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August 2014

Sarah, Golden Library

Earlier in the year, our Teen Librarian was struck with an unfortunate bug and needed to stay home from work that day. There was a Tween Time scheduled for that afternoon, and although my specialty area is programming for the 3-and-under set, I bravely agreed to take on the tweens for an hour and a half.

We thought that we had a program activity lined up - but, unfortunately, the bin of program materials did not arrive as scheduled! I have to admit, I was a bit panicked. What on Earth was I going to do with a room full of tweens on such short notice??

Drooling dimpled babies? Terrible two-year old toddlers? No problem! 

Tweens?? Problem!!

Then it struck me. I'd use some of the toddler toys to make a super fun program. I'd do....Angry Birds!

I got out the foam blocks, connector toys and beanbags that we usually use at toddler programs. I scrounged up some styrofoam cups. Then I went to the internet and printed out some Angry Birds and Pigs to tape onto the beanbags and cups. Thus, live-action tabletop Angry Birds was born! :)

As luck would have it, I had a feisty group of tween boys at my program that day. They helped tape the Birds to the beanbags and the Pigs to the cups. Then, they took the blocks and got busy building elaborate levels to conquer with their Birds. And at last, it was time to launch! 

About 30 seconds later, 15 minutes worth of beautifully-constructed level lay in ruins on the table and floor. And the kids were psyched! They picked everything up and started to build all over again!

An hour and a half of tabletop Angry Birds later, parents stopped by to pick up their happy offspring who had nothing but good things to say about their program experience.

I have to admit, I had a ton of fun with the tweens that day. I'm still terrified of them, naturally, but we did have an awful lot of fun with toddler toys. ;)

Barbara, Evergreen Library

"Hush, hush, it's sleepytime for puppies." Read in a whispered voice. My mom could do it the best! Every night for as long as I can remember, my mom read to me and my brother as part of our bedtime routine. Hush, Hush, It's Sleeptime by Peggy Parish, a Little Golden Book, was my FAVORITE! It became just as important to my bedtime routine as brushing my teeth and squirrelling that last drink of water out of my parents. This book was first published in 1968, when I was just taking my first steps, and I still have my WELL loved, original, copy on my bookshelf. Think back to your favorite book as a child...Babar, Curious George, or maybe Madeline. The one book you could never get enough of, the one you had memorized and could "read" yourself. A life long love of reading begins with that one simple story. That's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights READ as one of their 5 practices designed to promote early literacy in young children.

How does reading with your young child help them get ready to read? The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL) states through:

Print Awareness

Children who have an awareness of print understand that the markings on the page represent spoken language. They understand that when adults read a book, what they say is based on the words on the page, rather than to the pictures.

Here’s a super story about what it looks like to learn how to “see” print.

Letter Knowledge

Learning letter names, shapes and sounds is a building block to being able to sound out words on a page. 

Phonological Awareness

The ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words.

Narrative Skills

The ability to describe things and events and tell stories.

Print Motivation

A child's interest in and enjoyment of books. A child with print motivation enjoys being read to, plays with books, pretends to write, and likes trips to the library.


Knowing the names of things.

Looking for a creative way to combine your local libraries summer reading program and fun at home?

"Here's a surefire way to build excitement around the written word. Inspired by book-bingo handouts used by librarians, we designed a treat-packed home version that rewards frequent and wide-ranging reading. Whether your kids are born bookworms or reluctant readers, they'll get a kick out of earning prizes through their bookish pursuits -- and never suspect that they're also boosting their literacy skills." - June/July 2014 issue Family Fun 

Check out A Simple Summer Reading Game, Book Bonanza for instructions.

I'm going to go home and find my Little Golden Book...hush, hush, it's sleepytime for readers.