Early Bit Lits

July,  2013
Issue No . 39
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Our Earth: Dig It!
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
Book Review
App Review

Our Earth: Dig It!

Join the Kalamazoo Nature Center as we dig deep into the world beneath our feet. Meet earthworms and roly-poly pill bugs and their soil neighbors and discover how they survive. We'll dig deeper into what makes soil and how it is different from dirt, and we'll find some deeply buried treasures. 


Check the online event calender for a program near you.

Music Minute

Summer is here and that can mean road trips with lots of shared time in the car. Choosing music to entertain the whole family can sometimes be difficult  or down right nerve-wracking for moms and dads who can only imagine dancing purple dinosaurs when they think "kid music"! 


For older kids, disputes can be avoided by checking out songs available on Freegal and loading favorites onto their personal music players. From Alvin and the Chipmunks to Wonder Pets, kids can download songs that they enjoy. Then simply plug in the headphones and each enjoys their own music choice. 
But for those too young to use a device, parents might enjoy giving little ones a taste of their favorite bands with our Rockabye Baby collection. Instrumental versions of AC/DC, Metallica or even the Rolling Stones can soothe frayed nerves of all ages.


-Sara M.


Kent District Library is here to provide you and your child with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. KDL's Early Lit Bits newsletter is full of FUN and simple activities that will help foster that growth. For more information regarding the skills your child needs before he or she learns to read, visit the Play-Grow-Read section of the KDL website. You can also stop by any KDL branch to speak with one of our helpful youth librarians. We hope to see you soon!

Learning with Crafts

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

Summer is the time for popsicles! Rinse off those wooden popsicle sticks (or buy wooden craft sticks) to create your own picture puzzles. Puzzles can be stored in sandwich bags to take along on summer vacations. Solving puzzles allows children to develop fine motor skills and concentration skills such as matching and sorting. It also helps develop language skills as children listen, follow instructions and talk about what they are doing.



Wooden Popsicle Sticks (or craft sticks)


Pictures cut from a magazine or printed from a computer



To Make:

Cut the picture into narrow strips the width of Popsicle sticks and glue a section of the picture onto each stick. Store dried sticks in a baggie or plastic container.


To Use:

Put the sticks together to reform the picture.


Other Ideas:

Print off large letters from a computer and make letter puzzles. Make puzzles for items of differing colors and scramble the puzzle pieces together so that children need to sort colors apart and then complete each color puzzle. Try writing the name of a color on the end of several wooden sticks. Make sleeves out of felt in corresponding colors. Have children "put the popsicle on the stick" and match the color of each sleeve with the color name written on each stick.


-Anjie G.

Book Review

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle


Flora and her pink flamingo friend learn to dance off the pages in this wordless picture book. Though the illustrations are drawn in muted pastels, they are full of animation and excitement. Adding to the story are fun flaps and fold-outs, which allow for plenty of participation as you tell the story together. Practice your flamingo pose and see how long you can balance on one foot. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to "read" a wordless book, so just enjoy the process of turning pages and lifting flaps with your child. Ask questions as you peruse and let your child guide the storytelling, then reread the book while you narrate the pictures. Reading together and talking about the story are both wonderful ways to get your child ready to read!




-Liz W.  

App Review
One way to develop early writing skills and fine motor ability is through scribbling. The app Squiggles is an entertaining way to encourage scribbling by bringing a child's drawings to life. Using different scenes, four drawing mediums and a variety of colors, sounds and animations, it allows you to watch your drawing become something special. When you choose a scene you simply make a squiggle, tap "GO" and let the fun begin. The app also includes the option of adding "stickers" to the created picture, as well as sharing, saving or printing it. Try asking your child to draw circular shapes, zig-zags and lines, which will help them in learning to form the parts of letters and numbers. This app is available free for iPad and iPhone.
-Julie R.