Notes from Story Time

Notes from Story Time Blog

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

Picture Book DVDs

Good Night, Gorilla

Young children love to hear the same story over and over again. It can get boring for you. Think of different ways you can talk about what is happening in the book or retell the story using objects. Another way to increase a child’s print motivation is to play a DVD or sound recording of a favorite story. The Library has many DVD versions of popular and classic children’s books.

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




“L” is for Library

"L" is for LibraryShowing children letters based on subjects they like follows the child’s interest. They are more likely to remember the letter that way than if you drill them. Choose a book that features an animal or topic that starts with the same letter as your child’s name. Cut that letter out of some construction paper and glue it to a popsicle stick. Tell your child that as you read the story, he or she should hold the popsicle stick up in the air every time there is a word that starts with that letter. You could even make a game out of it by having your child count how many times he or she does it!

 –Tip by Julie D., Elementary School Liaison

A Hat for Minerva Louise

A Hat for Minerva LouiseUsing things you have around the house as props can help children internalize and understand what is happening in the story. This will help them be able remember the events and to retell the story, an important part of narrative skills. In A Hat for Minerva Louise, Minerva Louise finds objects around the farm that she tries to use as winter clothing. After reading the book, try retelling the story with props you find around the house. There are many simple children’s books and rhymes that can be told with props and puppets—see if you can find another one!

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

Speech Bubbles!

The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep by Mircea Catusanu and Superheroes by Maxwell Eaton III are two stories that use speech bubbles when the characters talk. Speech bubbles are a way of showing that the writing has meaning to the story, which helps children develop print awareness. When you read with your child, you can point out these words and explain how they show what is being said in the story.  See if you can find other stories that include writing as part of the story!

–Tip by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist

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


Action Songs Can Build Vocabulary

If You're Happy and You Know ItSing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with different actions, such as clap your hands, pat your head, tap your toes, and touch your nose. Make up new verses for other body parts your child is learning to name! This will help add to your child’s ever-growing vocabulary, which is a key part of building reading readiness.

–Tip by Jan P., Preschool/Child Care Liaison

Keep Reading a Positive Experience

Miss Smith's Incredible StorybookYou may often hear the phrase “Read with your child for 15 or 20 minutes a day.” Some days your child may not want to sit still that long. It is more important that the interaction between you and your child be positive rather than long. Follow your child’s moods and interests when reading together. This will encourage print motivation.

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

Point to the Words

Hurry! Hurry!To increase your child’s print awareness, run your finger under the words of the title as you say it. This helps children understand that you are reading the text, not the pictures. If you choose a book with only a few words on each page, you can point to the words as you say them. Try these books with minimal words and large text: Hurry! Hurry! by Eve Bunting, Lunch by Denise Fleming and City Street by Douglas Florian.

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

Shape by Shape

Shape by ShapeBefore children learn actual letters, they are aware of shapes. By using the specific names for shapes, you not only help your child learn new words, you help them understand differences between similar things. This sets the stage for them seeing differences in the way letters look. Try one of the Library’s many wonderful books about shapes, like this one: Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald.

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian