Blogger Jaime Eastman

Toddler Games: Motor Skills + Fun for Ages 18-36 Months

Library program room set up for Toddler Games with bean bags, blocks, crawling tunnels, and balancing stones

Do you want to engage toddlers, practice motor skills, and capitalize on the enthusiasm of the summer Olympic Games? We did! With increasing toddler attendance at our early learning programs, we wanted to add programs specific to the target age of 18 to 36 months. Practicing gross motor skills and free play was a great start, and the beginning of Toddler Games. Read on for more details.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

All Early Learning All the Time at ALA Annual 2023

As my colleague prepared to attend her first ALA Annual Conference in Chicago later this week, I found myself daydreaming of the sessions I’d attend. My colleague is an adult services librarian, so her professional interests vary wildly from my own in youth services and early learning. I decided to scour the official scheduler to find all the early learning options and share my findings below. Definitely check out the 2023 ALA Annual Conference Scheduler to view session descriptions in full; I’ve only included a very succinct summary (any quotes are taken from the session description). All events take place in McCormick Place unless otherwise noted. Thursday and Friday These days include preconference workshops and professional meetings, many of which need a pre-purchased ticket. The opening general session features Judy Blume (!!) and the exhibit floor opens with lots of giveaways. Saturday Bright and early from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m….

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

The Changing Face of Summer Reading

Spring is in the air here in Washington, D.C. and I find myself thinking ahead to the upcoming summer months. We will be starting our annual Summer Reading Challenge soon. At my library, this is geared towards people of all ages though it is more popular with the children. In past years, we have had game boards with different activities for each age range including our youngest patrons ages birth to five. Some of these activities are as simple as reciting your ABC’s. Older preschoolers have had the opportunity to practice writing. These activities seem geared towards early literacy which we know is very important for emerging readers. In addition, we often have special guest performers who get the children further excited. Past visitors have included science programs as well as storytellers. We also have had the Washington Nationals, our local baseball team, as one of our sponsors. This has…

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A Few Unique Ideas for Summer Reading Performers

In many places around our country, January equals cold temperatures, barren trees, and dark days (even as the sunlight slowly increases each day). The perfect time to discuss and start planning summer programming, am I right? In fact, I’m not the only one contemplating Summer, as Jonathan Dolce just posted a list of excellent resources on the collaborative summer library program theme in All Together Now 2023 SRP. In addition to program planning, many of us may find ourselves starting the elusive search for performers. We hope to find the right combination of popularity and budget to draw our communities into participating in our Summer Reading Programs. Hopefully most of us involved in this tedious research already have a master list of performers or participate in library Facebook groups like Programming Librarian Interest Group to solicit ideas. My goal is not to offer ideas for big names or trends, but to instead…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Stories and Support: Serving Early Childhood Providers During COVID

Nearly every October our library is asked by our local Educare group to provide a book-focused training for early childhood care providers to go hand-in-hand with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Day. As in years past, this week I pulled a large stack of new books that provide early literacy experiences and work well in a childcare environment. Unlike years past, I presented from my home to attendees in their homes, over Zoom. While we couldn’t pass the books around like we normally do, attendees commented on how important it was for them to get to see new titles, especially in this year of CARES Act applications, extra cleaning procedures and heightened uncertainty. 

Early Literacy

BIG Play = BIG Fun!

A firefighter, a chef, a magician, and two elephants are creating an elaborate, imaginary world in the dress-up tent. Engineers are building cardboard forts and testing the strength of their structures. An acrobat is crawling and peeking through a small tunnel. Three printmakers are working on a collaborative piece of rubber stamp art. And a pair of tiny zoo keepers are inspecting, touching, squeezing, (and maybe even chewing on) a variety of soft, stuffed animals. Where are all these little ones doing all these things all in one place? They are at their library’s Big Play Date, and they are loving it! Inspired by Brooklyn Public Library’s innovative idea, libraries all over the country are hosting Big Play Dates and growing community, providing big fun, supporting parental learning, and strengthening the brains of our youngest patrons in the process. Here at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), we host what we…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts at …School Readiness

The King County Library System has been partnering with its local Child Care Resources to bring Kaleidoscope Play and Learn to the communities we serve. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is a school readiness program coordinated by Washington State’s Child Care Resources.  Many children ages birth to 5 are not enrolled in formal early learning programs or licensed child care.   The purpose of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn (KP&L) is to work with family, friend and neighbor caregivers, and parents to provide support in preparing their children for success in school and life through quality early childhood experiences.  The program consists of weekly, facilitated groups of 90 minutes or more.  Each session begins with child-directed play and concludes with a coordinated large group activity.  At the library the large group activity is story time, of course!  Children and caregivers participate in open-ended, child-directed play, choosing from a variety of play centers, which…