Program Review: Tips for Better Sleep

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

What would be the first thing you would do after a good night’s sleep? That was a question that was recently posed at our Early Literacy Event. Recently, Katie Guzan, a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, gave a presentation on how both young children and their caregivers can get better sleep. It was beneficial for both kids and adults alike. Please enjoy some of these tips below, or check out more from Sleep Wise Consulting.

Discussing the impact of sleep props for young people

Discussing the importance of a bedtime routine!

Books & Bites, Jr. – Back to School

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy.

Join us for our brand new book club, Books & Bites, Jr., specially designed for families to explore and share books together. Our first session will be about back to school. It will take place on Wednesday, September 16 at 6-7pm on Zoom! You can register here. No library required & all are welcome.

We have created FREE PROGRAM KITS that you can pick up at the library or schedule curbside pick-up. We have included our program hand-out, snacks, supplies for our craft, and of course, book swag. Feel free to give us a call at the library to reserve your kit, which supplies last. You can also pick up your kit after the event.

We will be discussing The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López, & Yasmin the Teacher by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly. You can borrow these books from our library or put them on hold in Overdrive.  You can also watch out the videos below before or after the program and continue the discussions with your children.

But, wait, there’s more!

Sign up for our next Books & Bites, Jr, when we’ll celebrate Superheroes on October 14 at 6pm!

We are also honored to welcome back Saadia Farqui to our virtual library on October 28 at 3:30pm and celebrate her middle-grade books, A Place at the Table (co-written by Laura Shovan) and A Thousand Questions! You can register here.

Additional Resources

Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

The King of Kindergarten Crown Craft

The Day You Begin Lesson Plan

Meet Yasmin! Activities

Read Aloud Revival Podcast 

Exploration Station Review: Light and Heavy

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

Want to do some crafts at home, as well as explore some scientific principles? Here’s what we did at exploration station this week. You can join us on Thursdays at 11:30 for a new theme every week. This week was light and heavy. We read Balance the Birds, which is a great introduction to the scientific idea of weight, balance, and logic!

We did three activities. The first was a “Does it float?” station, which had two small bins filled half way with water. There was a wide variety of objects – all of which could be found in a house – cloth, pens, magnets, and more. Kids were able to explore whether or not they float, with caregivers asking questions along the way. It allowed kids to think through the idea of weight and how to apply it practically.

Some of our items for our “Does it Float?” Station

The second activity was to use an actual balancing scale. Many kids had not interacted with one before, and found it fascinating to see how directly weight impacted the scale. The fact that some bigger items were not always heavier was a main theme throughout the program.

The final program was to make a DIY scale. Kids used cups with a hole punched in it. They then used string or yarn to make a loop through the hole. They then connected the string to ends on a Popsicle stick. Kids were proud to be able to utilize scales themselves, and excited they could continue to play with weight at home.

Working on our DIY Scales

Join us on Thursdays for more Exploration Stations!

Exploration Station Activities: Magnets

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

For our first exploration station of the new year, we looked at all the different things magnets can do! We did three activities after going over what a magnet is, focusing on what things are magnetic, and what they are.

Our first activity was Magnetic Sensory Painting. We used a paper plate, paper clips, magnet wands and paint. Using a magnet underneath the plate, kids could drag the paper clips to paint their own masterpiece!

Magnet Sensory Paintings
Magnet Sensory Painting

Our second activity was DIY magnets. Kids cut out letters, pictures, and used paper magnets to explore how they can use magnets in their own everyday life.

DIY Mangets

Our last activity was a magnet Sensory Bin, which is all about figuring out what is magnetic and what is not! Kids dug and explored through a bin to find the magnetic items and sorted them between magnetic and non-magnetic. This gave kids hands-on experience to deepen their understanding of magnetism, as well as promoted classification and sorting, an early math skill. What activities will we do next week? Visit us on Thursdays at 11:30am to find out!

Early Literacy Activities: Exploring Textures and Senses

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Uncategorized.

At our weekly Exploration Station: STEAM Play, which takes place every Thursday at 11:30am, we looked at textures and senses. We read a touch, play, and feel book about Food, which got kids excited about different feelings. It was a great way to get kids excited about the theme, and understand it, as so many kids explore food on a daily basis.

Our first activity was “Touch Painting.” Kids put on blindfolds. By taking away the sense of sight, kids could focus on the sense of feel (and touch), by painting. Kids were shocked at the new sensations, even though they had painted before. They were also surprised at what they could create without using sight.

Touch Painting

The second activity was called “What’s Inside?” Kids played with a bunch of different materials. We gave them a sheet with lots of different feel and texture words to help encourage them to describe the feelings they were experiencing. They then used blindfolds again to reach into the bags and see if they could identify the items in the bag, again using both senses and textures, as well as putting their vocabulary to use. Kids loved seeing the contrast between all of the different materials, and were excited to see how good their identification and explanation was throughout the game. Both activities kept kids coming back. We hope to see you there on Thursdays for new themes!

What’s Inside?

Missed Storytime? Check Out These Tips

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Youth & Teen.

Tip: By playing with each individual finger or toe, a child can better learn how each individual part can make up a whole, and gain additional awareness of their body. This rhyme can be used to accomplish this, while bonding with a child.

Kissy Kissy Fingers

Kissy Kissy Fingers
kissy kissy toes 
I love to kiss my baby 
on her kissy kissy nose

Weekly Storytime Tip! Little Red Wagon

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Youth & Teen.




Tip: Repetition is key for learning language and a key part of developing good literacy habits. This rhyme is a good example, along with re-reading books. Sign up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten for more information.
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon 
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon 
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon 
Won’t You Be My Baby?

Missed Storytime This Week? Learn Apple Themed Tips and Tricks

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Youth & Teen.

With the fall season approaching, take a look at Apple Themed Storytime activities, including an apple and worm lacing activity, using a paper plate, markers, crayons, scissors and yarn! Most all of our crafts can be replicated at home for more fun and convenience. Also take a look at our Afternoon Family (Slightly) Scary Storytime in October!

A Mouse in the House

Tip: Using simple stories combined with rhythm can be a great way to introduce kids to stories and help them remember.

Missed Storytime This Week? Check Out Our Special Fall Storytime Walk and Author Visit

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Youth & Teen.

Last week, we featured a special Fall-themed “Do-It-Yourself” Storytime, with stories, sensory materials, and crafts that you can do with your child at any time. Take a look on our Instagram page, and be sure to check back in the winter for another Storytime walk. We also had a special Storytime with author Dahlia Richards. Take a look at her book about moving from Jamaica to the Chicagoland area.

Author Dahlia Richard’s, of Amoya’s Big Move, shares her story of moving to the Chicagoland area from Jamaica in a special, interactive Storytime!
Bounce and Stop

Bounce and bounce and bounce and stop (X3) 

Bounce, bounce, bounce to the top

tip: showing the contrast between movement and stopping is a valuable skill to incorporate into rhymes or songs and will allow children to understand the difference when they are older