by Karen Gordon on October 5th, 2016
Earlier this year I received my yoga certificate for A Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200 hours. Two weeks ago I completed The Kids’ Yoga Teacher Training, a 25-hour course with Dana Robinson, Founder of Sweet Feet Yoga.
I love working with families and children at the library and out at outreach. Life gets incredibly busy for families trying to balance family life, and kids are busy with school, homework, and afterschool and weekend activities. Yoga can offer kids tools to learn to de-stress!
Through yoga postures, breathing techniques, and creative movement kids will learn to listen to their bodies connecting to the 4 B’s: body, brain, breath and balance. Offering the practice of yoga encourages kids to learn and listen to their bodies
Join me on Saturday, October 15th from 11:30-12:30 I will be hosting a yoga program for kids ages K-2nd grade at the library in the Storytime Room.
The theme is Loving Kindness and I will be reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Bring mats if you have one; we’ll have mats in case you come without. No registration required.
by Karen Gordon on September 7th, 2016
Wow! What a busy time in the Children’s Room this summer! Now that the kids are back at school we are busy planning fall and winter programs.
It’s also that time of year to talk up the services the children’s room offers, like our outreach program, because outreach is such a fun part of our job.
If you are not familiar with the Iowa City Public Library’s outreach service, Casey Maynard, Nancy Holland and I do children’s outreach each week and visit 40 Iowa City sites, which include preschools, daycares, Neighborhood Centers, and Hacap (Hawkeye Area Community Action Program) centers. We share 30-minutes outreach stories with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Do you know that we have boxed thematic Storytime Kits? Please stop by the library and take a look at this unique collection.
These kits are geared for 3-6 year-olds and you check-out the whole kit for three weeks! We have 80 kits and you will love sharing them for your own circle time with your children.
Finally, for your convenience, you may call the library each week for a Book Pull with your topic and the Children’s Room staff will set aside 15 books for you to pick up at the Children’s Room Desk. Just give us 24 hours’ notice for this free service. Let us be your resource for the best children’s books available and fun guest storytimes!
by Karen Gordon on June 22nd, 2016
Beat the heat! Summer is a great time to get babies and toddlers into the water. Water play encourages the development of eye/hand coordination through pouring, squeezing, stirring, and squirting. Water helps release their emotions by pounding, splashing, swishing, stamping and kicking feet.
Here are some watery nursery rhymes to share with your child. Read the rest of this entry »
by Karen Gordon on May 16th, 2016
Babies are learning more than you think. Studies show that your baby can start to hear and recognize voices of you and your partner in the womb as early as 25 weeks. This is a great time to talk to your baby or read to her.
A few weeks ago I was invited to be a part of North Liberty Community Library’s Womb Literacy initiative. Womb Literacy was created to encourage expecting families to begin developing daily reading rituals, while their child is still in the womb. NLCL’s Stork Storytime Podcast was created for new and expecting parents. The podcast makes it easier for busy parents to learn about early literacy before their baby is born. Parents can tune in to Stork Storytime Podcast and listen to a variety of guest speakers as they engage expecting parents while helping them to feel confident in their role as their child’s first teacher.
I lead the Iowa City Public Library’s Book Babies program (which is held on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) so a good part of my job is to role model reading and offer early literacy tips. I was excited to share and talk about Narrative skills with librarians Jennifer Jordebrek, and Emily O’Sheridan-Tabor for their May Podcast.
Narrative Skills includes: describing things and events, telling stories, knowing that a story has a beginning, middle and end.
If you would like more information about the North Liberty Community Library’s Womb Literacy visit their website at www.northlibertylibrary.org
Listen to NLPL’s May’s Stork Storytime Podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/nl-community-library/stork-storytime-podcast-early-narrative-skills-with-karen-gordon
by Karen Gordon on April 13th, 2016
Last Saturday families from all around the corridor area explored the Iowa Children’s Museum in “Celebration of the Young Child” event with free admission. Kids attended performances, created make and take crafts and had “Permission to Play” with dozens of community groups devoted to children and families.
The Iowa City and Coralville Public Library’s staff volunteered their time along with a variety of other organizations dedicated to early education, health and well-being.
The library’s booth had sensory play dough for kids to play, pat, pound, and squeeze. The play dough we provided was made out of simple ingredients found at home and needless to say our booth was a big hit! Recipes at the booth were available and quickly ran out. For families who did not get a recipe, here it is:
4-Minute Play Dough Recipe
It’s the easiest play dough you can make. Get creative and add, essential oils, extracts, 1-2 packages of Kool-Aid, food coloring, cinnamon, cocoa powder, fresh or dried herbs, etc.
- 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- Up to 1.5 cups boiling water
(Adding in increments until it feels just right)
Few drops glycerin (optional- adds more shine!)
- Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
- Add food coloring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (color optional)
- Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
- Add the glycerin (optional)
- Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*
(If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)
by Karen Gordon on January 15th, 2016
It’s a new year and Kathy, Nancy and I are busy doing children’s outreach storytimes out in our community. This is a perfect time to talk up the services the Children’s Room has to offer to preschools and daycare facilities in Iowa City.
