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…

ALA Annual 2018

STEM for Babies and Toddlers #ALAAC18

What is STEM… Some may think, STEM?!  for toddlers?!  for babies?!  Of course, we think of teaching and using STEM for kids in high school and even in first grade.  But, is it ever too early to start STEM?  I always knew STEM as “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” but two librarians from the Brooklyn Public Library, a librarian from the Everett Public Library, and Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and Expert Saroj Ghoting gave a more detailed definition.  The science portion is really a way of thinking, technology is a way of doing, engineering is a way of creating, and math is a way of measuring. Within this new context, it was easy to see that toddlers and babies naturally engage in STEM every day.  When they throw their full cereal bowl on the floor, they are practicing cause and effect and learning about gravity.  When playing with blocks, a…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Universal Design Environments for Early Learners

Introduction About four years ago I attended the Birth to Three Institute. A former program of Head Start. I went to a very informative workshop, “Adapting and Embracing the Environment: Fostering Participation for Children with Disabilities”. Th“e session was led by Linda Brault, Project Director, WestEd and Senta Greene, Executive Director of Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc. Session Information The most important information I left with from this session is that you don’t need a lot of money or anything fancy to create a universal design play space for toddlers. If you treat each child as an individual, you can create multiple possibilities for engagement. And “multiple” is the key word to keep in mind. Are there multiple ways for the child: 1) to enter and interact in the environment, 2) access materials and toys, and 3) play, among of things to consider? During this interactive session, each group received…