Posts Tagged storytimes

Using the Fall for Developing Early Literacy Skills

Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

As summer changes into fall, there are lots of opportunities to introduce literacy concepts to your child.  At Manhattan Public Library, we encourage parents and caregivers to embrace organic ways to instill a love of reading in children.  One of the important factors in a child’s learning to read is their enjoyment of the books and stories.  It is important to find stories that your children enjoy and look forward to reading with you.  In the Children’s Room, there are numerous books on leaves, hibernating animals and other aspects of fall. Here are a few books that you can read with your children, followed by any or all of the described activities.


Apples and Pumpkins
by Anne Rockwell

In Apples and Pumpkins, a little girl and her parents visit Comstock Farm, where they pick apples and pumpkins.  Visit an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch with your children.  Ask them questions about what they observe around them.  What does the air feel like? How many people do they think are there picking apples or pumpkins? Are they feeling happy?  When you get home, count how many apples were picked.  Have your children join you in making a special treat with the apples or carving the pumpkin.  Suggest that they call a friend or family member to tell them about the experience that they had.

Imitating activities from books gives deeper meaning to the story that your children are reading.  Retelling stories and experiences builds the concept of “beginning, middle and end.”

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaf Man uses photos of leaves and other pieces of nature to tell the story of how leaves progress through the fall.  Take a nature walk with your children and have them take notes in a homemade or store-bought journal.  They can look for specific things or just simply observe the world around them.  Gather leaves and sticks to bring home.  Use the sticks to make letters on the sidewalk.  Try to find bits of letters or shapes in the veins of the leaves.   Make your own leaf man and exchange stories with your children about what your leaf man has done or will do.

As you observe nature, you will most likely use words that your children don’t yet know.  When children are exposed to a larger vocabulary, they tend to have greater reading success.  Don’t be afraid to use new words to describe the scenery around you.  Making letters out of real objects gives more depth to the letters themselves and emphasizes the fact that they form words and have meaning.

The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

The Busy Little Squirrel follows a squirrel as he prepares for hibernation, gathering seeds, nuts and fruit.  Make your own “snack mix” with your children and try to form letters out of the pieces of food.  Have them help you cook a meal and talk about what you like to eat in the winter.  The more you talk with your children, the more they will learn about communication, words and stories.

Visit the Animals Neighborhood at the library to find non-fiction books on squirrels and other hibernating animals.  Consider reading non-fiction stories about the changing of the seasons, found in the Science & Nature Neighborhood of the Children’s Room.

Attending a storytime at MPL is a great way to get your child engaged with stories in different formats.  Storytellers coordinate activities during storytime that associate with the books being read.  Visit the website to see the current storytime schedule, or stop by the Children’s Room to pick up a schedule. Youth Services librarians are always willing to offer ideas to help your child develop early literacy skills, even starting from birth.

Posted in: Children's Dept, Mercury Column, News, Parents

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Summer of Heroes

Jessica Long, Children’s Library Assistant

Summer reading begins May 30 for all ages!

Every hero has a story, and you can discover them all at the library this summer. Super heroes will take over the library during summer reading with books, prizes, and programs for everyone from babies to adults.

Everyone is invited to kick off the summer on May 30th from 10:00-12:00 with activities for all ages. Magician Ken Garwick will perform in the auditorium at 11:00. Kids can try out their super hero moves in an obstacle course in the storytime room and conceal their identity by making masks in the arts and crafts neighborhood. Teens and adults can play a variety of board and card games in the Groesbeck Room. Come dressed as your favorite superhero and join our selfie photo contest that morning!

While you’re here for the kick off, be sure to sign up the whole family for summer reading. Keep track of the time you spend reading and listening to audio books to earn prizes like gift certificates to local businesses, free books and more.

Weekly storytimes and clubs for children, birth through sixth grade, will begin on June 1 and run through July 18.

The Power of Cute book cover

Baby Rhyme Time is designed for infants and young toddlers who will learn about their very own super power – being cute. In The Power of Cute by Charise Harper, they will discover a young protagonist who conquers a monster by making it undeniably adorable.

Move and Groove Toddler Storytime is geared toward older toddlers who want to get up and go. They’ll let their imaginations run wild with He Saves the Day by Marsha Hayles. This little boy can tackle anything – from daring flights to jungle adventures to fighting dragons – with a little help from mom.

Preschoolers can come to Move and Groove Preschool Storytime to hear about the adventures of an action figure who finds villains in his very own home. In Traction Man by Mini Grey, Traction Man and his owner make quite the team as they tackle mysteries like the Lost Wreck of the Sieve and the Mysterious Toes that steal the scrubbing brush.

Today I Will Fly book cover

Kindergarteners and first graders can join the Agents of Adventure Club. They will read a story and a non-fiction book each week, and then follow up with a craft. For the first week, agents will be studying a favorite super hero power – flight. In Today I Will Fly by Mo Willem, Piggie is determined to fly, but his elephant friend, Gerald, is skeptical. Kids will also learn the story of a real life hero in I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer.

