Caitlyn

  • Baby Genius 

    Are you looking for resources to supplement your child’s learning? In the coming weeks, we’ll be doing a series of posts on child brain development and how the library can help.Today, we will be talking about infants, which are children up to 18 months of age.

    At every stage, the first recommendation (after love) is to read, sing, and talk to your child, which means that the library is a great place to start. For more exposure to reading, singing, and talking, bring your little one to story time! We have story time at a variety of times during the week where our storytellers read, sing, and talk to your children. For children under one year, we offer Book Babies on Mondays and Fridays at 10:00 am, while one- and two-year-olds can attend Toddler Time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10:05 and 11:05. 

    Beyond storytime, the library offers a number of resources to help your children learn and flourish. In particular, we have books and discovery kits that can help develop your baby's eyesight, tactile senses, and ability to identify and name objects.

    Eyesight

    Not having had the chance to hone his or her senses in the womb, your baby is in need of natural stimulation to help him or her progress, particularly for visual and tactile senses. Contrasting and bright colors help babies to focus on and distinguish between different visual stimuli. While you can (and should) read any and all books with your child, here are a few that might help specifically with their developing eyesight:

    5.7 My AnimalsMY ANIMALS
    By Xavier Deneux
    (2015)

    This board book has pictures of animals in black and white with pops of color to train your child’s eyes. Each animal is labelled (which is another great aspect for visual attention, as discussed below), and each page has holes so that your growing child can learn to turn the pages themselves. 

     

    5.7 Birds of a ColorBIRDS OF A COLOR
    By  élo
    (2018)

    Focusing more on color contrasts than just black and white, this board book has interactive elements to teach colors by placing them behind black and white patterns. 

     

    5.7 Patterns Jr. Discovery KitPATTERNS JR. DISCOVERY KIT

    Our Junior Discovery Kits come with books, toys, and suggested activities for a particular topic.The Patterns Jr. kit is filled with contrast perfect for aiding your little one’s visual development. 

     

    IDENTIFICATION AND NAMING

    A study done by Lisa Scott at the University of Florida showed that labels – like in MY ANIMALS – and names in books have a positive impact on infants' visual attention as they age. You can create the names yourself as you read, or read books like those below with recognizable characters. As you read, point to pictures and say the name of the character or object, even if it isn’t explicitly stated. 

     

    5.7 The Cat in the HatTHE CAT IN THE HAT
    bY Dr. Seuss
    (1957)

    This classic by Dr. Seuss has names for many of its characters that you can repeat again and again. 

     

    5.7 Berenstain Bears THE BERENSTAIN BEARS: WE LOVE THE LIBRARY
    By Mike Berenstain
    (2017)

    The Berenstain Bears books have repeating characters that you can point out in book after book. We like this one because we also love the library. 

     

    TACTILE RECOGNITION

    As their tactile senses develop, around 3-6 months, books with texture can be a great tool to introduce your baby to different sensations. We don’t typically keep these in the library, as they tend to get dirty or damaged very quickly travelling between children’s hands. One place where the library does offer them is in a few of our Junior Discovery Kits. 

     

    5.7 Night Night FarmFARM JR. DISCOVERY KIT

    Not only does this Junior Discovery Kit have textured materials, but farm animals, which can be used to teach names and sounds. 

     

    5.7 Numbers Jr. Discovery KitNUMBERS JR. DISCOVERY KIT

    The Numbers kit is great for reading, singing, and playing; along with textured materials for tactile senses. 

     

    5.7 Safari Jr. Discovery KitSAFARI JR. DISCOVERY KIT

    If your baby liked the Farm kit, they’ll love the Safari kit. It has more animals and textured materials! To wrap up, here is another book that discusses child brain development that might have some useful tips. You can check it out directly or get it in any of our Junior Discovery Kits. 

     

    FOR PARENTS

    5.7 The Whole Brain ChildTHE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD
    By Daniel Siegel
    (2011)

    This book offers much more than I can say on the topic of child brain development and how to guide them in their growth. Be sure to follow the blog to learn about more library resources to aid brain development in older children!

     
  • Toddler Brain Development

    Welcome to part 2 of our child brain development series. Today we will be talking about toddlers, or children from 18 months up to 3 years of age. As I mentioned in part 1 of this series, on infants, it is important to read, sing, and talk to your child every day, no matter how old they are. Now that they are talking more and more, however, it is essential to encourage your child’s new skills.Here are a few activities you and your child should take advantage of within the library:

    STORY TIME 

    We recommended Story Time for infants, but now that your child is moving and talking more, they will get even more out of this activity. We have Book Babies and Toddler Time in the story circle, which are specifically geared toward this age group. Your child will not only get the chance to hear from our fantastic storytellers, but practice imitating their movements and sounds – key for development at this time.

