Monday, March 21, 2011

Library "Daze" -- Creating a Library Ritual

Ever since she was 4 months old, my baby bookworm and I have visited our local library on a weekly basis.  In the beginning our trips were really about me - I was looking for a good reason to get out of the house (and not spend money), but over time they have really evolved into a mother daughter ritual that we both look forward to each week.  I have always had a love affair with libraries, and I think baby bookworm is beginning to have one too.  Today she told me that she was "excited" as we arrived, and I was excited too - our visit meant new books to read, new things to learn, and new topics to blog about.

Our library ritual for the past year has involved 1) attending the baby story time, 2) play time with other baby and mommy/daddy/nanny pairs, and 3) time spent looking for new books (which is my favorite part)!  So, I thought it might be nice each week to have a blog entry about our weekly adventure to the library, our library day or "daze" if you would. At the very least I think this recurring entry will be a great way to document all of the books that baby bookworm has read (from the library anyway) and my thought processes for choosing these books.

Today our normal ritual changed a little bit, as baby bookworm has now graduated from the baby story time to the toddler or family story time.  The family story time we attended was focused around the topic of Spring; despite the cold and rainy weather it was, alas, the first day of Spring.  To be honest, I have no idea what books were read because I was too busy trying to keep baby bookworm from losing all attention in the activities and stories, a task which was not easy.  The books were not geared toward baby bookworms' age but I thought she did a better than average job at being a good little 15-month listener who was surrounded by children who were in some cases 3 times her age.

After story time, we found a couple of books for the week.  Normally I would have gotten more than 2, but considering I had checked out a huge cookbook for myself, I didn't feel like carrying around a load of books.  The first book we checked out was one that baby bookworm picked out herself.  I think it's important to let her find one book that she's naturally drawn to, for whatever reason.  Not surprisingly, it was an animal book.  The second book we checked out was a letter sound book on the letter d.  Although a skill that is advanced for a 15 month old, baby bookworm has really developed a liking for letters, and knows many of their sounds.  I figured I could reinforce these letter sound associations, which are an important precursor to learning how to read, with this wonderful book series.  I chose the letter d since baby bookworm knows that d makes the "d..d" sound, and "dada" was her first word.

So, here's our library selections for the week.  I think the Splash Splash book will become a favorite, and I'm looking forward to seeing how baby bookworm does with her first sound box book.  There's a lot of words in this book but the pictures are simple, and all things that she can easily identify and can most likely say.  I plan on trying to find our own "d" words in magazines and making a collage as a fun mid-week activity.

Splash, Splash
by Jeff Sheppard and illustrated by Dennis Panek
copyright 1994
A fun book about animals who fall in water and "splash, splash".  It is a great book for toddlers, and would be very appropriate to use as a part of a lesson on animal sounds.

My "d" Sound Box
by Jane Belk Moncure and illustrated by Linda Sommers
copyright 1978
Part of a series of "Sound Box" books that teaches children letter-sound associations through alliteration.  Would be a great book for a kindergarten student, or for younger children who are learning object recognition and word-object pairs (the book has great object labels).

Our D collage that we made from a Pottery Barn Catalogue

I am such an advocate for FREE public libraries and their programming.  We are very lucky to have several excellent ones close by to us.  I hope you are inspired to check yours out soon, if you aren't already a regular at it.

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