@ Naperville Public Library

Archive for the ‘Early Literacy’ Category

Practice Makes Perfect!

In his book,  OUTLIERS,  Malcom Gladwell states that one becomes an expert in something only after practicing about 10,000 hours. That comes to  almost 417, 24-hour days of practice!

How many hours did your child practice reading over the summer?  Many children only have enough  unscheduled time during  the summer months of vacation to read for hours at a time.  This is when the magic begins to happen. And now it is September.

Kids get to be better readers by READING!

School has started again, and many children get practice reading during school hours. But, what can you do at home, to encourage  and model the fun of reading and writing?

*Go to the library often, and let your child choose what he or she is interested in.  These visits  can provide a  great variety of books and music  for the whole family.

*Keep books, magazines and games out and around, where your child can use them.

*Also keep lots of crayons, markers, pencils and paper around so your child can draw and write. When your child draws, ask him to tell you about the picture.

* Have a quiet time in the evening, where everybody reads.  Never underestimate the power of imagination, so choose TV, videos and computer games wisely and in moderation.

The countdown to becoming an expert in reading begins now!

On your way…

-Carla E. @ Naper Blvd. Library

ChopChop Magazine

ChopChop is a new magazine in our juvenile periodical collection. It is published quarterly by a non-profit corporation, ChopChop Kids, to encourage families to cook and enjoy healthy meals together.  There are many nutritious, good tasting and ethnic recipes that are inexpensive to prepare in each issue. Click here  for a yummy treat that uses fresh apples, Apple-cious Oat Bars. Check out this magazine on your next visit to the library. Our current issue is for library use only, but past issues can  check out for 3 weeks.

ChopChop Magazine

-Wanda @Naper Blvd. Library

MATH IS EVERYWHERE! Join us for “Fun with Math” in September!

Numbers are all around us! As a parent, you use them everyday — let your child in on the power of math!

In an emergency, does your child know their age, address, phone number and how to dial 911?

What is your telephone number?








Count together. How many books did we check out today at the Library?

 How tall is your child? How much does he or she weigh? Numbers again!

Which cup is the largest? Smallest? How many ounces in each one?

Let’s order the largest cup of coffee!

What shape is a stop sign?

Numbers are everywhere, especially at THE LIBRARY!  So, Moms, Dad, Grandmas, Caregivers–grab your preschooler and come play with us at all 3 locations during our first Special Program of the Fall Season, the  interactive program, “FUN WITH MATH”:

September 4 at 95th St. Library;

September 12 at Naper Blvd. Library

and September 27 at Nichols Library.

All programs are 10:30-11:15 am.

We will have more fun than 101 monkeys!

-Carla E. @Naper Blvd. Library

Eager Readers!

If the happy faces I’ve been seeing are any indication, there are some very eager readers visiting the library in the week or so since school started.  We are always willing to share tips and tools on how to help your child to read but some parents quickly find out that one style does not fit all children.

Children often learn to read at their own pace and when they are really ready.  For some children this might be well before their first day of school and others may not be ready until they reach first grade.   Below are some tips for you, some that I have used myself and some shared by other parents.

  • Make letters out of everything.  Spell it out with food, toothpicks, sand, sugar, or anything else you find.
  • Make reading part of the day and look for letters and words everywhere you go. The grocery store is a great place for this. Point out print everywhere.
  • Read a lot of books.
  • Once is not enough.  It’s really okay to read the same story or book 100 times if the child is enjoying it. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.
  • Label the objects of your home with the name of the item written on an index card.  Seeing the word “clock” next to the clock helps your child to recognize the names to familiar objects.
  • Give everything a name to increase your child’s vocabulary.
  • Reading is fun so remember to read to your child with humor and expression.  You can even use different voices for each character!
  • Know when to stop.  If you have lost their attention then it may be time to take a break.
  • Read it and live it.   If you have been reading about animals then perhaps a trip to a farm or zoo would be fun to share.
  • Play word games.  Recite tongue twisters and silly rhymes.  This helps kids to hear the many sounds in each word.
  • Don’t leave home without a book or magazine to help pass the time while waiting in lines.
  • Find books that are not too difficult.  Your child needs lots of successful reading experiences to become a confident reader.
  • Lastly, be patient.  Give your child a chance to sound out the words on their own before you gently correct them or point out their mistakes.  Remind them to look closely at the letters of each word.

