Kent District Library
Early Bit Lits

June,  2014
Issue No . 49
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Fine Motor Skills
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
Book Review
App Review
Fine Motor Skills

Let Your Emotions Show


Drawing smiley faces and frowning faces can be fun. Try putting shaving cream, whipped cream or sand on a cookie sheet and have children draw different faces with their fingers. Children can erase the faces with a wipe of the hand and start over again. Using fingers to draw helps develop fine motor skills and prepares children for learning to write in school.


Need more ideas for emotions to express? Try printing KDL's Emotion Faces activity sheet found on the Play Grow Read portion of our website. Children can use scissors to cut out different facial expressions and glue them onto a blank face. Have a great summer and keep smiling!




-Chris S.

Englehardt Branch

Music Minute

Summer is here and it's time to move music outdoors! Explore the wonderful world around you and find music everywhere. Find a cool spot under a shady tree and listen to the wind blow through the leaves, the birds singing or the sounds of traffic. Do rhythm activities by tapping sticks on fences, garbage cans or sandbox toys. See if children can follow your lead when you count out a rhythm. Call and response songs are a great way to stimulate imagination and practice working with patterns. Try a few rounds of "Down By the Bay," changing up the rhyme at the end to create silly and entertaining lyrics.  Children repeat each line until the final rhyme.


"Down by the bay (repeat)

Where the watermelons grow (repeat)

Back to my home (repeat)

I dare not go (repeat)

For if I do (repeat)

My mother will say (repeat)

Did you ever see a duck driving a truck

Down by the bay?"


Alternate the underlined words with other rhyming pairs such as a dog chasing a frog or a moose sipping some juice. Use the sights and sounds around you to make up the next line. Challenge your child to come up with sillier or more difficult rhymes. Having fun with words and sounds through singing is a great way to add to your child's vocabulary and get them ready for reading.




-Sara M. 
Sand Lake Branch

The fun and simple activities provided in this newsletter are one of the many ways Kent District Library provides you and your child with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. The Kent District Library millage provides 90% of KDL's budget, funding for reading and educational programs for children, and all other library programs for nearly 400,000 residents of Kent County. KDL's millage election is on Tuesday, August 5. Please visit for more information, or pick up a brochure while you are visiting any KDL branch. We hope to see you soon! For more early literacy activity ideas be sure to check out our new  Early Literacy Calendar.

Learning With Crafts

Starry Sky Craft


One of the joys of summer in West Michigan is experiencing the great outdoors. It gets dark later here on the Western edge of the Eastern time zone, but if little ones manage to stay up after dark they have a wonderful opportunity to learn about the beauty of the night sky. Talk about the concepts of day and night with your child. Observe the phases of the moon and the patterns of constellations. Can you can find the Big Dipper in the night sky? Check out a book about stars from the library such as Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee or Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton. When you are finished learning about the night sky, challenge children to make their own constellations using the materials below.
  • glow-in-the-dark star stickers or foil star stickers
  • black paper
  • white colored pencil or white chalk
  • mini marshmallows
  • toothpicks



  1. Arrange the star stickers on the black paper to form a pattern.
  2. Use the chalk or colored pencil to connect the stars to form a constellation.
  3. Use the marshmallows as stars and connect them together with the toothpicks to form a constellation.
  4. Name your constellation and make up a story about how the constellation formed.


 -Anjie G.

Walker Branch

Book Review

Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper


 When Little Green rolls into town and says his first word, "go," the construction site really gets moving! What happens when all the vehicles go, go, go at the same time? Who will say a word to slow things down? This bright and cheerful picture book shows the power of a single word and illustrates what it means to work cooperatively. Point to and name the letters in the words "go" and "stop" as they are repeated in the story, and ask your child to do the same. What would happen if vehicles on the street didn't obey these signals? Play a game of "Stop and Go" together outside and take turns being the "traffic signal." Talking and playing both build vocabulary and are great ways to get your child ready to read!




-Liz W.  

 Plainfield Branch

App Review

With the Mother Goose on the Loose app users can interact with and listen to classic nursery rhymes and songs.  Mother Goose nursery rhymes are a great way to help kids learn to rhyme (a skill that is needed for learning to read). This app can help add even more fun to traditional rhymes. The simple and colorful format engages kids and lets them move the pieces around on a virtual flannel board. Listen to the rhyme or song, play with the "flannel" pieces and tap the sound effect buttons along to the beat of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Hickory Dickory Dock, Jack and Jill and more! Sing and play with your child as you listen to this free app available from the Apple app store.



 -Julie R. 
Caledonia Township Branch