September Monthly Calendar

For a  printable version, please make sure to click the picture below:



August Monthly Activity Calendar

Click the calendar for a printable version. Don’t forget to stop by your local library and tell them what your favorite activity was.



Reading Just 20 Minutes a Day…

Today’s post comes from a tidbit posted by Reading with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers. Children learn new vocabulary by being exposed to new words, exploring new worlds, and experiencing new ideas.

IMG_3643Let’s do the math: If you read with your child for 20 minutes a day, you will have read 7,300 minutes over the course of a year. Let’s assume an average rate of 200 words per minute. Your child will have heard 1,460,000 words by the end of the year.

Multiply that by 5 years (birth to kindergarten) and your little one will have heard 7,300,000 words before entering grade school.

These are words your child may never have heard in his or her own environment and were likely coupled with images, concepts, and creative ideas your little one may also not have encountered.

Simply stated, reading is the easiest, and most entertaining (in our opinion), way to prepare your child for school – and life.

Be sure to visit the Reading with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Facebook page for more great tips on reading with your child!


A Book and a Craft: Extending the Reading

Remember this post from two years ago? In case you missed it, we discussed a few activities you can do with your children after you finish sharing a book together…activities that help bring the book to life. Today, I wanted to share a few activities with you that come from some of our children’s librarians.

  • My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael HallIMG_6502
    • Create animals using various paper heart sizes. Use fun-themed paper or plain construction paper and decorate with other supplies you already have.


  • Press Here by Herve Tullet
    • This one is tons of fun but simple to do and only requires two items: paper and BINGO daubers. Use the daubers to make dots on the paper.
  • Any books on bubbles or baths
    • Use bubble wrap to paint a picture. Have your child brush paint on the bubble wrap, and then press a blank sheet of paper on top of the bubble wrap. Squish it around to make beautiful designs.
  • Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
    • Make snowmen out of doilies layered in large circle shapes.
  • Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma DoddIMG_6503
    • Draw circles in different colors on a blank piece of paper. Let your child paint inside the circles with matching watercolor paint. No watercolor available? Take old washable markers and set them in shallow cups of water for a little while. The color will bleed into the water and revive the old markers. Your child can then use the markers to color in the circles. One important note: let your child match the colors.

The most important part of extending a book beyond the pages is just to have fun. You don’t need a huge number of supplies, and you don’t need to make it a big project. Don’t forget to stop in to your local Stark County District Library location and tell your children’s staff what your favorite activity was!

Thirty Million Words

Remember this post from two years ago (almost to the day!)? Well, talking to your child is still a trending topic. Last week, NPR posted an article based on the book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind, MD.


Read the article here. And check out Thirty Million Words the website here.

Not All Board Books are Created the Same…

Toddler Girl Reading a Picture Book, Isolated, WhiteBoard books are one of the most practical gifts you can give a child. They were created for young children (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers) with the idea that this age group can be rough with their toys: biting, stomping, throwing, sticky fingers, etc. Board books can typically stand up to this kind of treatment. But not all board books are created the same…

Board books are not cheap. They are heavy duty, glossy, multi-sensory (sometimes), and often, hefty. If you are spending the extra few dollars to give your child something that is going to last a little longer than that paperback book at the bottom of the toy chest, you want to make sure you are getting something that is beneficial to your child and something they will hopefully cherish as they grow older.

Keep in mind, board books are not marketed toward the child who is reading them; they are marketed toward the parent, grandparent, auntie, or friend who is buying them for a child. So while you may find a favorite picture book in board book form, take a peak inside and make sure it is a book your toddler will actually have the attention span to read or sit through.

Thankfully, Zero to Three has put together a great list of tips, so you can choose the right book for your child. Click here to see the list. And make sure you stop by your local library to check out board books for free before you make that big investment.

Recycle Those Cereal Boxes

The next time you finish a box of cereal, save the box. It has so much potential. Really.

puzzle-300x225It’s one of the easiest ways to make a puzzle. Just cut it up into pieces. Let your children design their own puzzles by allowing them to draw shapes on the back and cut them out.

Cut out the words or letters and glue them to index cards. Make your own matching, guessing, or identification games using these cards. Or cut out the letters and make different words out of them.

Cut out the characters from the front or back of the box and make them into puppets by gluing them on popsicle sticks.puppets2

Cut out the words from the cereal boxes and then tie a piece of string on one end to make bookmarks.

In addition to using the box at home, visiting the cereal aisle at the grocery store can be a very educational experience for your young child. Turn grocery shopping into a scavenger hunt using the colors, letters, words, and shapes printed on the boxes.

And if that’s not enough, turn cereal that is starting to get a little stale into beautiful art or sorting games. Make a rainbow or sort the colors into different cups.