Second and third graders will become Guardians of the Library this summer. For their club, origin stories of super heroes will be paired with biographies related to that hero’s secret identity. After hearing the story of Ironman, kids will learn about Nikola Tesla in Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World by Elizabeth Rusch.

Boys of Steel book cover

Fourth to sixth graders can join the Bionic Bevy of Bibliophiles. They will explore the history of comics with Boys of Steel: the Creators of Superman by Marc Nobleman. They will also recycle old comics into new wallets to take home.

In addition to the weekly programs, we will host special events throughout the summer. Check our webpage at www.mhklibrary.org for dates and times.

 

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ZOOfari Tails Storytime: Llama Drama

cover art for Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna DewdneyThe next ZOOfari Storytime is this Friday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m., and it’s all about llamas! Bring your kiddos ages 0-5 to the library on Friday  to hear Mr. Brian and staff from the Sunset Zoo read the stories Maria had a Llama, Llama Llama Red Pajama, and Is Your Mama a Llama. We’ll sing and dance to fun llama songs and rhymes, too! Plus, zoo staff will bring animal biofacts to share.

Since ZOOfari is so popular, you may need a few extra minutes to find a parking spot. We hope to see you there!

Posted in: For Kids, News

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Why I Love My Library

by Heather Strafuss, Assistant Circulation Manager

February is Love Your Library Month and lately I’ve had a lot of good reasons to love my library. From the grand opening of the children’s room in January, to the Good Books Club, to the addition of Lynda.com, the library continues to get better and better.

And those aren’t the only reasons why I love my library! I’ve worked at MPL for over ten years, and have been a card carrier for quiiiite a bit longer! Here are a few reasons why I love our particular library!

  1. The Books. Books! Great books everywhere! MPL has always had a fantastic collection (being one of the only places I could get my Sweet Valley High fix back in the day) and the collection continues to grow and become more fantastic every year. Whether it’s the latest Nora Roberts or a new trend in YA, MPL has it. And if it’s one of the few they don’t, there’s Interlibrary Loan services and a Suggest a Purchase page on the website.
  2. The Community. There are a lot of wonderful people who visit the library each week, and some of them I’ve gotten to know pretty well. It’s incredibly awesome when kids who used to visit each week come back and visit over spring break after going to college, or a frequent patron proudly displays pictures of their new grandchild. Working at the front desk, I get to see a bit of everything, and mostly what I see are some truly amazing people who also love their library.
  3. The Staff. They’re friendly and FUN. They aren’t afraid to declare their love for Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books with my kiddo, or spend ten minutes helping me remember the name of that documentary that looked interesting. They’re also all very indulging when I appear with a camera and ask to take their picture for social media. The smiling faces are very genuine, and some of my very best friends have been co-workers from the library.
  4. The DVDs/Blu-Rays/Video Games. Another wonderful collection of the latest movies and games, and they’re free to check out!
  5. The Events. MPL has a Good Books group where I can go and be an adult for a while, discussing literature with actual adults other than my husband, and I don’t have to pay for it as a class! (Also, there are cookies!) The story times are always fantastic, and aids my kids in developing their love of reading. The Children’s events are also excellent at being on top of the latest trends! (There’s a Frozen party coming up soon, y’all! Bust out your Elsa & Anna dresses!)

Do you love the library, too? If so, stop by and send us a valentine!

valentine display at the library

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Celebrate “Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week”

By Laura Ransom, Children’s Librarian

“Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week” is an annual event that promotes reading to all Kansas children from birth through age five. Parents, librarians, and caregivers are encouraged to read the chosen book during the week of November 16-22.

funI am especially excited about this year’s selection, Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas. Three happy cows and a frustrated chicken bounce through the pages of this light-hearted picture book. We love promoting this event at Manhattan Public Library, and each child who attends a storytime during the week will receive a free book! Funding for the free books is generously provided by the Manhattan Library Association.
My love for books began when I was very young. I have such fond memories of sitting in my mom’s lap while she read Don Wood’s The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear to me night after night. She later told me that she had the book memorized since I requested it so many times. What a patient parent! Another of my all-time favorites is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. I remember chanting along with that brave engine, “I think I can, I think I can!” These engaging books stirred a desire in me to learn how to read the words on the pages.
readaloudAs a children’s librarian, I obviously endorse reading aloud to children, but research supports it, too. One example is a study by the U.S. Department of Education, which concluded with these words: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” This quote is from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, a wonderful book filled with read-aloud suggestions and helpful tips for parents. Books include a wider vocabulary than we often encounter in television shows or everyday conversations. Even though children are unfamiliar with these new words, exposure to them is a stepping stone to reading independently. If they have heard the word before, they will be better equipped to know how to read it on the printed page.
A love for reading is just as important as the actual reading process. The fancy name for the desire to read is called print motivation. This is one of six skills children need in order to read successfully. The other skills are: Notice Print All Around; Talk, Talk, Talk; Tell Stories About Everything; Look for Letters Everywhere; and Take Time to Rhyme, Sing, and Play Word Games. These skills were originally identified by the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read Program. Johnson County Public Library modified the information that program first developed, and they renamed it “6 by 6: Six Skills by Six Years.” Many of these skills are things parents already practice with their children without taking much time to consider the educational benefits. Things like pointing out the letters on a stop sign or words on a billboard can actually help children notice that words are all around them. Little habits like this can truly make a big difference in a child’s attitude toward reading.

