Early Bit Lits

September,  2013
Issue No . 41
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Connect with Mo Willems
Nursery Nook
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
App Review
Book Review

Connect with Mo Willems

Share your love for this award-winning children's author through books, crafts and games. We will even write him a letter.


Check the online event calender for a program near you.

Nursery Nook

Buckle My Shoe

One, two - Buckle my shoe.

Three , four - Shut the door.

Five , six - Pick up sticks.

Seven, eight - Lay them straight

Nine -Ten - A big, fat hen!


This simple counting rhyme is great to use with a flannel board or props.  It also has so many rhyming words in it, it's easy to do word play, such as "What else rhymes with 'hen' or 'shoe'?" Having kids hold up their fingers while counting helps develop fine motor skills, too.


-Trish R.

East Grand Rapids Branch

Music Minute

KDL is celebrating music with Band Books @ the Library: Music Makers at many branches this season. Creating instruments with young children is a great way to explore sound and music. So many fun sounds can be created using objects found around the house.

Explore the sound of a rubber band twanging, the sound of pots and pans crashing and even the soft swooshing of a heartbeat. Talk about the sounds made using other onomatopoeic words that create associations with the sounds they make.


What word would you use to describe the sound of fingernails zipping across the teeth of a comb? Or the sound of blowing across an open bottle?

Try different items in an empty plastic jar to create shaker instruments. Rice or beans will create a mellow, soothing sound. Pennies or pop can tabs will create a louder, jangling noise. Be sure to talk about the differences as you play. Experimenting with sound and vocabulary gets children excited to learn about the world around them. 


Be sure to check the Events at www.kdl.org/events to find a Music Makers program near you.



-Sara M. 
Sand Lake Branch

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


Learning letters and words can be hard work for young children. Make it fun by constructing a simple letter game where they can play with an item that they are not normally allowed to touch. Purchase a cheap flyswatter and let children have a swat-a-thon.  (Don't forget to hide your real flyswatter before playing this game. Eww!)



New, clean plastic flyswatter

Paper or cardboard

Markers or crayons




Cut circles from the paper and write a large letter on each circle with a crayon or marker. Place the circles on the floor. Have a child swat the letters he or she recognizes with the flyswatter and say the name of the letter out loud at the same time. (If more than one child is present, have children take turns with the swatter to prevent hands from being swatted by accident.)


Other Ideas:  This is a fun way to practice both uppercase and lower case letters and letter sounds. For older children, write sight words on the circles and have children swat the words as they read them out loud. Try pasting pictures of real bugs on the circles and having children identify the bugs as they swat them.


-Anjie G.

Walker Branch

App Review



An app that helps introduce various early literacy concepts and is also fun for kids is PBS Parents Play and Learn. This app enables kids to select from a wide variety of settings like "In the Car," "Bath Time" or "Library" where they can then play simple games by sorting items, practicing letter recognition, counting and more. Each game can be selected as "easy" or "hard." A "Parent Tip" section explains what your child is learning while playing. The app is fully bilingual in Spanish. A wonderful aspect of this app is the suggested activities in each section for ideas of what you can do with a child to extend the learning experience beyond the app. Engage with your child as they play and then follow up with one of the fun activities to maximize the learning fun. This app is available free for Apple and Android devices.

-Julie R. 
Caledonia Township Branch 
Book Review

Stick by Andy Pritchett


In this colorful picture book, it's not what you say, it's how you say it. A puppy wants nothing more than to find someone to play with, but each animal has its own idea of fun. The entire text is only six words, which makes this book ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. The illustrations help tell the story, and each animal's page is in a different, bold color. Encourage your child to identify the colors and then talk about how the animal on each page is feeling. Point to and identify the letters in the word "stick" each time it is repeated in the book. Repetition is a great way to practice vocabulary and will get your child ready to read.



-Liz W.  

 Plainfield Branch