Imaginative Play

Imaginative play comes from a child’s experiences in the world.  Visiting places where you can see animals in the wild will lead to more imaginative play about animals.  It will also bring more stories to life, since so many stories for young children involve animals

   Walking through the conservation land in Chelmsford is a wonderful way to see animals and plants. Thanksgiving Forest is bordered by River Meadow Brook and Great Brook Farm State Park.

Bunnies may not be welcomed at the Community Gardens, but you can certainly see lots of plants. The library created a StoryWalk around the gardens to provide yet another outdoor activity in town for young children.  I wonder what the StoryWalk would look like if you pretended you were a bunny family?…

Summer storytimes end this week

The last toddler storytime for the summer happened this morning.  There are preschool storytimes on Wednesday at the Main Library and Friday at the branch this week. We will not begin storytimes again until the week of September 29.

This is our fall storytime schedule at the Main Library:
Ages 0-12 months: Fridays at 10am (begins Oct. 3)
Ages 12-18 months: Fridays at 11am
Ages12-30 months: Mondays at 10am or Wednesdays at 11am (begins Sept. 29 and Oct. 1)
Ages 2.5-5 years: Mondays at 11am or Wednesdays at 10am
Ages 4-6 years (without a caregiver): Thursdays at 1:00pm (begins Oct. 2)
You may drop-in to any of our storytimes.  No registration is necessary.

There is a Friday morning storytime this fall at 10:30am at our MacKay Branch in North Chelmsford.  It begins on Friday, October 3. Families with children ages 2 years and up are invited to drop-in.

We always offer the Dads and Donuts storytime on the 2nd Saturday of every month at the Main Library.  This is a special storytime for ages 2 and up, because there are snacks at the end.  Dads make up the majority of the grown-ups, but moms are always invited.

We will offer Bubble Dance parties on Wednesdays in September for ages 2-6 years old as a fun activity to help you wait for storytimes again.  Please note that the bubbles start at 10:30 am.

Book at Toddler Storytime on Monday, August 11

We listened to another book by Audrey and Don Wood this week.  The Napping House is a cumulative story.  All previous action is repeated each time something new happens.  Children can help us tell the tale by remembering what they just heard.  Again, with a big group, full participation is not possible.  Today we all snored along with granny and made noises with the animals.

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Talking points

Talk about your visit to the library.

“We are going to the library today.  Let’s gather all our library books.”
“Which ones were our favorites this past week?”
“I really liked how funny the bear was in that book.  What did you like best?”
“What books do you want to look for when we are at the library?”

Talking to children seems to be too obvious to mention.  Everyone talks to children.

Research is being done on very young children to support our wisdom that talking to children matters a lot.  Quantity matters.  The more we provide child-directed speech, the faster and more reliable the child will be in interpreting speech.  That seems obvious.  The research shows that it is a child’s superior skill in processing language that leads to success in learning vocabulary.  That’s why quantity matters as much or more than using “big words”.

So talk to children often throughout the day.  Use a variety of words when you think of them.  Engage them in conversations as they get older.

And remember – speech needs to be directed at the child for this to work.  Speech that is simply overheard is unrelated to vocabulary development.