Our librarians love to help children discover the joy of reading. Come visit us at the library for great book recommendations and resources for growing readers.

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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

This month’s Zoofari Tails is all about – drumroll please – Zoofari webSnakes! Come join us this Friday at the Sunset Zoo for a storytime completely dedicated to snakes. Stories read will include “The Greedy Python” and “Who is the Beast?” as well as sime fun, singable rhymes. Children who attend will have a chance to win a free book, courtesy of Claflin Books and receive free admission to the zoo for the day! Sunset Zoo docents will also present animal biofacts pertaining to our theme. Also, don’t forget to bring your punch card and get one step closer to a free membership to the zoo. Note that Storytime will be held in the zoo’s rotunda building. We hope to sssssssssee you there!

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Summertime Fun — Out and About with Books

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

It is summer break, and the kids here are reading maniacs! In June, more than 30,000 children’s books and audiobooks were checked out from the library.  So far, 2,000 children have registered for the library’s summer reading program and read more than 600,000 minutes.  They are earning cool prizes to keep them motivated, including squirt toys, magnifying glasses, free books, and a wide choice of free food coupons or free kids’ day passes to the zoo and Discovery Center. The last day to collect prizes is July 31, and it is not too late to get your children signed up and include all the reading they have been doing since June 1st. 

Amidst the kids checking out books and getting their prizes, you may have noticed construction crews on the grounds, up on the roof, and in and out of the building.  The Children’s Room is shrinking while this phase of the construction project proceeds with renovations inside the current space, and with connecting the room to new spaces on both the north and south ends of the Children’s Room.  This will double the size of the space when the project is completed at the end of this year.

blue chickenLuckily, we are able to keep all our children’s materials available to the public, but space is getting more and more crowded for children’s events.  Children’s librarians will be doing some fun programs out and about the community during this phase.  Ms. Amber is leading weekly storytimes at Bluestem Bistro.  Meet on the patio on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 during the month of July to hear fun stories, rhymes and songs about colors.  This week’s theme is “blue” featuring Deborah Freedman’s Blue Chicken. What happens when an energetic chicken stumbles off the page and into a pot of blue paint?  Join us on the patio to find out.Continue Reading Summertime Fun — Out and About with Books

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Youth Volunteer of the Year

photo of Amyby Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

In 2013, library volunteers donated 2,041 hours of their time, and the library wouldn’t be the same without them. We are fortunate to have the support of these dedicated volunteers, and I would like to take a few moments each month to highlight their contributions.

This month, I would like to introduce you to one of our younger volunteers, Amy, who helps out in the children’s department. Amy has been donating her time for several years now, helping kids register for summer reading, writing nametags and giving out stamps at storytimes, and answering questions. Amy was recently recognized by the K-State School of Leadership Studies as the “Youth Volunteer of the Year.” She was awarded $250 in prize money, which she promptly donated to the library.

One of the many things that impresses me about Amy is her positive attitude. Whenever I pass her in the children’s library, she gives me a giant smile. Amy says it feels wonderful to know she’s really helping, and calls the library “one of the most welcoming places you can ever be.” She is definitely one of the people who makes it welcoming!

Amy will be attending the University of Kansas this fall as an English major. She says that her love of books and reading started when her mother brought her to storytimes as a kid, and she saw all the fun puppets. After Amy earns her BA in English, she plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Library Science, and then become a librarian. We are all very proud of her, but I’m sure we can’t match the pride felt by Amy’s mother, Lori, a professor of Early Childhood Education at K-State, who first introduced Amy to the written word.

We are all incredibly grateful for the dedication and enthusiasm Amy has brought to her work at the library. We wish her all the best as she starts college this fall, and hope she will consider applying at MPL when she earns her degree. If you see Amy working this summer, please take a moment to say thank you.

Teens, if you’re interested in volunteering at the library, check the volunteer section of the Young Adults page at the beginning of the semester. Positions are filled seasonally. Adults can fill out the volunteer application and return it to any public service desk anytime.

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Week Two of Summer Clubs and Storytimes

We had a great time last week with more than 300 kids who attended our storytimes and club sessions!  Some highlights were the reader’s theater in Curious Chaos Creators clubs, meeting Ms.Frizzle in Ms. Frizzle’s Science club and capturing germs in petri dishes during Minion Madness clubs.  Storytime kids loved the “touch and feel” activity table to go with the stories on our senses of sight and touch.

Join us again this week for lots more great stories and activities, including storytimes about noises, from animal sounds to the drumming of raindrops, and clubs about interesting scientific topics – metamorphosis, bees and electricity!kids doing readers theater at clubboy swabbing his mouth for science experiment

kids transferring germs to petri dishes for science experiment

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