Kent District Library
Early Bit Lits

March,  2014
Issue No . 46
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Nursery Nook
Fine Motor Skills
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
Book Review
App Review

Nursery Nook

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream...


Get together in pairs, facing each other, hold hands and row your boat back and forth for a fun teamwork activity. Or change the types of actions/boats in the song, such as "Drive, drive, drive your boat; Quickly down the stream..."  Or "Sail, sail, sail your boat; softly down the stream..."  


-Trish R. 

East Grand Rapids Branch

Fine Motor Skills

Creating a Grocery List


Kids like to help their parents around the house. Give your child a chance to help prepare a grocery list. Have your child use an old magazine, the Sunday newspaper ads or computer clip-art to cut out things for a grocery list then glue  them to construction paper. If possible, take the list  with you as you shop.




-Chris S.

Englehardt Branch

Music Minute

Does music make you smarter? According to many researchers, it does!  Children involved in music groups reap many benefits. Music helps children identify emotion and it can stimulate creativity. Experiences with musical instruments can improve motor and reasoning skills.


Rhyme Time at KDL is a great way for children to experience music. Kids and caregivers move and groove together with action rhymes, songs, games and hands-on musical activities. Rhyme Time is a great opportunity to learn new songs, explore music games and activities, and get hands on experience with basic musical instruments. 

-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

Flower Power


It has been a very long and very cold winter. Help lift everyone's spirits with this colorful home experiment that transforms the color of carnation flowers or celery stems. Talk about how plants and flowers "drink" water by taking it up the stem of the plant. Try mixing different drops of food coloring in the same cup of water to make secondary colors such as purple.



  •  several plain white carnations (or several sticks of celery with leaves)
  • food coloring
  • water
  • mason jars, vases or tall drinking glasses


  1.  Add about 20-30 drops of food coloring to each of the cups of water (red, blue, and green)
  2. Before placing any of the flowers in the cups of water, have an adult trim the stem of each flower at an angle to create a fresh cut. Try to cut the stem while it is underwater. (If air gets into the stem, the water will not travel as well up the stem to color the flower.)
  3. Place a freshly cut white carnation in each of the cups of colored water and check on the flowers every few hours to see what happens. Save a couple white carnations for the idea below.

Other Ideas

Have an adult helper use a sharp knife to slit the stem of a carnation straight down the middle. Put each half of the stem into a cup of different colored water. See what happens to the flower. Read Lois Ehlert's Planting a Rainbow to learn about the names and colors of flowers. Go to the store to pick out seed packets to plant in your garden this spring!

 -Anjie G.

Walker Branch

Book Review

Say Hello Like This! by Mary Murphy


Dogs, cats, chickens and even donkeys have their own way of saying "hello" in this colorful picture book. Each page has a half-flap to lift, revealing how animals greet one another in their special way. Ask your child which animal has the funniest hello, and pretend you are that animal. Can you think of an animal not pictured in the book that says hello in a unique way? Playing pretend is a great way to practice language skills and gets your child ready to read!



  -Liz W.  

 Plainfield Branch

App Review

Hideout: Early Reading is an app that helps kids learn to read through emphasizing letter sounds and word repetition. It also has catchy music and engagingly simple games to help keep users interested as they play. When playing, you have the option to choose a word ending and then play with the words in that "family". Through activities such as popping kernels, breaking rocks or helping pets, words and sounds are reinforced as you blend them together to do the activities and read the sentences. Read and play together with your child while using this free app available from the Apple app store.    

 -Julie R. 
Caledonia Township Branch