Our local libraries are a great resource for families with kids. In my area of Portland, the family storytimes cover all levels. I attended the Baby Times with my daughter, where the librarian read books, sang songs, and blew bubbles. My daughter outgrew those groups when she learned to walk, preferring to check out all the strollers in the room rather than listen to the patient librarian. I stopped going to the library times for a little while, as I knew I couldn't force the issue. Instead, we immersed ourselves in the wonderful book area, checking out new books for weeks on end. With the online renewal system, I never realized it was so easy to have a book for three, or six, or even nine weeks at a time! You can read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" sooo many times in nine weeks! (I was ready to return it at six weeks ;P) My daughter returned to the library storytime groups once she was able to sit still (a little.) She often goes weekly with our friend and her son. We read at home daily, and it's part of the pre-nap and pre-bedtime routine to read three or four books (or five, if she can convince us.)
My MOPS group had a speaker today from the local library system. I know a thing or two about early literacy, but loved seeing the books she brought along with her. My favorite was "Tanka Tanka Skunk" since it features multi-syllabic words. I am constantly looking for new ways to add rhythm and syllable recognition to my therapy work, so I will have to pick this one up!
One of the precursors of early literacy is phonological awareness, and with that comes the sense of syllabic rhythm. Tapping out rhythms, dancing to rhythms, reciting poems and song with clear rhyme and rhythm are all great ways to get your child hearing the cadence behind words, phrases, and sentences. This book offered some great opportunities for just that:
The words and pictures in this book were great, and for those kids that like to move, jump, and dance, I can see using physical movement to act it out.
If you're in the greater Portland area, check out your local library storytimes:
Clackamas County: www.co.clackamas.or.us/lib
Multnomah County: www.multcolib.org
Washington County: www.news.wccls.ord
Ft. Vancouver Regional Library: www.fvrl.org
There are some great activities coming up for spring break, too!