Kent District Library
Early Bit Lits

February,  2014
Issue No . 45
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Nursery Nook
Fine Motor Skills
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
Book Review
App Review

Nursery Nook

Snowflakes, Snowflakes

to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?"


Snowflakes, snowflakes

Snowflakes, snowflakes

All around, all around

Whirling, twirling snowflakes

Whirling, twirling snowflakes

Hit the ground

Hit the ground


Start this rhyme by twirling your fingers in the air and slowly whirl and twirl your way to the ground.  This can develop body-spatial awareness, fine motor muscles and pretend play. And it's a fun seasonal rhyme!


-Trish R. 

East Grand Rapids Branch

Fine Motor Skills

Getting dressed can be a difficult challenge to a young child and their frustrated parent. Help your child learn the name of items of clothing. Have fun with this vocabulary puzzle and learn at the same time. Moving shapes around to find their match and fitting them together helps a child strengthen their fine motor abilities.


Cut apart these puzzle pieces and your child can play with the self-correcting puzzle to learn the names of articles of clothing. Talk with your child about the different words and use them in context. Talking with your child is one of the best ways to help develop language and other early literacy skills. Cutting helps your child improve their fine motor skills. 



-Chris S.

Englehardt Branch

Music Minute

Music stimulates the learning receptors in the brain. It can benefit young minds in many ways, from expanding vocabularies, to increasing comprehension or defining emotions. By including music in learning games, young children can practice essentials skills while having a blast!

Here are just a few ways to incorporate music into your playtime.

Draw or Paint to Music: Encourage your child to draw what they hear. You can use familiar words that identify emotions or feelings, like happy, busy, silly or sleepy. Then expand on those words with new vocabulary choices, like content, distracted, wild or mellow. See how your child's art work changes with the tempo of the song playing.

Move to the Music: Add special movements to a song for specific sounds. A fun example is Jim Gill's song, My Bonnie, from his Do Re Mi on his Toe Leg Knee CD. For every "B" sound in the song, move your arms up, and put them down on the next "B" sound. Try it with some of your favorite songs. What letter sounds can your child identify?

Clap the Beat: Clap out the rhythm to a familiar song and see if your child can identify it. Clap the next part together. Practicing this skill helps children recognize patterns and predict what comes next.

Add some music to your day, and let the learning begin!


-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

Alphabet Bead Threading Game

 Children today spend a lot of time working with keyboards and touch screens. Writing the old-fashioned way, however, is still an important skill for children to master. Reading and writing go together and the process of writing is closely linked to the process of learning to read. In order to write, children must develop the muscles used to grasp a pencil. Here is an easy activity that can be made at home to help encourage children to learn the alphabet and develop fine motor skills at the same time.



  • Toothpicks (or pencils)
  • block of hard Styrofoam (old packaging works well)
  • alphabet beads (or large wooden beads if using pencils for toothpicks)
  • Paper
  • Markers/colored pencils


  1. Cut the paper into small squares and write a letter of the alphabet (upper or lower case) on each piece of paper.
  2. Attach each paper letter to the Styrofoam block by tacking it to the foam with a toothpick. Make sure that the letter is still visible.
  3. Have children "thread" the alphabet beads onto the toothpicks with the corresponding letter.
  4. Consider using pencils and large wooden beads in the place of toothpicks and small beads when working with very small children as small beads can pose a choking hazard.
-Anjie G.

Walker Branch

Book Review

Snow Dog, Go Dog by Deborah Heiligman


Tinka is a golden retriever who loves a good romp in the snow. She frolics a bit too far from home and gets lost, but ends up safe and sound by the end of this rhyming tale. This book is fun to read aloud, with a bouncy rhythm and great repetition. Look at the bright illustrations and talk about what Tinka is doing in the snow. Ask your child what he likes to do on a snowy day. Have your child point to the words that repeat on each page, and talk about the words that sound alike. Make a list together of other words that sound like "dog." Talking about words and the sounds letters make helps your child get ready to read!




 -Liz W.  

 Plainfield Branch

App Review

The app Sago Mini Sound Box is a fun way for kids to interact with music and sounds. It is easy to use, entertaining fun that helps kids to develop sound recognition and manual dexterity. When opened, the app lets you select one of nine boxes as your "set of sounds," like piano, car horns, farm animals, etc. With each tap on the screen you create a new sound dot that you can drag and bounce around to change size, color and sound. Try tilting your device and using multiple touches for different interactions. As you play, ask your child about the sounds they hear and the colors and patterns they see. This app is available from the Apple and Amazon app stores for $2.99.



 -Julie R. 
Caledonia Township Branch