    PRESCHOOL PLAY

    Although preschool typically starts around 3 years of age, the toys in the story circle during Preschool Play can be fun for your toddler as well. We also have several toys for young children next to the story room. Play is vital to child brain development, so letting them explore and learn both on their own and with your guidance is beneficial at this age.

    JUNIOR DISCOVERY KITS

    Explore a topic with your child using books, toys, and activities by checking out one of our junior discovery kits. In particular for toddlers, we recommend: colors, numbers, and shapes. These kits include toys that challenge their learning and level of play with stacking and matching.

    Now to what you typically think of when bringing your child to the library: books.

    You may have noticed your child loves to point at things and ask what it is or name it themselves. You can encourage this curiosity and connectivity through books with interactive and follow-along elements, like those below. Also, while reading together be sure to ask them questions, such as “Where is the dinosaur?” or, while pointing at the dinosaur, “What is that?” 

    5.28 WigglesWIGGLES
    By Claire Zucchelli-Romer
    (2018)

    This fun book gives instructions to your child on using different fingers to make patterns. It is a beautiful little book packed with activity! 

     

    5.28 Around the WorldAROUND THE WORLD: A FOLLOW THE TRAIL BOOK
    By Craig Shuttlewood
    (2015)

    Your child can follow this book around the world – with their finger! Not only do they learn as they go, and see pretty pictures, but they become more engaged with the book by utilizing this tactile attachment. 

     

    5.28 Baby DinosaursBABY DINOSAURS
    By Dawn Sirett
    (2018)

    Similar to Around the World: A Follow the Trail Book, this book teaches your child about dinosaurs while having them tag along on the paper trail. I am no expert on this subject, so I will continue to refer to the following book for any questions you may have about how to help your child’s brain develop, both in the library and at home. You can check this out directly, or find it in one of our junior discovery kits mentioned above. 

     

    5.28 The Whole Brain ChildTHE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD
    By Daniel Siegel
    (2011)

    This book goes into much more depth about child brain development and ways you can help your child in their growth. For more recommendations about how the library can help with the brain development of your growing child, stay tuned for more in this series on the blog. 

     
  • Coding 

    Every Tuesday from 4:00pm-5:00pm, kids ages 9-12 fill the story room in the children’s department for Coding +. After taking the Coding + Basics class on the first Tuesday of the month, they are free to come to other classes that teach them coding skills using Bitsbox, Harry Potter, Codecademy, and more. Not only do they learn a thing or two about coding, but they have fun and make new friends. For those outside of the age range, or looking to learn more about coding at home, below are a few books and websites to get them ready for their future as a programmer. 

    Books

    3.15 Computer CodingCOMPUTER CODING
    By Jon Woodcock
    (2014)

    This workbook provides detailed instructions to take your child from a novice to a programmer using Python. The tasks can be done alone or with a parent to help them along. 

     

    3.15 Get CodingGET CODING!: LEARN HTML, CSS, AND JAVASCRIPT AND BUILD A WEBSITE, APP, AND GAME
    By Duncan Beedie
    (2016)

    If your child is interested in building websites and applications, this is a great book to check out. It teaches the basics of HTML, which provides the basic layout of the site; CSS, which adds style and flair; and Javascript, which makes the site interactive. 

     

    3.15 Python for KidsPYTHON FOR KIDS
    By Jason R. Briggs
    (2012)

    A Python textbook made fun, this book takes kids through the basics and into the nitty gritty of programming in Python. With sections dedicated to particular topics and fun programming tasks along the way, this is a great in-depth introduction to programming for kids and adults alike. 

     

    3.15 Star Wars Coding ProjectsSTAR WARS CODING PROJECTS: WITH SCRATCH
    By Jon Woodcock
    (2017)

    Using the website Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/), your child’s favorite Star Wars characters show them how to make games and animations that teach coding principles along the way. 

     

    Websites

    • Code.org uses games and recognizable characters to teach kids coding basics at their learning level.

    • Codecademy has a step by step approach to real coding that is good for kids and adults.

    • Codemoji teaches web development in a kid-friendly way.

    • Scratch is a creative outlet for kids that utilizes block coding.