The tragic abduction and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway while walking to school in her Westminster neighborhood has struck fear into the heart of parents all over the country, and particularly in the Denver metro area. Short of barring our children from going out of doors, what can we do to keep them safe and healthy when they are out of our immediate sight?
Sharing books on topics like personal safety, stranger danger, and street smarts is a gentle but effective way of educating and informing children about these essential facts. Authors of these books are especially careful to impart information in a matter-of-fact manner that does not frighten children, but rather gives them the necessary tools they need to keep themselves safe and protected from harm.
With the debate in Denver and the presidential elections coming soon, children might be interested in learning more about the presidency, life in the White House, and the election process. Here are some recommended fiction and nonfiction books and websites for a variety of ages. Read them together or give them to your child for independent reading and then start a discussion about the government.
Please meet Kylee and her younger brother Connor, two of my favorite regulars here at the Green Valley Ranch Library. They are both such avid readers that it’s not unusual to see them in the library more than once a week. Kylee and Connor also participated in our Summer of Reading Program this year, and since they always brighten my day, I couldn’t resist talking with them about their experience.
Kylee loves to read happy books in her room before bedtime to ward off any bad dreams. Her favorite book this summer was Wizard at Work, by Vivian Vande Velde. Connor likes to read in the living room and in the car (he obviously has no problems with car sickness). His favorite books to read this summer included Clifford and Magic Tree House.
Teal Wall, a nine year old girl, is a regular customer at the Ross-University Hills Branch Library. She enjoyed doing the crafts and participating in Summer Reading 2012.
After finishing her monogram art craft she described in her own words what reading means to her:
"Reading is going to new places and having adventures! Also, going to the library and doing fun activities!”
Some of her favorite books to read are the Dear America series.
One of the best things about the Summer of Reading program is that you have the opportunity to talk to kids and see the impact of the books and programs that we offer. One young customer that I had the opportunity to meet this summer was Ava who will be in 1st grade next year.
Ava came up to the Reference Desk and asked if she could sing me a song. I replied, “Of course, I would love for you to sing me a song.” Not only did Ava sing the song, but she also signed the alphabet while singing. I was truly impressed. Kidding around with her, I asked her if she had a CD out yet. Ava ran over to her Mom and said, “Mommy, do I have a CD?” and her mom and I both shared a laugh.
I don’t wanna go to bed. I’m not tired. Sound familiar? Bedtime can be stressful but establishing a bedtime a routine can turn your evenings into a time to bond rather than battle. Reading together is a great way to wind down at the end of the day and makes a fun addition to your routine. Here are a few books that will help your child relax and get ready to sleep, transition from a crib to a bed, or spend a full night in her own bed.
Establishing a bedtime routine and sticking to it every night can help make the end of the day peaceful instead of a struggle. Try a few different schedules to figure out what works at your house. Include brushing teeth, changing into pajamas and reading books. Once you find a schedule that works, stick to it. That way, your child will know what to expect and be ready to sleep. When your little one has a good night be sure to praise her, reinforcing the positive behavior for the future.
Here are a few great books to snuggle up and read with your toddler:
Calling all Pete the Cat fans! Put on your white shoes and head over to the Green Valley Ranch Branch on Monday, July 9 at 10:30 am to meet Eric Litwin, author of the Pete the Cat picture books.
Sing and dance along with Mr. Eric as he plays guitar and harmonica and shares his musical stories. While fun for all ages, Mr. Eric is a sure-fire hit with the preschool set.
A former classroom teacher, Mr. Eric has performed at Lincoln Center and at schools and libraries across the country. He is the winner of a Parents Choice Award and currently has two books on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Get in the mood for Mr. Eric's visit by checking out these titles:
I'm so excited NPR has selected Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the Backseat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds because I LOVE this book. It's been awhile since I was 9-14, but this book made me feel like a kid again.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid started out as a web comic on funbrain.com and it was so popular that the book series was born. Part of the appeal of these books is that they look and sound like the actual diary of a kid.
Add a little yoga to your child's morning routine or help your little one wind down before bed with some deep breathing and restful poses. Practicing yoga with kids is a fun and gentle way to exercise. Plus, yoga provides a chance to bond with your child while introducing new vocabulary words. Moo and meow in cat-cow pose or sing your favorite nursery rhymes as you hold a balance pose.
In addition to physical benefits like improved balance and coordination and mental benefits like better concentration, yoga offers an opportunity to spend quality time with your child while improving her vocabulary. Having a large vocabulary and understanding the meaning behind words leads to reading success and achievement later in school.