August 19, 2014

Block Party at the Library!

This month we held our very first Block Party, here at Cedar Lake Library.

What's a block party might you ask? It's a special children's program set up by the Purdue Extension where kids can come and play with a variety of blocks while also building knowledge on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Okay, after that mouthful, let's break these blocks down.

In today's fast pace world of technology, back to basics blocks still have tons of value. 

 Playing with blocks encourages kids to work together, practicing balance and coordination.

They build working designs,


experiment with patterns 

and  colors,

and encourage the beginning development of  some of our earliest skills, such as grasping objects, and moving them around.

Block parties reinforce teamwork,

and the importance of learning and play between children and their parents.

They also happen to be a lot of fun!

All in all it was a great event and we have high hopes that we can have a Block Party here again soon :)

July 7, 2014

Fizz, Boom, Read @ the Library!

Encourage your budding scientist. We have science activities every day all day, along with many events for all ages every week. Check it out at the library's Events Calendar.

We started the summer reading fun with a Science Festival. Kids experimented with rain, wind, sound, colors, water, & more. Since then each event has focused on one or more science activities. Check out some of the pictures:








 Read for prizes, too!!

July 6, 2014

Summer, Science, & Helping Your Child Get Ready to Read @ the Library!

Sing, rhyme, read, play, & color with your child. You are helping him get ready to learn to read. You are teaching her important early literacy skills: Phonological Awareness, which is hearing the small sounds in words, Vocabulary, Print Motivation, which is enjoying reading together, and Narrative Skills, which is being able to understand,  remember and tell a story.

Waves at the Beach Sung To: " Wheels on the bus"
The waves at the beach go up and down…
The waves at the beach go up and down, all day long.
- also- 
The crabs at the beach, crawl back and forth
The lobsters at the beach go, snap, snap, snap
The clams at the beach will open and shut
The jelly fish go wibble, wobble, wibble
Baby Fish
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do, (Open and shut index
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do. fingers to the beat.)
(Sing twice.)
Momma fish… (Open and shut hands.)
Daddy fish… (Open and shut arms.)
Giant whale… (Extend arm and leg to make whale’s mouth.)
Activities: Make up other verses, such as one about uncle fish, grandma fish, etc. Have
the children suggest arm movements to do for the different fish.

Five Little Fish
(Tune: “Down in the Meadow by the Itty Bitty Pool”)

No little fishies swimming in the sea, (Make a zero with thumb and index finger.)
Splishing and a splashing (Pretend to swim.)
And a rocking to the beat. (Snap fingers.)
Here comes a little fishie,
Oh, say, “hello.” (Wave.)
One little fishie swimming in a row. (Hold up one finger.)
One little fishie… (Hold up one finger.)
Two little fishies… (Hold up two fingers.)
Three little fishies… (Hold up three fingers.)
Four little fishies… (Hold up four fingers.)
Five little fishies… (Hold up five fingers.)
Everybody wave cause don’t you know,
Five little fishies have got to go.
Ooh, Aah, away they go.

Jellyfish, Jellyfish, Jellyfish, JELLY!!!
Wiggle a body part while saying the rhyme. Add an additional body part each time and keep building the number of active body parts!

1.       Fingers
2.       Wrists
3.       Elbows
4.       Knees
5.       Feet
6.       Hips
7.       Tongue

Fun Facts about Jellyfish

Did you know ...

... some jellyfish are bigger than a human and others are as small as a pinhead?
... people in some countries eat jellyfish?
... that jellyfish have been on Earth for millions of years, even before dinosaurs?
... jellyfish have no brain but some kinds have eyes?
... that jellyfish are mainly made up of water and protein?
... a group of jellyfish is called a smack?

The body of a jellyfish is 99% water. About 200 species of true jellyfish are known, ranging in size from 0.06 in (1.5 mm) to 6.5 ft (2 m). 
There are over 200 different kinds of jellyfish
Source: Gale Encycopedia of Science,
Most jellyfish have tentacles—the number varies. All jellyfish have 10-12 oral arms—to pass food into the mouth. The arms look like tentacles, but are a little chunkier.

Three Jellyfish
Three jellyfish, three jellyfish, three jellyfish sitting on a rock.
One fell off.
Two jellyfish (repeat to no jellyfish)

May 24, 2014

Spring Fun Helps Your Child Get Ready to Learn to Read!


Talking helps your child learn Narrative Skills, which is being able to retell a story and knowing that stories and events happen in sequence. Talk about the change in the weather—winter to spring. Your child has experiences with these changes and you can build on them. Knowing more about the world around him will help your child learn to read. It is easier to read about things that are familiar. As you talk with your child she will learn more Vocabulary, too and the more words your child knows, the easier learning to read will be.

