Do you have a new or reluctant reader in your family? For many kids reading to a furry friend, or an awesome Teen Volunteer would make reading practice more enjoyable. Jefferson County Public Library's PAWS for Reading, and Reading Buddies leaves kids wanting to read even more.
At PAWS for Reading, kids who are learning to read, and who are building confidence in their reading skills read with a dog friend from Animals 4 Therapy. Dogs are perfect reading companions. They create a relaxed, comfortable and safe environment for sharing books. Each dog comes with a kind person who is also trained to assist, and encourage during your child's reading experience.
Drop in, or register your child for a 15-minute independent reading session, one week in advance by visiting the library or calling (303)235-5275 (JCPL). Children must be able to read independently.
Available at these locations.
- Arvada: 2nd & 3rd Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Columbine: 1st & 2nd Saturdays from 1-3 P.M.
- Evergreen: 1st Mondays at 4:00 p.m.
- Golden: 1st & 2nd Saturdays from 2-4 p.m.
- Lakewood: 2nd Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.
- Standley Lake (Reservations only at the library) 3rd Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.
Arvada Library Reading Buddies help promote literacy skills and a love of reading for kids grades K - 3. This twice weekly one-hour program helps kids develop reading skills and confidence by pairing them with one of our awesome Teen Volunteers who are trained to provide special attention and support. Little Buddies will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. While registration is not required, you can guarantee a session by calling 303-235-5275 (JCPL), online at jeffcolibrary.org, or in person at the Arvada Library.
Spring Session: Feb. 17-April 27th
- Wednesdays from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
- Saturdays from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
One the most fantastic ways to bond with your child is through being silly and laughing together. But let’s not stop there! Did you know using humor is also beneficial to enhancing learning, teaching empathy and self–regulation in kids?
An article from KidsHealth emphasizes that “Laughing together is a way to connect, and a good sense of humor also can make kids smarter, healthier, and better able to cope with challenges.” Children who develop a good sense of humor increase their ability to:
- see things from many perspectives other than the most obvious
- be spontaneous
- grasp unconventional ideas or ways of thinking
- see beyond the surface of things
- enjoy and participate in the playful aspects of life
- not take themselves too seriously
Books that emphasize humor encourage this as well. That’s why I believe reading silly stories is one of the best ways to nurture and encourage a developing sense of humor. You have a perfect opportunity to use different voices, make noises, be dramatic and sometimes sing silly songs too! Here are a couple of great titles that should get you and your pre-school/ early grade school child laughing heartily together:
Laughter is contagious and we could all use more of it in our lives. In fact, Psychology Today points out that the average 4 year old laughs about 300 times a day. The average 40 year old? ONLY about 4 times a day!
Here are some other fun tips from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on how to incorporate humor into daily life:
- Try tongue twisters together
- Make up silly rhymes
- Sing silly songs
- Be absurd! “What should we make for breakfast? Pickle pancakes?!”
- Replace key words in familiar songs
- Have a silly face contest
Let’s celebrate silly stories and bring a little more humor and laughter into our lives!
I have a preschooler. He is three years old. Three is a fun age and honestly, a challenging age. Some parents agree with me when I say that the age of "The Terrible Two's" was cake compared to the "Three-nager" years. Preschoolers are lively, they can finally say all those cute thoughts inside their minds, and they are out to explore the world around them with diligence. What engages those little minds? What are their interests? Recently, I learned some helpful, fun facts about Preschoolers from the librarians from the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy.
- Preschoolers are into sorting objects-This could be a fun Winter Break activity you could do at home with various things like legos. Sort them into group by color. Or gather some rocks from outside to sort by size. Or fill the bathroom sink with water to experiment what household objects sink or float. Be sure to ask your child why the apple floats. Count and record the sinking and floating items. This engages their minds. Simple experiments and sorting.
Opposites Books demonstrate sorting catagories. For example light and heavy things are opposite and can be sorted into two different groups.
