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

Missed Storytime This Week? Check Out Our Dots and Circles Theme!

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

To celebrate International Dot Day, our Storytime week featured dots and circles. We also have a passive activity in our Youth area to promote creativity and individualism that allows you to create freely. Feel free to take a look at additional activities online, or in our handouts, which features Process-Based Circle Painting.

Acka Backa Rhyme

Acka Backa Soda Cracker 
Acka Backa Soda Boo
Acka Backa Soda Cracker
Up Goes You (raise child up!)


(repeat)


Tip: Nonsense words can help children make new and complicated sounds!

Missed Storytime This Week? Check out our Emotions Theme!

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

Check out our Storytime featuring different emotions! Speaking of emotions, we are excitedly launching our new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which can help you build strong early literacy skills and bonding. The library will have lots of storytimes and special programs to give you tips and encouragement along the way! Check out our Mood of the Day cups on this week’s craft!




“Slowly, Very Slowly”
Tip: This is one that engages the sense of touch, while also teaching opposites. Engaging multiple senses can help a child learn new things.


slowly,very slowly creeps the garden snail
slowly, very slowly, up the wooden rail 
quickly, very quickly, runs the little mouse 
quickly, very quickly, around the house 

Missed Storytime This Week? Learn More About Opposites!

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

Take a look at all of the different rhymes, books, or make your own DIY Opposites Puzzle! Also, if you’re not already, be sure to sign up for our new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program and earn prizes for books in Storytime and the reading you do at home. You can register using Beanstack, which is the same program used for Summer Reading.

You’re My Little Baby (I’m a Little Teapot Version)


You’re my little baby
soft and sweet
here are your hands
here are your feet


I love my baby so soft and sweet
here are your hands
here are your feet


tip: song does not have to rhyme and is great for body parts. It is easy to interchange body parts in the song.