Digital literacy is the ability to understand, evaluate, and use information when it is presented by a computer, tablet, or other digital media. With so much technology present in our daily lives, we want to provide information to help navigate the world of technology with your child. Screens should be turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Exposure to the bright light of a screen can increase alertness. Bright light at night can also disrupt the body’s naturally occurring circadian (or daily) rhythms by suppressing the release of the hormone melatonin, which is important for maintaining and regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
Notes from Story Time
Play is critical for the development of imagination and creative problem-solving skills. Children love to climb, run, and jump. Getting outside in the summer gives kids the opportunity to use their large motor skills and their imaginations.The children in One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews participate in many examples of outdoor play. Use these adventurous characters as inspiration to get outdoors this summer and have some fun.
Helping your child understand that words have a rhythm and can be broken down into syllables will help your child later when he/she is sounding out words while learning to read. As you read Roadwork by Sally Sutton with your child, clap along to the sound words such as “Ping! Bang! Tap!”
Children need to develop fine motor skills in their fingers in order to control a pencil or crayon to draw or write. Teach your child a few words in American Sign Language using the book So Many Feelings. This is a way for children to communicate with their hands. Not only will this help children practice fine motor control, but it gives them another way to express themselves.
Reading and writing go together. Writing helps children learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning. One simple way you can show this to children is to occasionally point to the words as you read to them. Take opportunities to write down what children say as they tell it to you. Then you can read it back to them. This activity helps children can learn the connection between the written and the spoken word. It is also very motivating for them to tell their own stories.
Talking with your child helps them acquire language skills, like vocabulary, narrative skills, and phonological awareness, that will help them understand what they later read. After you read Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner, talk to your child about the different types of insects using the questions in the back of the book.
Remember, playing, talking, singing, reading, and writing are five simple practices to help your child on the path to reading. After reading aloud Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, talk about the colors of the rainbow. Then ask your child to draw a rainbow. Learning how to hold a crayon correctly is one of the first steps in learning how to write. Afterwards, encourage your child to plant a make-believe garden full of the flowers found in the book.
There are thousands of apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores, but not all apps for children are created equally. All of the quality apps we use in storytime and on our Family Place iPads have been reviewed favorably by children’s professionals in the technology field. The Brown Bear, Brown Bear app is an extension of the popular children’s book. Together, you and your child use your senses of sight, touch, and hearing to put together a grand musical parade. You can even create your own sound effects to add to the parade!
Play is described as one of the best ways children can learn language and literacy skills. It is the leading source of development in the early years. We are wired to learn through movement—so when your children move, they are building the structures in their brains where more complex learning will later take place. Some books, such as Sleepy Little Yoga by Rebecca Whitford, include ways you can move along, which will keep children engaged and involved during the story. Large motor play, like this and running or climbing, also develops coordination and balance.
Try reading (or singing) along with an interactive e-book from the web resource TumbleBooks. This large online collection of colorful children’s e-books is free to access from home with a Mount Prospect Library card. The link can be found on the Kids Page of the Mount Prospect Library website.