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by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Having nine nieces and nephews as well as knowing a lot of friends with children, I have been invited to countless babyshowers.  My favorite gift items?  Bath toys!!  You can never go wrong with bathtime books, foam letters or rubber duckies.  Bathtime is a wonderful opportunity to engage your baby, toddler or preschooler in the Five Early Literacy Practices: Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play.  

On pbs.org, they describe many ways you can encourage language and literacy development during bathtime; from naming body parts to asking your child what are they going to need for bathtime.  There are even suggestions for first graders. My favorite one was to make up stories about the different bath toys.  Once upon a time, there was a Pirate Duck named Orange Beak.  He was on a mission to locate the treasure stolen by Princess Barbie and her Little Pony friends...

Ideas that incorporate the Five Early Literacy Practices into bathtime:

TALK- Use different words to describe how toys move in the water: splash, dip, sink, float, rock, glide, etc...

SING- Sing to baby about body parts (ie. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes).  Make up or learn new bathtime songs like the one about the turtle, Tiny Tim, on Jbrary (I LOVE JBRARY!!!)

READ- Read bathtime books to your baby or point out words on your child's bubble bath or shampoo bottle

WRITE- Use bathtime crayons to write baby's name on the tile or use foam letters to spell out words

PLAY- Mix in science and math concepts by adding measuring cups and spoons to your bathtub toy collection

Read a good book before or after bathtime:

 

A board book. Great for babies and toddlers!

A cute story about an elephant reluctant to take a bath.

One of my favorite characters, the Pigeon!  Mo Willems' books make me laugh!

Rub-a-dub!  Now get those kiddos into the tub!  And keep logging Summer Reading minutes!

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

STORYTIME: a regular time at which a story is read aloud to children. 

Wanna get jazzed for the day? Just come to a storytime at your local library!

I do a weekly toddler storytime at the Evergreen Library and I look forward to it all week! It is my time to shine...use silly voices, see lots of smiling faces, Shake My Sillies Out, and end with a grand finale of the Hokey Pokey...this is not your mother's storytime! Gone are the days of hushed voices and long stories. Instead today's storytimes are interactive and most of all fun!!! Filled with well illustrated and age appropriate books, songs, fingerplays, felt board and interactive activities there is something for everyone at your libraries weekly storytimes.

According to The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights EARLY LITERACY STORYTIMES as one of the crucial activities designed to promote early literacy in young children.

Why it's Important:

Literacy-based storytimes offer libraries a way to be partners in education with parents and caregivers. Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) supports the definition of a literacy-based storytime as one that contains the following components:

  • Parents and caregivers are invited to attend storytimes with their children
  • At least one early literacy practice is highlighted during each storytime
  • Storytime leaders model activities that build early literacy skills
  • Books and activities promote the use of early literacy skills and practices
  • Information about early literacy skills and practices and/or tips for building skills are provided to parents and caregivers during storytime, either verbally, via a handout, or both

At the library we LOVE storytime and we want you and your child to LOVE it too! So, drop on by and give us a try, we can't wait to see you!!! 

by: 
Jenny, Golden Library

I have a confession to make. I've had the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox app ($1.99 Apple/Android) on every device I've owned since I first discovered it several years ago. It's so simple, so fun, and so rewarding that even though my kids first started playing with it when they were each about 18 months old, they still play at 5 and 3. Here's why:

It's varied: there are 7 different mini tasks - counting, letter recognition, matching, colors, puzzles, shapes and sizes. A sweaty-palmed 2 year old may have trouble with the puzzles at first, but that same child in a few short months will be waving your expensive phone/tablet around in triumph. 

It's repetitive: yes, this is also one of its drawbacks, but young children thrive on repetition. It provides opportunity to both practice emerging skills, and gain mastery of the concepts presented in the game. Before she'd perfected the art of the swipe, my daughter would simply hand me the phone when she reached a task she couldn't complete. I would help her do what was asked, and she would take over again. We both win.

It's fun: I mean, it has a little Memory game in it. The monkey does flips when you pack its lunch! Flips! And then you get to choose stickers that dance around because they're so excited that you're such an amazing genius. Or your kid is. Whomever. I also sort of like the calypso/calliope music...for a little while. 

Since they've discovered YouTube, Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is no longer the go-to app on any of our family devices anymore. But if we're out at a restaurant, or stuck in a doctor's office, or really anywhere there might be a long wait and no wifi, we are playing this game and loving it. I downloaded the app when it was featured for free, but if you have young kids and smartphones, this may be the best $1.99 you ever spend.  

If your kids, like mine, have pretty much mastered these skills, you may want to try Monkey MathSchool Sunshine. It's got 9 more mini-games that teach sequencing, patterning, counting, adding and subtracting. My 5 year old son loves the connect-the-dots to help the baby turtle find the ocean.