- Preschoolers are growing in their emotional intelligence-My three year old has been sharing stories of compassion and he can now better understand how other people are feeling. We really enjoy reading Mo Willems' books because of all the amazing illustrations of various facial expressions and their matching emotions.
- They are developing creative and abstract thinking-They enjoy Non-Fiction books, Poems, and books with complex or detailed illustrations.
Try some Non-Fiction books with beautiful pictures. They find animals interesting and beautiful.
Music Class Today is fun to read for adults. It's rythmic. My son loves it too bcause of the complex, interesting illustrations.
There is something so special about a Snow Day. As a child, my brother, sisters and I would suit up and spend the day outside making snow angels, building snow forts and creating snow families. Whether you love being out in the snow or staying warm inside with a cup of hot cocoa, a snow day is a lovely surprise at any age.
Here are some snow-inspired books perfect for a day inside or for curling up together after a snowy adventure outside.
Snow by Sam Usher. A sweet story about a little boy who waits for grandpa to play in the snow.
The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel. Yetis love all things winter, but also need a little warmth and sunshine from time to time.
Froggy Se Viste or Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. One of my favorites in Spanish or English. Froggy wants to play in the snow, but mom has to remind him to put on his winter clothes!
Up & Down by Britta Teckentrup. Little Penguin wants to visit his friend on a faraway iceberg. A lovely lift the flap book that teaches positional vocabulary words (high above, deep below...).
Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger. Twos friends who aspire to be in the Winter Olympics find joy in the journey of practice and perseverance.
When I Grow Up by Emma Dodd. About to hit the shelves at the library! This book is a beautiful short story of how little bear wants to be like his parent when he grows up.
Image credit: Flickr
Twenty-five years ago thriteen pieces of art were stolen from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston. The art has never been recovered, except in the pages of Pieces and Players, the latest installment in mystery writer Blue Balliett's Chigaco based detective series. Her five detective heros from earlier books join forces to find, at last, the thirteen pieces of art, worth over 500 million dollars. The art has been missing only a few weeks, and Petra, Calder, Tommy, Early, and Zoomy use their unique abilities to try crack the case, with the help of thier teacher, art benefactor Mrs. Sharpe, and her mysterious nephew. Whatever the outcome of this story, it is not fact. The paintings and sculptures are still missing.
Read all six of Blue Balliett's books. Which will be your favorite? Mine is Danger Box.
Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett: Petra and Calder investigate the theft of a valuable painting by artist Vermeer,and fear their teacher may be responsible.
The Wright Three, by Blue Balliett: Calder, Petra, and Tommy use their unique abilities to save the historic Robie House, imagined and constructed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Calder Game, by Blue Balliette: Calder goes missing at the same time as a priceless mobile by Alexander Calder. Tommy and Petra travel to England to find Calder, and the stolen mobile.
Danger Box, by Blue Balliett: Zoomy's criminal father steals an extremely valuable book. A crowed of villains are after the book, and Zoomy is determined to defend it. Not an easy task when you are nearly blind, and make lists to calm down. Be frightened for friend Zoomy.
Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett: When Early's father disappears, presumed a criminal on the run, she never looses faith in him, or her ability to bring down a criminal ring operating out of the Chicago Public Library.
Pieces and Players, by Blue Balliett: Petra, Calder, Tommy, Early, and Zoomy join forces to find thirteen pieces of stolen art. They are open minded, finding and considering clues where most adults would only laugh.
Recently, I have been focusing on encouraging my kindergartner to use his narrative skills. This is an important early literacy skill because it involves having kids describe things and events by telling stories, knowing the order of events, and making predictions. Many of our story times have involved my son “reading” to me and telling me stories. For example, he has especially enjoyed reading and acting out the classic story the Three Little Pigs. Check out Paul Galdone’s version of the classic tale.
