The Magic of Reading

The Magic of Reading

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” –Dr. Seuss National Read Across America Day, celebrated today on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, reminds us that reading with your child isn’t just about reading — it accomplishes a number of great things. When parents read with their child on a regular basis—daily is fantastic—not only are they supporting their child’s ability to develop strong reading skills, they’re strengthening the relationship between their child and the world around him. As a parents, some of your most valued moments have been reading aloud with your children. First, the more a young child is exposed to books and reading aloud from birth, the more they move towards an amazing shift in their understanding of the world around them. You see, a younger child may not understand that printed words are actually conveying information. They think a reader is telling stories just by looking at the pictures in the book. So when they start to recognize that words are not mere decoration, but are telling us something, they’re reaching a milestone we call “print awareness.” We may not remember that time ourselves because we were so young. But when a child is read to, they achieve that awareness earlier, and are better prepared for gaining even more information from books as a result. Reading is a loving, reciprocal, nurturing interaction with a caregiver — and those high-quality relationships are the most important thing that helps children develop and thrive. For families that may not have ever had a model for how to interact with young children,...
Back in the Habit: New Routines to Kick-Off the School Year

Back in the Habit: New Routines to Kick-Off the School Year

Summer is almost over, and that means one very important thing: back to school season has begun! In the next few weeks and months, families across the country will start preparing for a new year full of learning — both inside the classroom and beyond. For many families, this season marks the beginning of a brand new routine as their little ones get ready to start school for the very first time. The transition from summertime to school time can be difficult for parents, caregivers, and children. That’s why this week, we’re exploring ways to help ease the process and make the most of your back to school or child care routines. Research shows that simple, predictable routines can help children develop new, healthy habits that will help them start each day ready to learn and experience the world around them. For example, having a routine can help your baby learn self control as well as guide positive behavior. Make a School Year’s Resolution To empower parents with practical advice to support their child’s overall development, NBC News Education Nation is sharing a free Parent Toolkit so you can support the students in your life who are preparing to go back to school. Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, another family member or even a teacher, you can help make a difference. Make a School Year’s Resolution with the Parent Toolkit community and be entered to win gift cards for back‐to‐school supplies. Share your School Year Resolution and join the community by visiting ParentToolkit.com.   Tip of the Week Sing lullabies with your baby every night. As part of encouraging consistent bedtime...
Helping Your Child Develop Executive Function

Helping Your Child Develop Executive Function

What is executive function and how can you help your child develop it? Executive function is a group of skills that helps regulate behaviors and manage emotions: they allow us to process information, focus attention and control impulses. Executive function skills help children learn new information, plan, and solve problems, which is why they can predict school success better than IQ scores. Executive function involves skills that children learn from their parents and caregivers through play and everyday activities. Research shows children who do well in childhood games like Simon Says or Freeze Tag do better in school because these games help them develop focus and self-control early on. In Case You Missed It Looking for a fun way to teach your child self-control? In Cookie Monster learns to exercise self-control and wait for his turn. This episode is part of  “Cookie Crumby Pictures” a Sesame Street segment designed to teach young children about self-regulation and executive function through Cookie Monster’s funny attempts to control his behavior. Tip of the Week Naming and expressing feelings helps children learn to manage their emotions, which is an important executive function skill. When your child is upset, talk together about why he/she feels this way and what he/she could do to feel better. You might say “I can see you’re feeling sad that we have to leave the playground. I wonder if there’s something fun we could do together when we get home.”...
Let’s Celebrate Dads!

Let’s Celebrate Dads!

This week, as families come together to celebrate and honor  fathers, we want to recognize just how special and important dads are to raising happy, healthy babies. Just like moms, dads play a critical role in forming the loving and supportive bonds that nurture their newborns’ brain development, physical growth, and happiness. Studies show that children with caring and involved fathers get better grades in school, have more confidence, and are able to cope with complicated problems and emotions that they encounter on a daily basis. In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re sharing some helpful tips for how fathers can make the most of each moment they spend with the littlest learners in their life. Tip of the Week Set aside some time to play, talk, read, sing – and laugh! – with your baby. Laughing with your baby helps build emotional bonds, and laughter can release stress and improve your mood! While laughing with your baby, ask them questions like, “What makes you laugh?” or “Am I being silly?” to help your child learn to express their emotions and feelings. Family Activities for Father’s Day Do you have something special planned to celebrate Father’s Day? It’s never too late to plan something fun for the whole family! Check out some simple, low-cost ideas for spending meaningful time with your family...
On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

               Hartford Public Library 2016 Summer Reading Program June 4 – August 20, 2016   Earn incentives by logging reading, attending events, and completes activites this summer!  For every 15 activities you complete, you earn a free book and a chance to win the grand prize—a LeapFrog LeapPad tablet! How It Works                                                                                             1. Sign up for the program.                                                                       2. Log your reading and activities to earn prizes.                                                            3.Keep reading all summer to be entered for the grand prize! Get started by registering on the link below…. To sign up and track your progress,click here  For a printable log, click here On Your Mark, Get Set, ...