Ten Spring Flowers
Flowers tall, (Raise hands up high.)
Flowers small, (Move hands down low.)
Count the flowers as they sway in the springtime breeze. (Move hands side to side.)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! (Point to each finger as you count.)

We Love Spring (Sing to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
We love rain in the spring, in the spring, in the spring. (Flutter fingers down.)
We love rain in the spring; it is a jolly time.
We love birds in the spring, in the spring, in the spring, (Flap arms to the side for wings.)
We love birds in the spring; it is a jolly time.
We love grass in the spring, in the spring, in the spring, (Touch the ground.)
We love grass in the spring; it is a jolly time.
We love tulips in the spring, in the spring, in the spring, (Cup hands for the head of a tulip flower.)
We love tulips in the spring; it is a jolly time.

Rhymes from: Artsy Toddler Storytimes by Carol Hopkins

 Rhyming and Singing help your child hear the small sounds in words, which is Phonological Awareness, another skill your child must know in order to learn to read.

· Encourage your child to color the pictures as you and she talk about them. Coloring also helps get your child ready to learn to read!

So Talk, Rhyme, Sing, and Write (color)! You are your child’s first and best teacher!! 

May 19, 2014

Rhyme Time for the Little Ones, Too!

Think about rhyme & poetry for your youngest children, too!  Rhyming, singing, and rhythm all help your young child get ready to learn to read! Children who know how to rhyme words by the time they are four years old have a much easier time learning read. Singing and rhythm help your child hear the smaller sounds in words because each syllable usually gets its own note or beat. So check out Washington County Library's videos of songs and activity rhymes! They are short and fun. Watch them, learn them, and then have great fun doing them with your child! You are helping her or him get ready to learn to read!

May 12, 2014

Time to Rhyme! Or Not--Fun with Poetry

During April we celebrated National Poetry Month--& poetry about libraries during National Library Week. Check out some of our local poets!
Many wrote acrostic poems—You use the letters in your name or something you like to do, or the letters in ‘library’—or any word:
Ice cream

In Cedar Lake
Because the library is
Amazing. You can
Read The Hunger Games
Yet it is never open too late

Super awesome
Work hard
In the water
Makes me feel amazing

Always reading
Can do algebra
You can always find me doing something creative.

Jam and toast
Everyone’s friend
Rabbids is my favorite game!
Extra joyful
Makes up jokes
Yoyo doer

Riddle Poetry—we solved different riddle poems all month long. They were from the book, Guess Again! Riddle Poems by Lillian Morrison. Here is one for National Library Week:
“Easy to open, no need to unlock it.
Sometimes it’s small enough to carry in your pocket.
But when it is open it can carry you
Through fascinating spaces like a far-flying rocket.!

It is a    _____   _____   _____   _____  (See the answer at the end of this post!)

24 Hour Poem—for this poem you write down what you did each hour during a 24 hour period. Here is one composition:
I sleep all day.
I sleep all night
I sleep at sunrise
I sleep on a rainy day.
I sleep in Mexico
I sleep everywhere.
I waaaaaake up.
I am hurrying up to go to school!
I work at MacDonald’s and
I work at an office.
I love to work.
I work so hard
I eat breakfast.
I work,
I wait for the bus
I relax.
While I relax I read.
I talk a lot and laugh too.
Now I fall asleep.
I like to sleep.

Some made poems from letters and words cut from old magazines:


Try some of these fun types of poetry. Talk about them with your older child and provide materials. Have fun working together, too!
You and your preschooler or toddler can work together. For example you might write an acrostic poem featuring the letters in your child’s name. Get out some old magazines and use pictures and letters to create unique poetry. Activities like these—that involve writing (& cutting, gluing and coloring), rhyming, singing, and talking—all teach your child essential early literacy skills. So have fun together—you are helping your child get ready to learn to read!!

It is a  b o o k.

May 5, 2014

Dancing at the Library

Last week we had our first preschool Dance Party! Children from a year old up to 6 had lots of fun dancing to some of our favorite songs and learned a few new ones.

Some of the favorite songs came from Jim Gill and Laurie Berkner. There were three cousins who get so excited every time they hear Jim Gill's Swing Your Partner. And for the first time, we danced to Laurie Berkner's "Goldfish," which I see making regular appearances in the future. We danced with scarves and maracas and did some of the classics, like the Hokey Pokey.

Why dancing at the library? Music helps children to hear and feel the rhythm of words, an important skill for learning to read.  Also, we want children to associate the library and books with good memories, so playing and having fun are always appropriate.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Dance Party comes back sometime, so keep a lookout!

Programs this week:

Tuesday, May 6, 10:30am or 1:00pm: Preschool Storyhour for children ages 4-5 (and independent 3s)
Thursday, May 8, 10:30am: Toddler Time for children ages 2-3 and a caregiver