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Notes from Storytime

Stories in Rhyme

Down by the Cool of the PoolTake advantage of every opportunity to play with rhyme and the sounds of words. Research shows that children who play with sounds of words in their preschool years are better prepared to read when they get to school. This is called phonological awareness. Share a good rhyming book with your child, such as Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant

By eemerick on May 14, 2012 Categories: Phonological Awareness

The Sounds of Rain

Rain SongSplish-splash, drip-drop, kaboom… Rain makes all sorts of fun sounds! Letters put together make fun sounds and words too! The early literacy skill of phonological awareness is being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. So on the next rainy day, make some rain sounds of your own using your hands, a drum, and especially your voice!

–Tip by Carol C., Youth Programming Assistant

By eemerick on March 19, 2012 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Clapping Out Words

Snowy Blowy WinterClapping words helps children hear them divided into parts. This fun activity helps develop their phonological awareness, the ability to break words into parts. This is one of the skills researchers say is important for children to have before learning to read. Talk about the word “winter”—sound out the different parts of the word (win – ter). Say them separately and then together again, first slowly and then faster. Clap once for each syllable of the word. You can also try the same thing with other words, such as season, snowman, icicle, snowball, and snowflake.

–Tip by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist


By eemerick on December 26, 2011 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Singing Together

Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg KneeAs children learn to read, they use many of the skills we practice in storytime. One of these skills is phonological awareness, which is the ability to play with parts of words. An easy and enjoyable way for children to practice this skill is by listening to and singing songs. So sing with your children, even if you don’t have perfect pitch! In songs, each syllable has a different note, so children are hearing words being broken down into parts. These are some of the artists you may hear in storytime: Wiggleworms, Jim Gill, Miss Carole, Laurie Berkner, Raffi, and more!

–Tip by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator

By eemerick on October 24, 2011 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Can You Growl Like a Bear?

Can You Growl Like a Bear?Phonological awareness means learning about sounds in words. Hearing and learning animal sounds helps children hear different kinds of sounds. Show your child pictures of different animals in books and demonstrate what sound they make. Can You Growl Like a Bear? by John Butler and Who Hoots? by Katie Davis are two great titles that will inspire you and your little one to play with animal noises. Or take a trip to a local farm or zoo to have them hear the animal sounds in person!

–Tip by Julie D., Elementary School Liaison

By MPPL on August 3, 2011 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Rhyming Dust BunniesRhyming is one way that children learn to hear that words are made up of smaller parts. Reading books like Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas and sharing rhymes helps children hear the smaller parts that make up words. This skill—phonological awareness—helps them when they later try to sound out words to read. It’s fun too!

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian

By MPPL on May 23, 2011 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Five Little Ducks!

Five Little DucksPhonological awareness means learning about sounds in words, and part of that is rhyming. Have fun saying the “Five Little Ducks” rhyme with your child at home. The Library also has many board books and picture books that feature the rhyme.

“Five Little Ducks”
Five little ducks went out one day (flap)
Over the hills and far away. (wave motion with hand)
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack.” (talking motion with hand)
But only four little ducks came back. (flap)

Repeat with: Four, Three, Two, One, and No little ducks…

Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
And five little ducks came wandering back!

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on February 22, 2011 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Playing With Sounds

Dog's Colorful Day

In the book, Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, each time dog gets another spot of color it’s accompanied by a sound like, “Swish!” or “Splurt.” When children hear and practice making these kinds of onomatopoeic noises, or the sounds that animals make, it helps them hear the smaller sounds that make up words, which is part of the early literacy skill phonological awareness


By MPPL on December 14, 2010 Categories: Phonological Awareness

The More We Get Together

A Child's Celebration of Silliest SongsThe early literacy skill of phonological awareness means learning about sounds in words. Singing songs with your baby, such as “Old MacDonald” or “The More We Get Together,” is a great way to emphasize this skill because in songs each syllable may have a different note. Without thinking about it your child is hearing words being broken down into parts. The Library has a multitude of CDs with classic children’s songs… check one out!


By MPPL on September 8, 2010 Categories: Phonological Awareness

Warthogs Paint

Warthogs PaintPhonological Awareness is the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words, like rhyming, playing with syllables or parts of words, and hearing beginning sounds of words. A fun way to help children learn their colors and rhyming skills would be to read the book, Warthogs Paint: A Messy Color Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards. You can even make the story more interactive by giving your child colored paper or crayons and each time a color is mentioned in the book have them hold up that color.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant

By MPPL on June 14, 2010 Categories: Phonological Awareness