Thursday, July 5, 2012

THURSDAY'S THEMES TO GROW ON: Early Literacy for Toddlers+

In my latest reading class, Literacy in the Early Years, the professor mentioned that some struggling readers may have been toddlers who have dealt with ear infections over their short little life span.  My own grandson has had WAY to many and even had a couple of small surgeries to help him overcome the issue.  The minute he could adequately hear again, he took off like a rocket, speaking. Here are some great ideas to help boost toddlers reading readiness, especially helpful for those kids who have struggled with ear infections or issues of any kind that affected their hearing.  Hearing, of course, affects their progress with speaking.  The most important thing you can do is to talk to them, ALOT!  Ask open-ended questions that don't require a yes or no answer.

(Go to, best website around, to learn much more about getting your toddler ready for reading.  )

Reading Tips for Parents of Toddlers

Being a toddler is all about action. Encourage continued language development and interest in books and reading by keeping things lively and engaging. Everyday experiences are full of opportunities to engage in conversation and develop language skills. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.
These tips for parents of toddlers are also available as a one-page handout to download and print.
Our reading tip sheets,
for parents of children
in preschool to grade 3,
are available in 9 other languages.

Don't expect your toddler to sit still for a book

Toddlers need to move, so don't worry if they act out stories or just skip, romp, or tumble as you read to them. They may be moving, but they are listening.

Recite rhymes, sing songs, and make mistakes!

Pause to let your toddler finish a phrase or chant a refrain. Once your toddler is familiar with the rhyme or pattern, make mistakes on purpose and get caught.

Choose engaging books

Books featuring animals or machines invite movement and making sounds. Books with flaps or different textures to touch keep hands busy. Books with detailed illustrations or recurring items hidden in the pictures are great for exploring and discussing.

Keep reading short, simple, and often

Toddlers frequently have shorter attention spans than babies. Look for text that is short and simple. Read a little bit, several times a day.

Encourage play that involves naming, describing, and communicating

Set up a zoo with all the stuffed animals. Stage a race with the toy cars. Put your toddler in charge and ask lots of questions.

Every day is an adventure when you're a toddler

Choose books about everyday experiences and feelings. Your child will identify with the characters as they dress, eat, visit, nap, and play.

Ask questions

Take time to listen to your toddler's answers. Toddlers have strong opinions and interesting ideas about the world. Encourage your toddler to tell you what he or she thinks. You'll build language skills and learn what makes your toddler tick at the same time.

Play to their favorites

Read favorite stories again and again. Seek out books about things your toddler especially likes — trains, animals, the moon. These books may extend a toddler's attention span and build enthusiasm for reading.

Not having fun?

Try a different story or a different time during the day. Reading with a very young child is primarily about building positive experiences with books, not finishing every book you start.

ELSIE: Early Literacy Storytime Ideas Exchange

Find delightful picture books recommended by our librarians that are perfect for reading aloud to young children. Stop by weekly to get the latest recommendations or search anytime by keyword for recommended books on a specific topic. You probably have many books at home that work just great, but these are lots of fun!
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 Cover Art: Jackhammer SamMandel, Peter
Jackhammer Sam
Easy Picture Book
added Jul 1, 2012
Tips for sharing: How many kinds of noises can a jackhammer make? Jackhammer Sam, a man who takes pride in his work, is happy to demonstrate as he choppa-chops his way through barrage of tasks. This ode to a messy job more

  Cover Art: Bustle in the BushesAndreae, Giles
Bustle in the Bushes
Easy Nonfiction Book
added Jun 24, 2012
Tips for sharing: The bugs are out in full force this summer. For me, bugs often have the YUCK factor, but I am trying to tame that because I know the importance of bugs in our ecosystem. The book Bustle in more

 Cover Art: The Wolf Who Wanted to Change his ColorLallemand, Orianne
The Wolf Who Wanted to Change his Color
Easy Picture Book
added Jun 21, 2012
Tips for sharing: Wolf is not happy with his dreary gray color. Thinking he will be happier if he changes his color, he makes various, silly attempts, before realizing that his perfect shade is his original color. more

 Cover Art: I Don't Want to be a PeaBonwill, Ann
I Don't Want to be a Pea
Easy Picture Book
added Jun 17, 2012
Tips for sharing: Friendship is hard. Especially when friends are stubborn and won’t give you your way! Hugo (a hippo) and Bella (a bird) are best friends and are going to a Bird and Hippo Costume Party or a more

  Cover Art: Where is Catkin?Lord, Janet.
Where is Catkin?
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book lists:
Staff-created book list Librarian Favorites 2010
• Cat's Meow
added May 30, 2012
Tips for sharing: Clever Catkin is on the prowl and readers are invited along, but not as mere voyeurs: in this hunt, we are all participants.  Just as Catkin never merely walks, we are called upon to sneak and more

