Kent District Library
Early Bit Lits
August,  2014
Issue No . 51
KDL Blue
In This Issue
Fine Motor Skills
Music Minute
Learning with Crafts
Book Review
App Review
Fine Motor Skills

Let's Go on a Picnic


Summer is a great time to work on fine motor skills. Plan a summer picnic and let children help pack the food. Even little ones can add fruit or snacks to a bowl or bag. Try counting the items as they are added to the containers. By picking small items up one at a time, children can work on their fine motor skills and learn to count at the same time. Picnics can happen anywhere: outside on a sunny day or inside on a blanket on a rainy day.

KDL's PLAY-GROW-READ page has some fun summer-themed activity pages. Our Summer Fun and Picnic cutting pages are ready to print and enjoy along with the rest of your picnic feast.


-Chris S.

Englehardt Branch

Music Minute
Transition Through Song


Transitioning from one activity to the next can be difficult for young children. Music is an excellent way to make these transitions easier. Singing the same song for a regularly repeated activity helps children know what's expected of them and what's coming next.

Singing a short song during every diaper change helps babies understand that this "down time" is temporary and will be over when the song ends. It's a great way to prevent wiggles and frustration at the changing table. 


Singing a clean-up song while putting away signals to children that play time is over, and that they are expected to pick up toys. Songs can ease many transitions such as saying goodbye to family after a vacation visit or getting ready to send older siblings off to school.  

Check out some of the circle time songs available at the library such as Ready, Set, Move by

Greg & Steve or Rockin' Red by Eric Litwin.

Try singing the following song on the way to school or library programs:


Off to Class We Go
(Sung to the tune of:

"A-hunting We will Go")  

Off to class we go,
It's off to class we go,
We'll sing some songs and read along,
With everyone we know.
Off to class we go,
It's off to class we go,
We learn our ABCs and more,
With everyone we know.


Try adapting this song to different activities such as "off to work we go" or "off to sleep we go" ... sing a song and read along, because I love you so."


-Sara M.

Sand Lake/Nelson Township 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! For more early literacy activity ideas be sure to check out KDL's Monthly Early Literacy Calendar

Learning With Crafts

Corny Crafting


It's August and local sweet corn is in season. Most children love eating corn on the cob and even enjoy helping to shuck ears of corn before dinner is prepared. Pulling off layers of husk and picking bits of corn silk off the cobs is great exercise for little fingers and hands. And speaking of corn, here is a wonderful sensory craft that you can make with cornstarch and shaving cream. Mom bloggers everywhere give glowing reviews of this dough's silky texture. Playing with play dough is another great way to exercise hands and build fine motor skills. (Note: This sensory activity is messy and best done in the kitchen or outside.) Be sure to warn young children that this dough is not edible.



  • Cornstarch (2) 16 oz. boxes

  • Shaving Cream (one full can)


  1. Dump two boxes of corn starch into a plastic container.

  2. Add an entire container of white foam shaving cream.

  3. Let children mix the corn starch while an adult adds the shaving cream and be prepared with molds if desired.

To Use


Children can help mix the cornstarch with the shaving cream until a foamy dough forms. Have fun molding the dough with small plastic containers, bowls, or food storage containers.


Other Ideas

Buy a bag of dried corn and fill a large plastic bowl with the corn. Provide children with scoops, measuring spoons, and spoons to use while playing with the corn.

-Anjie G. Walker Branch
 Book Review

Thank You, Octopus by Darren Farrell


Bedtime ahoy! In this silly story, we find that Octopus might not be the best choice for getting his little buddy ready for bed. Octopus helps brush teeth with a paint brush and attempts to rock (and roll) Buddy to sleep. The action takes place on a boat and colorful, quirky illustrations carry the nautical theme throughout the book. Invite your child to respond as you read together. They will likely be repeating, "No thank you, Octopus" by the end of the story. Talk about the pictures and ask your child what Octopus should really be doing at bedtime. Can you think of a funny way to change one of your bedtime routines? Reading a bedtime story each night and talking together are fantastic ways to get your child ready to read!




 -Liz W.  

 Plainfield Township Branch

App Review

Have fun and explore while playing Beck and Bo. This attractive and well-designed app will stimulate your child's creativity and logic skills.  Drag-and-drop items as you build a scene and move the characters "Beck" and "Bo" around on their different adventures. When all items are correctly placed, players are rewarded with a virtual "album" where they can hear and see the names of the objects in the scenes. This app is not only fun to play, but also helps teach cause and effect, association skills and creative thinking. Play together as you explore the ocean, go to the store, travel on a safari and more! This app is available for both Apple and Android devices for $2.99.

-Julie R. 
Caledonia Township Branch