I didn't know until right now that they'd also developed a reading game. I'll bet you can guess what I'll be using our next app store credit for...

 

by: 
Anna, Kids and Families

Colorado summers are so beautiful and children enjoy being outside. So, let's take our books outside and read under the shade of a tree. What if we enhanced this outdoor reading by adding an activity that will help our early readers retell the story?

Retelling a story is an early literacy skill that builds their reading comprehension confidence. This confidence will keep kids excited and motivated to keep reading. This outdoor storytime won't require much.

Here is what you will need:

  1. A blanket to sit on
  2. A book of your choice
  3. Some crayons or a set of paints, brushes, and cup of water
  4. Something hard to color on such as a piece of cardboard, and;
  5. A few sheets of blank paper.

Once you've found the perfect shady spot in your yard, explain to your children that they can draw the story as you read it. They may need 3-5 sheets of paper in order to continue drawing throughout the entire story.

After you finish reading the book, ask your child this question: "Tell me about your picture". Asking them to tell you about their picture will encourage them to retell the story in their own words.

Stay away from questions like "What is that?" or "Is that a dog?". These questions can be limiting. You could ask: "Who is in this story?","Where did this story take place?","What happened next?", or "How did the story end?" Your child might end up drawing the butterfly that flew over you as you read. That is okay. The idea here is to create a positive experience with you and a book.

Here are a few suggestions of picture books and chapter books that are great for this reading comprehension skill: 

Remember to log those minutes!

The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone 

If You Give a Moose a Muffin  by Laura Numeroff 

 Otis by Loren Long

 I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen 

 

Do you want more than picture books? Check out these chapter books. 

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo 

 Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne 

Image Credit: Jeff Golden

Coding Camp for Teens

by: 
cindy

Have you ever wondered how that app works on your phone? Do you like solving puzzles and gaming?
 
Register for the Jefferson County Public Library Coding Camp for Teens and learn what it takes to become a computer programmer.
 
At this two week camp, you’ll learn computer programming, improve creative problem solving skills and have fun as you explore the basics of writing code. You'll gain an understanding of the basics of computer programming and complete a web page. Take advantage of this experience and work along side some of Colorado's best mentors from the tech industry. No experience necessary!
 
July 27 through August 7
Belmar Library

Teens ages 14 - 18
Monday - Friday
2 - 5 p.m.
 
Registration is limited and available online. Or call 303-235-5275.

Dial a Book Club

by: 
cindy

 

Have you or someone you know always wanted to join a book club but find it difficult to get to the library to participate?

Check out our new Dial a Book Club. From the comfort of your own home, you can connect with other readers and take part in fun and engaging discussions resulting from reading.

The process is simple. Once a month, you’ll use your phone or computer to join a conference call at a prearranged date and time. One of our amazing volunteers will moderate the conversation which lasts about one hour. The groups are kept small so everyone gets a chance to be heard, and conversations get lively as you discuss your favorite authors, choose future books to read, and chat with others. 

You’ll be matched with people who share similar reading interests and groups vary by fiction and nonfiction, and genre, like biography and history; general fiction, mystery, romance, historical fiction, westerns, and inspirational reads. 

Sign up now or share the news with a friend.  When we get enough members signed up for a group, we’ll assign a volunteer and a new club begins. 

For more information about Dial a Book Club, or to volunteer as a moderator, call JCPL’s Library2You at 303-275-6173. 

College already?

by: 
cindy

College application time already? Does it seem like just the other day your babies were running around in diapers? Now they are driving and figuring out what they want to do when they graduate. If college is in their future, now is the time to think about  leaving the nest and applying for colleges.

We're excited to be hosting two great events for teens and their parents to help you begin the college preparation process. Both workshops will be held in our Evergreen Library and are facilitated by Karen Fong Donoghue, college admissions consultant.

College Application Workshop
1 p.m.  Saturday, August 1 

Gain an edge in the college application process by:

  • Understanding components involved in a college application
  • Learning how to complete either a Common Application or CU Application
  • Learning how to write a winning primary college essay
  • Formulating timelines to complete all college applications in a manageable and strategic manner

Please bring (if possible):

  • Personal Laptop
  • Updated Unofficial Transcript
  • Copies of Test Scores (SAT, ACT, SAT Subject)
  • Primary College Essay Draft (Optional – Only if student wants it reviewed)

Register.

College Planning 101
6 p.m. Wednesday, August 5 

Teens and their parents will discuss college admissions process, understanding how to choose the right college prep curriculum, which standardized tests to take, when and how to find colleges that will be the best fit, and how to get the most college money and scholarships.

