Friday, January 28, 2011

New Parenting Books

Bringing Up Girls

This book will equip parents to face the challenges of raising your daughters to become healthy, happy, and successful women.
J Parent Collection 248.845 DOB

The Secret Lives of Teen Girls
What your mother wouldn't talk about but your daughters need to know.
J Parent Collection 613.955 RES

Mommy, Mommy, What In Your Tummy?
A lift the flap book to see as the children guess what it could possibly be.
J Parent Collection 618.24 SIM

Short Term Play Therapy for Children
This book is full of very helpful and creative play therapy interventions.
J Parent Collection 618.92891653 SHO

Help My Kid Is Driving Me Crazy
Read about the 17 ways kids manipulate their parents, and what you can do about it.
J Parent Collection 649.1 SWA

Potty Training Boys the Easy Way
Provides a guide that includes advice on way to help your son reach this important milestone calmly and confidently.
J Parent Collection 649.62.FER

Raising an Athlete
How to instill confidence, build skills and inspire a love of sports.
J Parent Collection 796.083 PER

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black History Month

Every year, the month of February is devoted Black History Month. Help your children to understand how the history of African Americans is a part of American history. If you are wondering how February became Black History Month and who created it, stop by the YS desk and we can help you find a book about Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian who created what would become Black History Month in 1920 (then it was known as Negro Week).  African American didn't have the right to vote at the time, and lynching and other inhumane treatments were not uncommon, so Dr. Woodson began Black History Month because the contributions of African American were not well-known enough or not known at all. He chose February for the celebration because it is the birth month of Frederick Douglass (well known black social reformer, writer, and orator) and President Abraham Lincoln.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Get Fit!

Has your New Year's resolution for you and your family to get (or stay) in shape already winding down? Don't let the cold weather stop you! The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that children need 60 minutes of physical activity a day (click here). The majority of the 60 minutes should be an aerobic activity, meaning a good heart pumping activity like fast walking or running. Push-ups or other muscle strengthening moves should be done at least 3 times a week as part of the 60 minutes. Other exercises to include are things like jumping rope which help to strengthen bones. These moves also count towards the 60 minutes, and like muscle strengthening, should be done at least 3 times a week.

While all this sounds like a lot, it's really not! Kids run around all time, getting exercise during gym and recess at school. It's important to continue physical activity at home by encouraging kids to get off the couch and go to the park or participate in sports.

Adults, we're not off the hook either! The CDC reports from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans that adults need both aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening. There are several ways you can do this.

  • 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity every week (like brisk walking) combined with working all your major muscle groups by doing strengthening moves two days a week
  • or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week (like jogging/running) combined with working all major muscle groups via strengthening moves twice a week
  • or an equal mix of moderate and vigorous activity along with doing the strength training twice a week
Why doesn't the family exercise together? Go for a walk outside, play tag, or have a contest to see how many sit-ups everyone can do. Give out rewards like stickers or mini trophies. Show that you're having a good time being fit and moving around so that they'll be excited to join you. Give positive encouragement so that they feel like they can do it. Pretty soon everyone will be having so much fun they won't realize they're getting healthy while they're doing it.

What happens when the frigid temperature comes and it's too cold to be outside? Then turn on some music and have a family dance party! Or, for the older kids, consider getting a Wii Fit to help everyone stay active. The library has lots of exercise videos for kids as well. Stop by and pick up a title and everyone can try it out together. Not only will you have fun spending time together as a family, but you'll be stronger and fitter too.

Videos to try out:

Alphabet Fitness
Get Fit America for Kids
Tae Bo Kicks
YogaKids: Silly to Calm

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Free Museum Admission

Many of you enjoy using our Museum Adventure Pass program for free admission or discounts to museums and cultural institutions throughout the Chicago suburbs. Sometimes we run out of passes, or receive requests for museums that aren't part of the program. I am excited to let you know that several of those museums are currently offering discounted admission days.

Shedd Aquarium has Community Discount Days every Monday and Tuesday in January. Community Discount Weeks are January 16-21 and February 20-24.

The Museum of Science and Industry offers free general admission on weekdays throughout January, as well as February 1, 8, 14, 15 and 22.

The Field Museum has free admission days on January 18, 19, 24, 26 and 31 and February 2, 3, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 17.

The Art Institute of Chicago has free winter weekdays through February 4. Free general admission from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings continues through May 26.

