April 20 - All libraries closed for Easter

Home > Kids > Jcpl Kids Blog > Recommendations

Recommendations

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

I just finished a great book: How to Catch a Bogel by Catherine Jinks. It's perfect for kids 4th grade and up who like scary stories. 

Birdie’s work as an apprentice to Alfred saves her from being a poor orphan in London. Alfred is a Bogler, which means he traps and kills monsters who like to eat children, and Birdie is his bait. She is fast on her feet but will she be fast enough every time? Check out the book trailer if you dare!

 

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Now that spring has finally arrived, I'm looking forward to this year's planting season and growing some container tomatoes on my balcony. I think I'll do an experimental planting as well this year as well, and find out if kale can grow in a container pot!

Why not introduce your kids to the joys of planting and growing this spring?

 

Catch kids' attention with this cute little rhyme:

A little sun, 
(make a sun overhead with arms)
A little rain, 
(wiggle fingers in the air in a downward motion)
Now pull up all the weeds. 
(gesture pulling weeds up with the hands)
Our flowers grow all in a row,
(hold up forearms and extend fingers to make flowers and stems)
From tiny little seeds
(pinch imaginary seed between thumb and forefinger and show to the kids)

 

Explain how seeds grow into plants and flowers by reading one of these great books together:

Seeds Go, Seeds Grow by Mark Weakland

How A Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan

 

Next, get those little hands dirty! :)

You might want to create a paper flower and label parts of the plant, and/or germinate seeds at home using household supplies!

Happy Spring!

by: 
Marcy, Arvada Library

They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

Make this fun loop craft and say, "Hello Spring!" Play with fluffy wooly cotton balls instead of snow. You may want to make a whole flock!

Supplies:
White Card Stock
Cotton Balls
Crayons/Markers 
Glue
Ribbon

Instructions:
Cut a 2" strip of card stock. Glue in a loop.
Cut ears out of card stock. Glue behind loop sticking out as shown in picture above.
Draw on a face.
Glue four cotton balls to the bottom for feet.
Break cotton up into 1/2" balls. Glue the little balls to the top of the head and down the back of the lamb completely covering the the paper loop except the face of the lamb.
If you are looking for a little playmate for this little creature, make a Paper Loop Chick to keep him company.

Try some fun sheep/lamb books to go along with this great craft!

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my mom reading aloud to me. Not just as a little kid but through middle school. Reading aloud to kids drops off dramatically after third grade and so does a child's interest in reading. Reading aloud to older kids has many benefits especially for those kids who are reluctant to read on their own.

 

 -When you read aloud to kids you are modeling positive adults behavior towards reading. Kids just can't wait to grow up so why not show them that adults enjoy reading too.

-Reading aloud transforms reading from a solitary activity into a shared social experience. This creates positive and fulfilling reading experiences.

-Hearing words read aloud can increase confidence with sounding out words in print. Many kids are reluctant to read because they struggle with sounding out words. The more words a child hears the greater their success will be when they encounter words in print.

So find a warm spot and share a good book together. You can read anything you want and it can be any length. A classic fiction story, a non-fiction book, or today's comics section. Need some suggestions to get you started? Here are a few of my favorites for reading aloud to older kids.

 

Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant by Kate klise and M. Sarah Klise

 

 

 Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs by Michaela Muntean

 

 

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

 

 

The Scarecrow and His Servant by Pilip Pullman

For more great suggestions see our Great Family Read-Aloud book list.

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Little bodies love to be in motion! Come to storytime at JCPL, and you'll see just what I mean! However, when they're stuck inside on a rainy (or snowy!) day, little bodies do tend to get a bit cranky when confined.

Here are some of my favorite action song CDs that are perfect for bad weather days. Of course, they're perfectly fun to play along with on beautiful days, too!

Action songs work to improve self-regulatory behavior, gross and fine motor skills, and increase full-body strength and coordination. They're a fun way for kids to learn important concepts such as stop and go, wait, throw and catch, point, and so on. Plus, improving gross and fine motor skills will lead to your child being able to hold a book, a pencil and ultimately learning to read and write.

Steady, Ready, Jump! by Georgiana Stewart

 Arms Up, Keep Moving by William Janiak (available through Prospector)

 Activity Songs & Games by Georgiana Stewart

 Kids in Action by Greg & Steve (available through Prospector)

I hope you have fun playing along with these CDs. Many of the songs I use regularly at my storytimes!

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Parents and caregivers, grab your smartphones and tablets! Today's featured app is full of adorable little monsters who are ready and able to help your little monsters learn their sounds, letters and words.