By asking my son questions about the stories we read together, he can practice being a narrator or storyteller. This helps kids make connections between books and their own lives. Also, don’t be afraid to read a story over and over again. When kids hear a story over and over again, they are absorbing the structure of that story. This helps them to be able to act it out on their own. And THAT gets them excited about reading!
You can expand this by asking your child to talk about doing an activity in various steps. For instance, have your child help you bake cookies. Then, have them talk with you about what you did first, then next, then next and what you did last. Or have them draw a picture of the cookie making process and show it in stages. You could even have them draw the scenes in separate boxes. Cut out each “boxed “ scene and then have your child put them in sequential order. Some of the first stages of writing involve drawing pictures and then telling stories about what the pictures represent. Encourage a child's narrative skills by saying, “Tell me about this picture!” or “What's happening in this picture?”
Here are some great wordless books that kids can use to have fun exercising their narrative skills:
Red Hat by Lita Judge
Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
Quest by Aaron Becker
Image credit: Casa Thomas Jefferson on Flickr.
Friday, December 4th
10:30am: Festive Family Fun
Join us for a special outdoor hayride storytime! You might need mittens and parkas, you might need sunscreen, but we'll be doing a holiday craft and you can get your picture taken with Santa! No registration required (weather permitting)
12-8pm: Holiday Used Book Sale
Make a massive dent in your holiday shopping list - without making one in your wallet - at our annual Holiday (gently) Used Book Sale. Presented by the Friends of Jefferson County Public Library. All proceeds benefit library programs like Summer Reading!
5:30-8:30pm: Holiday Open House
We close at 5pm, but only so we can snazz up the place and re-open at 5:30pm! We're celebrating the Candlelight Walk with:
- Cookies and hot cider
- Ballon sculptor
- Harpist Maria O'Bryan performs from 6-8pm
Come see us before the fireworks!
Saturday, December 5th
10am-4pm: Holiday Used Book Sale
Too much going on last night to concentrate on our great selection of used books for sale? It happens. Come by on Saturday and browse at your leisure!
Saturday, December 12th
8:30-10:30am: Breakfast with Santa at Table Mountain Inn
A pancake breakfast storytime with Santa? Yes, please! And wait...do Santa's elves seem familiar? Reservations required: http://goldencochamber.org/olde-golden-christmas
The holidays are here, the holidays are here!
Kids are out of school, family is visiting....you might be looking for some extra things to do, right?
Consider a museum! And specifically, consider a storyime at a museum for something new. For example, the Denver Firefighters Museum has a "storytime at the Station" with stories, songs, and take-home crafts the first Wednesday of each month for ages 2-6. Children are admitted free with a paid adult admission.
And to make it even better, use a Culture Pass from the Library to make the adult admission free too!
Another fun storytime opportunity on the first Wednesday of the month is at Dinosaur Ridge. TricerTOTS is a dinosaur-themed storytime for ages 2-5, and includes a 10-15 minute craft or activity.
And don't forget there are always great storytimes all week at your JCPL libraries, too!
Image credit: Taylor Library on Flickr
Things to be grateful for:
Family - Check
Friends - Check
Living in Colorado - Check
Health - Check
Low Gas Prices - Double Check
Great Books I've Read, or Am Planning to Read This Year - Check
Sharing That List with EVERYONE - Check
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Kim Brubaker Bradley
Wonderful People to Share My Favorite Books With - CHECK!
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...a farm boy, a jedi, a smuggler, a wookie, a sith lord, two droids and a princess walk into a bar, quite literally, and set the stage, for the ultimate battle of good vs. evil, and the Star Wars universe was born! If you're like me, and a few million other fans, you only watched Monday Night Football last week to see the, latest and last, trailer for Star Wars the Force Awakens, and it didn't disappoint. Now you ask, what is a diehard fan to do, between now and December 18th?
READ of course! and attend an upcoming Star Wars Program @ your local library.
(If you missed, or even if you didn't, the Star Wars the Force Awakens trailer, check out the video at the bottom of this post!)
Happy Reading and May the Force be With You!!!