@ 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