How to help young kids process upsetting events in the news

Ruthie and Miss Jenny talking

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Well, 2021 has certainly begun right where 2020 left off: with a lot of tough topics. Even our youngest kids know when big or upsetting things happen in the news. They may not know the details, but they can see and feel the strong emotions of their grownups and that … Read more

Virtual learning for early learners: Take a sad year & make it better

Take a Sad Year & Make It Better: Tips for helping kids share memories and deal with difficult emotions

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Every year, our final Early Bird Reader tip we send via text (Want weekly early learning tips from the Oak Park Public Library? Sign up now for Early Bird Readers ») is to share stories about the year that’s ending. Sharing memories is a great way to practice narrating stories, … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Songs to set a mood

Kids dancing with music notes

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Songs are powerful! When we plan our storytime classes, we organize them to build energy and then calm kids down before we send them back on their way. When we want to build energy, we do a lot of movement songs and silly songs, and then choose quieter songs to … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Fun in the snow? Say it ain’t so

Miss Shelley

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris I’m one of those odd ducks who loves winter and snow and is excited to get this season started. I know—my co-workers shake their head over me, too. But I also know this is going to be a long and hard winter for a lot of people, so Jenny and … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Fun with sounds

Miss Shelley reading a book

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Miss Jenny and I both love building fun sounds into our storytimes and our videos. Sounds, especially unexpected ones, get and keep everyone’s interest and attention. Will your preschooler understand you if you give them directions using inflections and gestures but only mooing? Yes, probably! And they might even focus … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Sing, sing a song

Miss Jenny and Ruthie the Camel

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Mr. Andy, one of our past librarians, always used to tell caregivers that he could remember the words to “Sweet Caroline” much better than he could remember how to use and program his remote control. Does that feel familiar? Things set to song are easier to remember! If you have … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Serious learning

Miss Jenny and Ruthie with drawing

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” That’s a quote from Fred Rogers, and one that we at the library take very seriously. Every time we update our department play spaces, we consider various different kinds … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Celebrate Halloween & Dia de Muertos with your library

Miss Nora with a sugar skull

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris This weekend is bursting with holidays to celebrate! Saturday’s Halloween is followed by Sunday’s Dia de Muertos, Day of the Dead, and your public library is ready. We’re offering two Halloween dance party storytimes, one at 10 am for all ages and a Supported one at 11 am for kids … Read more

Virtual learning for early learners: Explore a world of words

Mr. Dean working on Bones Discovery Kit

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Greetings and salutations! Jenny and I have been having fun sharing words this week, from words about apples to what we can find around our homes. Words are everywhere! Explore words together with these videos, activities, books, and more. Watch these videos Miss Jenny has a book called Be Kind, … Read more

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