Did you know that you can call the Library every week for a Book Pull? Leave a phone or email message with your topic for your curriculum and the Children’s Room staff will set aside 15 of our favorite books for you to come in and pick up at the Children’s Room Desk. We ask for 24 hours advanced notice for this free service.
We have big books for check-out, too. I love using big books at storytime and out at my outreach sites. Kids love the big pictures, and I never worry about a child not being able to see from the back row.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention our Storytime Kits! If you aren’t familiar with our collection of boxed thematic Storytime Kits, please stop in the library sometime and take a look at this unique collection. These kits contain 10 picture books and a puppet, rubber stamp, lacing cards, puzzle, etc. They are geared for 3-6 year-olds and you check out the whole plastic bin for three weeks. We have over 80 kits to choose from and you will love using them for your own circle time with your children.
Finally, I’m excited to tell parents and teachers about the new initiative the Library will be launching in February. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, sponsored by Pearson in Iowa City, is a program that encourages parents and caregivers to provide positive, nurturing early learning experiences by regularly reading aloud to their children . More information will be coming soon.
by Karen Gordon on December 22nd, 2015
Last Wednesday was my last outreach before schools’ Winter Break. The kids say they’ll miss me. They give me hugs before I leave for the library…what’s not to love about my job?
Katherine Habley, Nancy Holland, and I do children’s outreach every week. Maybe you’ve seen us leaving the library with bags of books or puppets hanging out of our wheeled library suitcases. Between the three of us, we visit 40 Iowa City sites, which include preschools, daycares, Neighborhood Centers, and Hacap (Hawkeye Area Community Action Program) centers. We share stories with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
While manning the desk, we’ll often encounter a family whose child runs to us with arms open. The child’s parents are somewhat confused and ask how we know their child, so we explain our outreach program and are acknowledged with immediate smiles and gratitude for our services to the community.
Part of our strategic planning for fiscal year 2016 is to create a bookmark informing parents about our 30-minute storytime. Hopefully, the bookmark will encourage parents to talk and ask open-ended questions about encouraging early literacy in the home.
Here are the bookmarks we’ve been handing out to sites since the beginning of the school year.
Outreach is a big part of the joy we get from our jobs. We get the “warm and fuzzies” after each visit. There’s nothing better than reading books and getting smiles, hugs, and kisses after storytime. Our job is as Mister Rogers sings, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”
by Karen Gordon on June 11th, 2015
What I’ve learned during many outreach visits is that math is another important skill to bring to storytime. There are so many wonderful books to get kids counting.
Without a doubt, kids are willing participants . I like to use flannel board activities or fingerplays, because they allow us to count up and count down together. They also learn about subtraction and addition through fingerplays. The kids are so enthusiastic about learning math and I notice these activities give them an extra boost of confidence.
Research shows how important and critical it is that parents read to their children every day from birth up until kids enter school. Well, it’s also critical that parents make an effort to incorporate math, too. This is where picture books can help.
Counting using picture books can spark the interest in, and nurture a wonder of, math the same way reading books can nurture a wonder of books. In math, kids can find imagination and wonder in so many ways.
Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins is an adorable flap book that will keep any toddler’s attention: “It’s almost bedtime. Mommy Hen is looking for her 10 chicks.” And Maisy is there to find them. Little readers can help by lifting the flaps to see who’s hiding in the stable, the tractor, and the apple tree. This game of hide-and-seek will keep little ones busy and eager for more.
More counting – Look for these new counting books in the Children’s Room.
Count On the Subway by Paul DuBois Jacobs
llustrations and rhythmic text describe the sights and sounds of a subway ride in New York City as a mother and child go uptown, counting their way from one to ten and back again.
Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt The reader is invited to count hungry crows as they hunt for savory snacks.
1 to 2o Animals a Plenty by Katie Viggers This beautiful and simply written counting book teaches kids to count from 1 to 20 as they meet a menagerie of amusing creatures.
Robot Burp Head Smartypants! By Annette Simon
On your mark, get set, belch! The green and purple robots from Robot Zombie Frankenstein! are back for a second round of “Top This” games! Burp to ten? Easy! Burp the alphabet? No sweat! Burp by tens while blindfolded, juggling, and skateboarding? Yikes! Reluctant readers won’t even notice that they’re learning as they laugh out loud at the wacky antics of these irreverent robotic pals.
by Karen Gordon on May 7th, 2015
Friday, May 8th, 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. & 1:30 – 2 p.m.
Join the fun with Sonia Culver from the Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center.
Soina will share stories, songs, and rhymes, with information about helping your baby develop language skills. Specifically planned for babies. This program is an active program intended to stimulate infant language development. We ask that there be a lap for every baby.
by Karen Gordon on April 29th, 2015
On Friday, May 1st at 10:30 am
Come sample Spirit in Motion! Nurturing joy through music and movement.
This is a fun, engaging program offered here at Book Babies. You and your baby will explore activities with guest Deb Singer. This early childhood music and movement program includes singing, cuddling, rocking, and dancing.
This program is free.