The children continued to investigate the relationship between what they were doing and the projection on the wall and how different materials transferred ink. Along with MJ’s interest in color mixing the color blocks on the light table, we will further explore these topics next week using different art mediums and color mixing.

Imaginative Play was also a major facet of play time this week. Chase and Brady pretended the soft materials were fireworks when they threw them up in the air, Noah pretended to feed the alligator magnets, and Tatum, Noah, Tess, Chase, and Zoe all pretended to be or take care of the safari and farm animals. Zoe spent over half an hour pretending to be a cow or chicken at one of the play houses.

Zoe:

Cow Fell Down.

Cow Go Inside.

Cow Trying to Eat.

Juice. Juice.

Next week we will continue using the animals and other toys for imaginative play and exploration. Please enjoy this week’s slideshow. I was truly amazed at how inquisitive, smart, and inventive the kids in play time were this week! I love spending my Thursday mornings with such a great group of kids (and grownups). :-)

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Until next week,

Miss JoAnna

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