Playing with the sounds that make up a word is called "phonological awareness" and is one of the important pre-reading skills your child needs to practice. Learning their letters is called "letter knowledge" and is an equally important early literacy skill. Fortunately, practicing these skills with monster friends is a ton of fun!

Pick a word to play with (all words are organized alphabetically) and watch the letters scramble around the screen. Pick up each letter with your finger and hear its sound as your move it. Put the letters back in order to get an adorable mini-movie that illustrates the meaning of the word along with a spoken-aloud definition that's easy to understand. Check out the video below to see the app in action:

Endless alphabet is available for both Android and iDevices. The app and base word set are free with optional paid downloads to expand the game. This app is rated 4+ on iTunes, but has been getting rave reviews from parents with children as young as 16 months. So don't be afraid to try it out with your toddler! :)

Download app for Android Devices

Download app for iDevices

In case you missed it, visit last month's app post. Keep reading for another awesome app next month! :)

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Think back to when you were a kid. You wanted to do the same things your friends were doing, right? You wanted to listen to the same kind of music, wear the same kinds of clothes, and read the same kinds of books. For struggling readers this is not so easy.

But did you know that the library has High-Low books? High-Low books are also known as High interest-low vocabulary books. These are books specifically designed to appeal to kids and teens that are not ready to read books at their grade level but they don't want to read "baby books" either. High-Low books can do wonders to build a kid's self-esteem about reading. The plot summaries of these books sound no different from the ones their peers are reading. Instead, the authors use vocabulary better suited to help kids who are reading at a level lower than their grade. 

Sometimes struggling readers lack confidence. If they think their only book options for reading at their level are stories or subjects that appeal more to younger kids, their fragile spirits can be crushed. We have tried to make it easier to find these books in our catalog by grouping them together under the genre High interest-low vocabulary books. This group contains a variety of books that will appeal to a variety of ages and reading levels.

Need some more help figuring out which one is right for your child or teen? Feel free to ask your librarian. Be sure to tell your librarian what your child's interests are and the names of some of the books your child has had success reading. This will help us fill your arms with titles that will encourage your child to read because they are appropriate for their reading level and not lame.

by: 
Mary, Kids and Families Outreach

Yesterday, Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) announced the winners of the first annual Bell Awards - an award that honors "five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children." One book in each of the categories of READ, TALK, SING, WRITE and PLAY is chosen from hundreds of books published in 2013. The 5 categories have been identified as best practices to support early literacy learning in young children.

Each of these books is great for sharing with your young child, and lend themselves perfectly to extension activities that lead to even more fun and learning. The CLEL Bell website has activity sheets for each book that offer wonderful extension ideas! 

The winners are: 

READ:

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier; illustrated by Suzy Lee

TALK:

Moo! by David LaRochelle; illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (coming soon to JCPL!)

SING:

Nighty-night, Cooper by Laura Numeroff; illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

WRITE:

The Things I Can Do by Jeff Mack

PLAY:

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Check 'em out today!

by: 
Marcy, Arvada

I rarely read a book twice...unless it is a choose your own adventure. Then I have to read all possible endings and end up going through it four of five times! Parents often are amazed when they find these childhood favorites at the library. They can't wait to share their love for these books that you don't just read, but that youcan  control! I explain to kids that it is kind of like a video game. You reach a point in the book and you get to choose what to do next, "To go through the haunted hallway turn to page 50, to return to the safety of your room turn to page 32."

There are literally hundreds of adventures awaiting you at your local library!

History buff? Look for Interactive History Adventures!

Choose your own Star Wars Adventure!

Or how about an American Girl adventure?

It's fun to choose your own adventure! Try one.

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

If you're a parent or caregiver and you've got a shiny gadget (think iPad, Smartphone or eReader) chances are your child is interested in using it too! According to a study by Common Sense Media, Seventy-two percent of children age 8 and under have used a mobile device for some type of media activity such as playing games, watching videos, or using apps.

Even among very young children, mobile device use is high: More than a third of children under the age of 2 use mobile media. Specifically, the study found that 38 percent of kids under age 2 have used tablets or smartphones.

As families incorporate more digital technologies into their lives, I get a lot of questions here at the library about which apps are best for kids. So, I've decided to do a monthly appvisory series here on the blog. If you're looking for great free apps for the kids, I've got you covered!

Today's app is a digital version of a classic game: Simon! :)

Like the classic Simon game, this app increases concentration, improves memory and works reflex and motor skills. Suitable for ages 4 and up.

Challenge your child to a Simon competition and work out your grey matter, too! :) 

Download Simon app for Android devices

Download Simon app for iDevices

Stay tuned for next month's app! :)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Recommendations