Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

It’s Kindergarten registration time! Each year around this time, schools set aside special times to have parents and children register for Kindergarten. Sometimes there is a special program attached to the registration day. Sometimes children get a tour of the school or get to meet the teacher. Sometimes there are also health and academic screenings offered during the day.

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Regardless of what your school offers for Kindergarten registration, it is important to make sure your child is on track and ready for school. Last year, we wrote about this same subject. You can check out that post here.

The Ohio Department of Education has put together a great little checklist of social, emotional, and physical skills you and your child can work on together to help get them ready for school and ready to learn!

Book Review: BunnyBear

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Elizabeth. You’ll find Miss Elizabeth sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs at one of our branches. She shares her review of the book BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney. 

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BunnyBear may be a bear on the outside, but he doesn’t act like other bears.  He loves to pick and eat strawberries, hop around, and enjoy life in a calm manner. 

Bears don’t understand him, and bunnies are afraid of him.  Bunnybear wants to be accepted by the other bunnies, but he feels left out.  One day he meets Grizzlybun, a little bunny with a lot of confidence.  She loves to stomp her paws, growl, and make sure she’s noticed.  Grizzlybun quickly teaches Bunnybear it’s best to be oneself, as long as they’re true to who they are on the inside.

You can find BunnyBear along with other great titles about acceptance and being yourself at your favorite Stark County District Library! Make sure you tell your librarian how you liked the book.

Just Write About It…

Writing is a very important skill for children to master. Writing involves creativity, comprehension, fine motor skills, sometimes the ability to follow directions, reading, and so much more. Writing is one of the five early literacy practices helping prepare children for school.

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Here is a simple activity you can do with your child to incorporate writing into your day.

  • Supplies:
    • Paper
    • Crayons, Markers, or other item for coloring
    • Pencil
    • A favorite book

For my example, we read the story Orange Bear Apple Pear by Emily Gravett. It is a simple story with four words: orange, bear, apple, pear. The author uses the words in fun ways through her illustrations.

Image result for orange bear apple pearAfter we read the story, I asked my group of children to think of four words. They could use any four words. When they had a little trouble thinking of words, I asked them to name their favorite color, fruit, and animal.

We moved to the table. I gave them each a large piece of paper, and I told them to use their four words to write a story and draw a picture to go with it.

The most important part of this activity was letting the children be creative and work on their own. The hardest part of this activity was letting the children be creative and work on their own. Yes, you read that correctly. As adults, we have a tendency to want to make our children’s work perfect or help them the entire way. For this project, it’s important to let them figure it out on their own. Let them sound out the words and “kid spell.” Let them draw an animal the way they “see” it.

We did this with a mixture of age groups from 3 to 8 years old.

This mixes a little bit of process art (letting them create on their own) with a little bit of product art (there’s a specific end result with a few instructions). You will be surprised what your child comes up with!

Book Review: Lucy

9780763668082Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Elizabeth. You’ll find Miss Elizabeth sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs at one of our branches. She shares her review of the book Lucy by Randy Cecil. 

A homeless dog, a little girl, and a father with a dream make up this simple, sweet story titled Lucy by Randy Cecil.  Lucy, the dog, spends her days searching for food and becomes friends with Eleanor, the little girl.  Eleanor’s father spends his days attempting to make it as a juggler, but his nerves get the best of him.  The three characters’ lives weave together to create a happy ending. 

While some may consider this to be a picture book, I consider this to be a delightful early reader.  This is the perfect book for a child who may be intimidated by too many words or sentences on a page, but is still in search of a book with a bit of length. 

There are simple, soft illustrations on every page that enable the reader to fully grasp the story, even without reading the text.  The book is set up in four acts with a chapter book format, albeit brief enough to keep the young reader engaged.

 

Homemade Monday: Just like Michelangelo…

Try this the next time your child wants to color or paint.

Find a table or chair low to the ground. Something that is only two or three feet off the ground. Cut a paper grocery bag open or use a large piece of paper. Tape the paper to the under side of the table. img_0080

Show your child a book about the artist Michelangelo. Show him a picture of the ceiling at the Sistine Chapel. Explain how it took Michelangelo four years to paint it and he did the ceiling work while he was on his back. Ask your child how it might feel like to do something like that.

Now you will need to find some classical music.img_0081 I like using soundtracks to movies. Something like Fantasia or Harry Potter. Have your child slide under the table on his back. Let him color or paint to the sound of the music on the paper. The music will help create a peaceful atmosphere and keep your child coloring longer.

Take a few minutes to color with your child. Talk about what you are drawing. You may need to use a pillow for your child’s head or back.