 Cover Art: Polar Bear NightThompson, Lauren.
Polar Bear Night
Easy Picture Book
added May 25, 2012
Tips for sharing:Baby Polar Bear is not sleepy and, like many a wound-up toddler, prefers to explore his surroundings to counting sheep.  What will he find on his journey?& more

 Cover Art: Zorro Gets an OutfitGoodrich, Carter.
Zorro Gets an Outfit
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list New Picture Books
added May 22, 2012
Tips for sharing: I love finding picture books that are short but have a solid storyline. This book fits that category perfectly! Zorro’s person makes him wear a doggie costume and Zorro does not want to. more

  Cover Art: Two Little MonkeysFox, Mem
Two Little Monkeys
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list New Picture Books
added May 15, 2012
Tips for sharing: This is a cute, rhythmic story about two mischievous monkeys and one a-little-bit-scary leopard. With lots of repetitive phrases, it should be an easy book for children to learn and enjoy more

  Cover Art: Night KnightDavey, Owen
Night Knight
Easy Picture Book
added May 11, 2012
Tips for sharing:A Knight at night needs to go to bed just like everyone else. This creative book plays with words and enhances imagination. Readers will be taken to the world of knights and castles. Encourage more

 Cover Art: MoreSpringman, I. C.
Easy Picture Book
added Apr 24, 2012
Tips for sharing: What happens to all those lost marbles and bits of ribbon? The magpie wants to collect all the different objects and it makes a more cheerful nest. But the magpie is so enthused he keeps adding and more

  Cover Art: StuckJeffers, Oliver
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list Classroom Read Aloud - picture books
added Apr 13, 2012
Tips for sharing: Floyd’s kite is stuck in a tree, testing his problem solving skills and causing all out calamity! How would you get a kite out of a tree? Oh, you wouldn’t throw a cat, chair, and gorilla more

  Cover Art: You are a Lion! : and other Fun Yoga PosesYoo, Taeeun
You are a Lion! : and other Fun Yoga Poses
Easy Picture Book
added Apr 3, 2012
Tips for sharing: Perfect for introducing yoga into storytime, or just for settling your child down before bed, this book teaches children animal yoga poses through bright illustrations and a simple, non-rhyming verse, more

 Cover Art: Me Want Pet!Sauer, Tammi.
Me Want Pet!
Easy Picture Book
added Mar 30, 2012
Tips for sharing: OogaOoga! Cave Boy want pet! Cave Boy is in more

  Cover Art: Whose Mouse are You?Kraus, Robert
Whose Mouse are You?
Easy Picture Book
added Mar 26, 2012
Tips for sharing: In this classic, the reader asks a sad little mouse a series of questions to discover why he is all alone. This unique storytelling style will engage young listeners as they learn what more

 Cover Art: My Bear GrizMcGinness, Suzanne
My Bear Griz
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list Favorites for Preschoolers
added Feb 25, 2012
Tips for sharing: Billy is learning about things to do with a friend, his best friend, the bear Griz. This is a bit bigger-than-average more

 Cover Art: Baby Bear Sees BlueWolff, Ashley.
Baby Bear Sees Blue
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list Favorites for Preschoolers
Staff-created book list Concepts: Colors and more
Staff-created book list Letter Sounds: B
added Feb 21, 2012
Tips for sharing: This is a sweet and simple concept story about a bear and his mama.  Baby bear explores his habitat, asking his mother appropriate toddler-like questions, such as “Who is singing to me, more

 Cover Art: Time for a HugGershator, Phillis
Time for a Hug
Easy Picture Book
added Feb 17, 2012
Tips for sharing: What time is it? Time for a hug!  Mama and Little Rabbit do many fun things together throughout the day, but always make time for hugging each other.  What can be better than that?  As more

 Cover Art: The Construction CrewMeltzer, Lynn
The Construction Crew
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list Favorites for Preschoolers
Staff-created book list Word Play
Staff-created book list Things That Go
added Feb 4, 2012
Tips for sharing: The construction crew gets right to work and we see them busy at their tasks. We build our vocabulary as we learn the names of the machines. Short, rhythmic rhyming moves the action and helps us more

  Cover Art: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On : Things About MeSlate, Jenny, 1982-
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On : Things About Me
Easy Picture Book
added Feb 3, 2012
Tips for sharing: From the oft-viewed YouTube videos, comes Marcel the Shell: Book Star!  Silly but endearing, Marcel takes readers on a tour of his apartment home, stopping to point out neighbors, more

 Cover Art: A Dog is a DogShaskan, Stephen
A Dog is a Dog
Easy Picture Book
Appears on the following book list:
Staff-created book list Word Play
Staff-created book list Minnesota - picture books
added Jan 10, 2012
Tips for sharing: Simple rhymes and playful illustrations work together to create a fun story of a dog who is in the habit of changing his identity. Some pages offer up a bold-print, one-word spread—perfect for more

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