Register.

 

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

by: 
cindy

Happy 4th of July! This weekend we celebrate America’s independence and give thanks for the freedom and liberties we enjoy today.

As you celebrate the holiday, take a moment to think about the freedoms that our public libraries hold near and dear in our hearts - intellectual freedom - the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas without restriction.

As a public library, intellectual freedom is core to our mission of building an educated and vibrant community by providing equal access to information and opportunities. We want to be your essential destination, where you and all people from all generations can connect, discover and create.

The relationship between librarianship and intellectual freedom is profound. We aim to give you access to information through a diverse library collection, coupled with a commitment to protect your rights to privacy in the use of library materials. We continue to see the library as an integral player in free expression, dialogue and intellectual and personal growth, as well as an agent of social change, democracy and education.

As we enter Week 5 of the Summer Reading Challenge, we are quickly approaching eight million minutes. More than 26,300 people are reading, logging their minutes, and winning. In the spirit of this week, let’s celebrate our nation’s intellectual freedom by encouraging our family, friends and neighbors to sign up for Summer Reading. If they're already registered, remind them to log their minutes or visit a local library. By doing so, they'll rediscover some amazing treasures, and you'll be honoring these liberties that your local library nurtures and supports. 

Happy July 4th holiday!

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Bubbles! Fun to chase, fun to catch, fun to POP!  I love bubbles!  When I was a teacher, one of my favorite field trips was to the Children's Museum in Denver.  The year the "bubble room" was added, I was esctatic! The kids, families, and teachers had SO much fun doing bubble experiments, making giant bubbles and trapping each other inside of a bubble.  

Some people may see bubbles only as entertainment, but did you know playing with bubbles actually can help build hand/eye coordination in babies and small children? Catching and popping bubbles encourages concentration and physical movement as well as strengthens our eyes ability to track motion.  Here is a list activities and benefits associated with bubble play:

  • Sing songs to baby or play music while you blow bubbles.  Music engages the brain. Bubbles provide amusement AND eye tracking practice.
  • Ask you child questions like "Where did the bubble go after it popped?" or "Why is the bubble colored like a rainbow?" to stimulate scientific thinking.
  • Challenge your child to pop 5 bubbles, 10 bubbles, 20 bubbles...and count out loud along with your child.
  • Let your child blow the bubbles.  This helps strengthen mouth muscles and concentration skills.  

Storytime Katie is a great resource for children's book and activity ideas.  I love these BUBBLE activity suggestions!

  • Bubble Bounce- a different kind of bubble. Throw balloons into the air and have your child keep the “bubbles” afloat.
  • Bubble Art. Add 2 teaspoons of paint to bubble solution.  Have your child blow the paint bubbles onto white construction paper. You can provide lots of different kinds of tools to make bubbles. Try straws, bubbles wands, bubble pipes, etc... 

I can't leave out a good bubble themed book!

Go to the website Preschool Express by Jean Warren to find bubble themed songs and rhymes. This one is great for rhyming and math skills.

FIVE BIG BUBBLES

Five big bubbles floating all around.

Until one popped when it landed on the ground.

Four big bubbles floating high and free.

Until one popped when it landed in a tree.

Three big bubbles floating quiet as a mouse.

Until one popped when it landed on the house.

Two big bubbles floating down to land.

Until one popped when it landed in my hand.

One big bubble still floating in the air.

Until it popped when it landed in my hair.

Remember to log singing, rhyming and bubble play as Summer Reading minutes for your 0-5 year olds! 

 

Image credit:flickr

 

You’ve got dibs!

by: 
cindy

Have you ever wondered if the library will be getting a much-anticipated new book or movie? Would you like to be first on the list to check it out? Now you can be by calling “dibs”! Calling "dibs" is an American English phrase used to declare first claim to something – like the best seat on the couch, the last cupcake, or the front seat in the car.  Now, you can call dibs on books, movies, and music in our collection.  

It’s easy to do!  When searching for an item, just add the phrase “On Order” to your search. You’ll get a sneak peek at everything that’s coming soon, and you can reserve that item before it even arrives. You can use the following search phrases, or even better, try using an author’s or artist’s name or book title.

  • BOOK ON ORDER
  • CHILDREN’S BOOK ON ORDER
  • TEEN BOOK ON ORDER
  • DVD ON ORDER
  • CHILDREN’S DVD ON ORDER
  • MUSIC CD ON ORDER

Step 1: Search - Type in what you’re looking for and add “on order”.

 

Step 2: Review the results and select the item you want.

 

Step 3: Reserve! Click on the item you’re interested in and it will tell you how many copies are on order. Then, just “Request it” and enter your name and library card number.

 

 

You’ve now called dibs on your next great read!

 

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