The Nichols and the Naper Blvd branches have labeled the easiest Readers in our collection with a big green and white striped sticker on the spine of the book for easy selection of the simplest books.  Our 95th Street branch has a list that you can borrow to find these same easy Readers in their collection. 

We hope you visit us soon to continue on your reading adventure.

~Deanna @ Nichols

Family Fun!

So you’ve just picked up the kids from school or perhaps just finished dropping the older ones off, what can you do now that would really be fun for everyone?  How about stopping by the library for some great family fun?  Many families visit the library on a regular basis and one of their favorite gathering places is our Family Center.   In the Family Center you will find many fun things to do and play with.  There are puppets, lots of puzzles, board books, toys, rubber animals, blocks, activity cubes, and coloring pages with crayons just to name a few.  I always enjoy seeing the creative ways that some families have fun.  Just look at this grown-up being buried by puppets and alphabet letters!


Sometimes the families gather just to let the grown-ups have some time to chat with other grown-ups.  Sitting on the floor with the kids on the colorful rug amongst, the puzzles, toys, and books, these ladies are having a relaxing afternoon with their families and friends in the Family Center at Nichols.


Can you see the Letter of the Week display on the back wall in the photo above?  You will often find Literacy Spots sprinkled throughout each of our buildings.  One of my personal favorite things for families to do is to stage their own puppet shows.  Sometimes the parents put one on for the kids and other times the children will line up the chairs and put on a show for the entire group. 

I never tire of listening to the laughter and learning that goes on in the Family Center.  Please stop by any one of our buildings and start having some fun with us today!  We always look forward to your visits with us.  See you soon!


Help Me Get Ready to Write

ImageReading  and writing go together. Both are ways to represent spoken words and to communicate information and tell stories. Once your child can grasp a thick crayon or marker, encourage them to draw and wite. Those beginning scribbles may not be actual words, but they have meaning to your child.  As children write, they become aware that the printed letters and words stand for spoken words. They begin to understand the purpose of reading through the process of writing. Scribbling and drawing  also help children develop eye-hand coordination and the fine motor control they need to hold a pencil.There are all sorts of fun ways to encourage your child to get ready to write:

  • Practice picking up small objects such as Cheerios (Remember to be careful of choking hazards)
  • Play with playdough. Make small blocks or shapes.
  • Build with interlocking blocks, like Legos or Duplo.
  • Manipulate paper- tear it, wad it into balls, and fold it.
  • Trace letters in the sand or dirt.
  • Have your child help you write the weekly grocery list
  • Write down your child’s stories and have them draw pictures to go with the story.
  • Make your own mailbox and have your child write letters to friends and family.
  • Teach them how to write their name.

-Karen B., 95th St. Library


Playing is learning!

Children grow and learn through play. When they sing, rhyme, make up stories, dance, and act out with puppets and dolls, they are learning to talk and read. They are learning to share. They are learning to cooperate and think. Whether playing a board game or a ball game, kids learn to set rules of play and follow them.  They are learning to make sense of their world and the other people who live in it!

Kids write, draw, cut, paste, jump, hop and skip … and at the same time develop small and large muscles. They grow mentally and physically stronger.

Human beings are meant to be part of the natural world. Let you child play outside in the bright sun, spring rain, winter snow, falling leaves and light of the summer moon. Moving our bodies is essential to feeling mentally healthy and happy.

Help your children  play. Be silly with them. Laugh. Make believe. Walk. Observe. Run. Bike.

If possible, invite a pet to share in your family life. A dog or cat is always willing to play! And they give more than they ask for.

Kids need to enjoy unscheduled time — it gives them a chance to dream, imagine and be joyful.  Encourage your child to be a doer, not a watcher. Turn off the TV, the computer, the phone, and PLAY!


 -Carla @Naper Blvd. Library

Many Children, Many Books


On April 28, 2012, Naperville Public Library will join schools, libraries and communities across the country in celebrating Dia de los ninos/Dia de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). Dia grew out of Children’s Day, which began in 1925 and was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance  and well being of children. In 1996, author Pat Mora proposed linking this celebration of children with literacy—and Dia was born. Initially Dia focused on the Latino community, but it has grown to embrace all cultures and languages.

Why celebrate Dia?

