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...
10 Tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant-Toddler

10 Tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant-Toddler

  Recent research shows that infants and toddlers are far more empathetic than we once thought.  While they have short fuses, and don’t cope well with sharing, they are capable of being compassionate.  With this in mind, here are ten tips I use in the classroom to help infants and toddlers become pro-social that families can also try at home. 1.  Be respectful, patient, and loving to your infants and toddlers and everyone else. Infants imitate what they see.  Model saying “please” and “thank you”, touching gently, using your words, using a calm voice, cleaning up your messes, helping others, and sharing your things: “Thank you for the Cheerio, would you like some of my raisins?” 2.  Media is powerful!  Read books about feelings with positive social interactions and discuss them.  If your child watches television, watch too, and talk about the situations and emotions that happen in the shows, especially if the actions are antisocial. “Caillou said that Philip could not use his ball – how did that make Philip feel?  Do you think taking turns might make Philip feel better?”  3.  When things are upsetting your toddler, you can engage your inner child.  Doll or puppet play can help your child explore feelings and perspectives.   Puppet, “I don’t want to take a bath!”  You to puppet, “You sound mad – you don’t like baths!  I wonder what things could make bath-time fun?” 4.  When people are upset, model compassion – talk about the problem and offer help. “That boy fell off the climber, let’s go see if he’s ok!  His daddy picked him up and the...
Everyday Early Math

Everyday Early Math

During the early years when children begin to learn language and social skills, they’re also learning math through playtime and everyday interactions with their parents and caregivers. Simple, everyday activities like counting toes during bath time or stacking blocks can help children develop early math skills which can have a big impact on school readiness. To help support early math skills for young learners, Too Small to Fail partnered with ZERO TO THREE on a series of videos highlighting the foundation of early math skills in the first five years of life, and fun activities parents and caregivers can use to support this learning as part of a regular daily routine. Our latest videos focus on patterns, measurement, addition and subtraction, and are available in both Spanish and English! Here are a few fun and easy ways to help turn everyday moments into opportunities to support children’s early math skills: Everyday Fun with Patterns Creating patterns is the ability to put objects, colors, sounds or actions in a repeated order. It is as easy as lining up leaves and rocks at the park. Learning to notice, create and continue patterns can help children understand more advanced math concepts later on. Activity: You and your child can make patterns together by putting objects in order by size or quantity, or stacking different colored blocks. For example, you might say, “Red block, blue block, red block, blue block. What comes next?” For more tips on patterns, watch this video http://toosmall.org/video/lets-talk-about-math-everyday-fun-with-patterns or download our handout. Everyday Fun with Measurement As early as 12 months old, babies can begin to understand comparison and measurement concepts,...
Want to stimulate your baby’s brain?

Want to stimulate your baby’s brain?

Want to stimulate your baby’s brain? Turn off the TV. The programming is adorable. The packaging conjures up famous thinkers and composers. All of this baby media is part of a multimillion dollar business (a good thing to think about when tempted to buy or use media at this age). After all, you are your baby’s best teacher. So when it comes to trying new ways to help your child think, you may want to start by putting that baby program on pause. Some facts The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for kids under 2. 43% of children under the age of 2 watch TV every day and nearly one in five watch videos or DVDs every day (Kaiser, 2003). In 2009 the Walt Disney Company began offering refunds for Baby Einstein products, based on evidence that the products were not educational. Studies show that television exposure at ages 1 through 3 is associated with attention problems at age 7 (Christakis, 2004). Other studies show that some educational programming for kids over 2 — like family favorite Sesame Street — can help get kids ready for school (Society for Research in Child Development, 2001). What is baby media? From Baby Einstein to Brainy Baby, all kinds of DVDs and computer games are out there for our youngest kids. Since Baby Einstein launched in 1997, baby media has become big business. Sales of videos for infants and toddlers reached $100 million back in 2004. There’s even a television channel — Baby First TV — aimed at this youngest of audiences. Why it matters For starters, the American Academy...
Does Reading Aloud Really Matter?

Does Reading Aloud Really Matter?

Check out this awesome and fun infographic about how important it is to read aloud with your children Read Aloud 15 MINUTES is a non-profit organization that is working to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the new standard in child care. When every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school....