Let’s Talk About Early Math

Babies doing math? That’s right! Children’s brains are ready to understand number concepts from a very early age. Early math skills have a big impact on children’s school readiness—in fact, research has found that a strong understanding of early math concepts predicts both a child’s future math and literacy skills. The roots of early math skills begin developing from birth, through babies’ everyday play and interactions with parents and caregivers.  The good news is, math is all around us, and routine activities and games provide opportunities to help develop these important early math skills while having fun and bonding with your little one!   In Case You Missed It Together with Highlights, we created a digital guide with fun and easy activities that you can do with your child anywhere, from driving in the car or shopping for groceries, to doing laundry or setting the table. For example, you can introduce addition while your child is playing with blocks. Say, “Let’s put all your red blocks in one pile and your blue ones in another. Now, let’s count how many blocks there are all together.” Check out the guide for more ideas—it even includes fun videos with animated tips! Tip of the Week Your little one’s first math lessons could take place at the grocery store! For example, you can compare the size of fruits and vegetables! You can ask: “Which one is bigger, the banana or the strawberry?” Find more fun early math activities in our new digital guide...
Raising Strong Girls

Raising Strong Girls

Research shows that early experiences in children’s lives have a lifelong impact on their learning and development. From the moment they’re born, babies learn to feel safe and secure in their world through the relationships they have with their parents and caregivers. When adults provide little ones with consistent, nurturing care from the very beginning, they help them to develop healthy attitudes about themselves and create trusting relationships with others. Developing self-confidence is essential to children’s healthy development and success—both in school and in life. Women’s History Month provides great opportunities for parents to share meaningful conversations and stories about positive female role models with their children—both boys and girls. Sharing books is a wonderful way to expose our children to strong, caring, thoughtful, and inspiring female characters of all ages. For book ideas for young children, check out some of Chelsea Clinton Shares Her Favorite Kids’ Books With Strong Female Characters.  You can use your favorite books to spark conversations about girls and women you and your child know and admire. When we incorporate these types of stories and discussions into our daily interactions, we can help children celebrate girls and women—not just this month but throughout their lives.   Tip of the Week Helping girls develop confidence in STEM during the early years lays the foundation for their future success. Research shows that activities as simple as using math and science words in everyday conversations can help children do better in STEM later on. You can take advantage of daily routines to introduce your child to concepts of measurement, shapes, or addition and subtraction! During snack time,...
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,...
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, ...
Great Read Alouds for Kids: Babies to Grade 3

Great Read Alouds for Kids: Babies to Grade 3

  “It’s a busy life filled with lots of things to do and even more distractions. But there’s one pursuit that can be fun for everyone involved, plus it has benefits that will have a lifelong impact. All that’s needed is a comfy place, an adult, one child or more, and a good book to share.”   How do you choose what to read aloud to your child? The first thing to ask yourself is simply: Do I like it? Then consider if you’re comfortable with the content. Is there something that you may want to omit or that you’d rather not tackle with your child? Children seem to know instinctively when an adult really likes something or if they’re just faking it. Sometimes children respond differently to a book than the adults who try to share it. A book that the adult thinks is fantastic may get a ho-hum or downright negative response from the listener or sometimes the reverse is true, too. That’s OK; children have tastes, though sometimes they’re just not ready for a particular book. It’s perfectly acceptable to put a book down or not finish it. Just try another one. You might want to keep in mind that if a book resounds with the child, chances are you’ll wind up reading it frequently. A book has got to wear well for both the reader and the listener. Previewing a book, reading it aloud, before reading it aloud with a child is always recommended! Speaking of wearing well, do you like the sounds of the words you’re reading? Are they interesting to hear? Try reading...