Brookfield Zoo offers free general admission on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through February.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 17, 2011 is the 25th anniversary of the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observance. Signed into law by President Ronald Regan in 1983 and first observed in 1986, the day is encouraged as a day of service to others in recognition and in honor of Rev. Dr. King's contributions to community action.

So many wonderful books for children have been written about Martin Luther King, Jr. Some standouts you won't want to miss are

Martin's Big Words: the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

and My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal organization that offers suggestions for individuals, groups, or families looking for service opportunities. Check out their web page that focuses specifically on service projects for MLK Day at MLKDay.gov.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Preschool Fair for Parents

Finding the right preschool fit for your child can be a daunting task, especially with so many options available these days.  Parents are invited to learn more about area preschools at the Des Plaines Public Library's Annual Preschool Fair, Saturday January 22 from 11am to 12:30pm.  This fair is free and the first 40 families to attend will receive a DPPL tote bag and a copy of the 2010 Monarch Illinois Readers' Choice Award winning picture book, Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt, compliments of the Friends of the Library. 

Representatives from 26 schools located in Des Plaines and the surrounding area will be on hand to answer your questions, including:

Alexander Graham Bell Montessori School (Wheeling)
Brentwood Christian Academy (Des Plaines)
Bright Beginnings, Niles Park District (Niles)
Bright Horizons (Mount Prospect)
Children's Choice at Holy Family (Des Plaines)
Embers Elementary (Park Ridge)
First Congregational Preschool (Des Plaines)
Guardian Angel Day School (Des Plaines)
Illinois Action for Children (Chicago)
Immanuel Lutheran Preschool (Des Plaines)
Lattof YMCA (Des Plaines)
Little Lamb Preschool (Des Plaines)
Mary, Seat of Wisdom (Park Ridge)
Montessori Academy of Illinois (Park Ridge)
Mount Prospect Child Care, Inc. (Mount Prospect)
Oakton College Early Childhood Center (Des Plaines)
One Hope United Child Development Center (Des Plaines)
Our Lady of Destiny Preschool (Des Plaines)
Safari Daycare (Mount Prospect)
Saint John Brebeuf Preschool (Niles)
Saint Mark Preschool and Child Care (Mount Prospect)
Saint Zachary Catholic School (Des Plaines)
Science and Arts Academy (Des Plaines)
SPARK Preschool at Terrace School (Des Plaines)
STAR Preschool in District 62 (Des Plaines)
Trinity Preschool (Mount Prospect)

Stop in and explore your options!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Got Holiday Junk?

Most people remember to recycle some of the more obvious holiday trash items... the gift boxes, wrapping paper rolls, tissue paper, and toy boxes... but there are few of us who remember that there are other items from the holidays that can be recycled as well; items such as stringed lights and evergreen trees.  To help in the reduction of our city's carbon footprint, the city has put together tree pick-up and light drop-offs to recycle the decorations.

You should have already had your tree picked up if you left it at the curb this week, and now you can do more by recycling your lights... you can look HERE for more information on the recycling program.  Make sure to take part in this recycling exercise, and don't miss out on this teaching moment and share it with your kids.   Need help explaining why recycling is important?  Stop by the library where we have plenty of materials on recycling!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year...New Storytime

Some minor changes are coming to the storytime schedule in the new year. We have heard your voices and are adding an afternoon program to our offerings for those of you who have expressed interested in joining us for storytimes, but your children are in morning school or programming elsewhere. Thursday morning program times have changed slightly to ease the transition period from one program into the next. We hope you will enjoy this season's offerings.

The schedule will be as follows for January-April, 2011:

Family Storytime, first and third Mondays 7:00 p.m.
for families with children ages 2-8
January 3 and 17
February 7 and 21
March 7 and 21
April 4 and 18

Toddler Twos Storytime, Thursdays 10:30-10:50
For 2 year-olds accompanied by a parent or caregiver
January 13, 20, 27
February 10, 17, 24
March 10, 27, 24
April 7, 14, 21

Afternoon Preschool Storytime, Wednesdays 2:00-2:30
For 3-5 year-olds
January 12, 19, 26
February 9, 16, 23
March 9, 16, 23
April 6, 13, 20

Morning Preschool Storytime, Thursdays 9:30-10:00
January 13, 20, 27
February 10, 17, 24
March 10, 17, 24
April 7, 14, 21

We look forward to the new and improved schedule and hope you will join us for whichever program suits your needs best. Feel free to write us a comment card or talk to one of the Youth Services Department staff and let us know how the changes are working out for you.