  • Dia brings families together and emphasizes the importance of literacy for every child regardless of linguistic or cultural background.
  • Dia involves parents as valued members of the literacy team.
  • Dia honors home languages and cultures, which promotes bilingual and multilingual literacy in this multicultural nation; and leads to global understanding through reading.
  • Dia reflects the joy that comes from being able to read in whatever language is spoken at home or with family, with being literate, from loving language  and from sharing the love of books.

The library is the perfect place to celebrate Dia.  Libraries provide the opportunity for endless learning and enjoyment for all people, regardless of linguistic and cultural background.  Come to storytime. Try out “Little Pim” and learn a new language. Listen to music or read a story about another culture.

All children enjoy nursery rhymes. Try one of these with your child.

Pio, Pio (traditional Italian nursery rhyme)

Pio Pio                                                                   Pio, Pio

Pio, pio                                                                  Pio, pio

Il pulcino sono io.                                           I am the chick.

La mia mamma                                                 My mother

e’ la chioccia                                                       is the hen

e io vivo nel pollaio.                                       and I live in the chicken run.

Quando andiamo                                             When we go

a far la nanna                                                      to sleep

sotto le ali della mamma,                              under mommy’s wings,

noi dormiamo tranquillamente                  we sleep quietly

e la volpe non ci fa niente.                            And the fox doesn’t harm us.

Chandaa Maama Door Ke (traditional Hindi rhyme)             Uncle Moon

Chandaa maama door ke,                                                          Uncle Moon far, far away,

puye pakaayen boor ke                                                               baking yummy treats

aap khaayen thaali mein                                                             Eats in a big plate himself,

munne ko den pyaali mein                                                         gives baby a small bowl

chandaa maama door ke                                                            to eat in

puye pakaayen boor ke                                                               Small bowl breaks,

pyaali gayi toot munnaa gayaa rooth                                   baby is mad

laayenge nayi pyaaliyaan bajaa bajaa ke                             We’ll bring new bowls and clap

taaliyaan                                                                                            our hands

munne ko manaayenge ham doodh                                       We’ll bring a smile to baby’s face

malaayi khaayenge,                                                                     and will eat treats together

chandaa maama door ke,                                                           Uncle Moon far, far away,

puye pakaayen boor ke                                                               baking yummy treats

aap khaayen thaali mein                                                            Eats in a big plate himself,

munne ko den pyaali mein                                                         Gives baby a small bowl to eat in

chandaa maama door ke,                                                           Uncle Moon far, far away,

puye pakaayen boor ke                                                               baking yummy treats

Rocking on the Road to Reading

Whether your child is 4 days old or 4 years old, it is never too early or late to help them develop the important literacy skills that will help him or her be successful in school. Research has shown that children who start Kindergarten ready to read are more likely to be successful readers and learners throughout their lives. There are 5 Practices that have been shown to help children develop these literacy skills: Reading, Talking, Writing, Playing and Singing.

Parents and caregivers are tremendous role models. Children learn best by doing-and they love doing thing with YOU! Here at the Library we have developed a fun, interactive worshop for adult caregivers and children based on the 5 Practices called “Rocking on the Road to Reading”. We want parents and caregivers to be aware of the importance of early literacy and show how much fun it can be. We have created fun, simple activities that you can do at home, in the car or at the doctor’s office. We want to help you and your child as you start “Rocking on the Road to Reading.”

Tuesday, April 17th 10:00am-11:30am at the 95th St. Library

Bubbles, Bubbles in the Air!

You will want to save this one!

Best Bubble Solution:

1 cup water
2 tbsp Karo Syrup or 2 tbsp glycerin
4 tbsp dishwashing liquid

Mix together and enjoy your bubbles while singing some bubbly tunes!!!

The Bubble Song

(sing to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) 

Bubbles, Bubbles in the air 

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere 

Bubbles, bubbles on the ground 

Bubbles, bubbles all around 

Bubbles, bubbles in the air, 

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!

Bubble, Hop and Stop

One bubble, 2 bubbles, 3 bubbles, top.
-fingers count up, tap head once on ‘top’, pop up to standing

4 bubbles, 5 bubbles, 6 bubbles, hop
-fingers count up, then hop

7 bubbles, 8 bubbles, 9 bubbles, pop
-keep counting, clap hands at ‘pop’

10 bubbles floating down, time to stop. 
-sit down



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