Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Picnic Season!

Whether your destination will be the park, zoo, baseball games, or the soccer field, packing a meal that is healthy and enjoyable becomes a creative challenge.

To teach your children about healthy eating as you plan together, the following books and websites are some resources that will prove helpful!!

Get planning, get ready, and have some FUN!

Here are some of the books in our collection. Click on any of them to be linked to the library's catalog. You can put them on hold today!

The Fussy Eaters' Recipe Book : 135 quick, tasty, and healthy recipes that your kids will actually eat
Karmel, Annabel.

Superfoods for Healthy Kids: more than 250 immune-boosting foods and great-tasting recipes for your children
Burney, Lucy.

Cool Sweets & Treats to Eat: easy recipes for kids to cook
Wagner, Lisa, 1958-
J 641.53 WAG

Cool Lunches to Make & Take: easy recipes for kids to cook
Wagner, Lisa, 1958-
J 641.53 WAG

Packing Up A Picnic: activities and recipes for kids
Walton, Rick.
J 641.5 WAL

Kids Cook 1-2-3: recipes for young chefs using only 3 ingredients
Gold, Rozanne, 1954
J 641.5 GOL

Kids' Baking: 60 delicious recipes for children to make
Lewis, Sara.
J 641.71 LEW

Boost Your Child's Immune System : a program and recipes for raising strong, healthy kids
Burney, Lucy.

Here are also some helpful websites:
Kids' Turn Central
Kids Cooking Activities
Picnic Recipes and Games
The Picnic Site

Friday, April 20, 2012

Music and Young Children

Music is such a joy and benefits us in so many ways.
  • Music teaches rhythm, which is a math concept.
  • Music teaches language skills because it uses words and can even tell a story.
  • Moving to music helps children learn body awareness, and develops their large motor skills.
  • Physical movement develops large motor skills.
Daisy Says "Here We Go 'round the Mulberry Bush"There are many songs such as "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" that give instructions which can help children learn to listen and follow directions. Songs also encourage speech development and expand vocabulary. Watch your child as you sing or say a rhyme. Even babies will join in by making sounds.

At the library we have storytimes where children can learn to sit still and pay attention while musical fingerplays are presented and stories are read.

We have a large collection of Children's Music on CD for you to take home and enjoy with your children.  Look for the CD called, 50 Nursery Rhyme Songs by Countdown Kids.
Your child was made to move!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Story Reader in You

As you read your pre-school children their nightly bedtime books, have you ever wondered "How can I change this basic word-for-word reading of my child's favorite storybook into something new?

Every parent-child storytime begins with getting your child curious about the story. Let your child enjoy exploring the illustrations before you begin and ask him\her questions about what he may know about the story already or about the kinds of characters in the book.

Take your time as you begin to read the text, and sometimes, alternate letting your child tell you a part of the story in his/her own words. Use lots of expression in your voice to show the emotions of the characters. Pause and ask your child if they have ever felt like the character feels.

Add dialogue and create voices or sounds for the characters if there are none in the text. Move your fingers over the page pointing out or mimicing the action in the pictures, or touch exciting words in the text. Change the pace of your reading.

Start the story slowly, build up a little more speed as the story reaches its most exciting part, and then slow your reading again as the story comes to an end. Be natural, and, most of all, be interested in the story yourself, look for every twist and turn, laugh with your child at the outcomes.  No matter how many times you've both heard this story before, this time it will be very special.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April is National Autism Awareness Month

Did you know that April is National Autism Awareness Month? It was started in the 1970s to bring awareness to Autism.

The Autism Society defines autism as a "complex neurodevelopmental disability" that usual appears in a child's first 2 years. It affects their ability to interact and communicate with others. Autism is a "spectrum disorder" which means that it affects people differently and to different levels. Currently 1 in 110 Americans are being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

You might not be aware that the Des Plaines Library has several resources for parents and caregivers needing information or support. We have a large collection of books for parents needing information or help dealing with particular issues relating to autism. The books are located within our Parenting Collection on the 2nd floor. Here are some selected titles from the collection: Visual Supports for People with Autism, The Official Autism 101 Manual, and Autism Heroes: Portraits of Families Meeting the Challenge.

Also in the Parenting Collection are adapted books for children on the spectrum. These are traditional books that have modified with picture communication added for children to have been understanding of what's happening in the story. The pages are laminated and in a binder to make it easier for them to hold, and there are textured foam "fluffers" that separate the pages to make it easier for them to turn the pages.

The library also maintain the Autism Resource Center, which is a wiki that the library started. This is a site for parents or caregivers where you can find links for local resources such as dentists, family support, or therapists. You can find the link to the wiki here.

Finally, the library runs a monthly program with Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy where trained therapy dogs help children work on motor skills, interaction, and communication. The children interact with the wonderful aides and dog handlers, while their parents get a chance to check out the library's collection.

If you are a parent of a child who has autism and want to suggest a book for our collection or an area resource for our wiki, please feel free to email us, call us at 847.376.2839, or stop by and talk to us at the 2nd floor information desk the next time you're in.