Little Kids @ UAPL

Read Your Way Through Africa

Dana's picture

With the new Heart of Africa exhibit opening this week at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium it might be time to do a little research into the animals and country from that exotic land.  Whether it's some fun fiction or interesting facts, reading up on the subject could enhance your next trip to the zoo or at least get your little ones excited for the amazing animals they are about to see. Below you will find some selections that are sure to please even the youngest patrons! 

For more information about the new Heart of Africa exhibit visit  http:// heartofafrica.columbuszoo.org

Introducing Africa by Chris Oxlade

African Animals ABC by Beverley Joubert

​We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Oh Dear, Geoffrey! by Gemma O'Neill

African Critters by Robert Haas

Adventures of Riley: Safari in South Africa by Amanda Lumry

Get Ready To Read! Print Motivation

Youth Department's picture

baby boy with book

One of the first early literacy skills to develop is print motivation. Print motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books. Parents can cultivate this skill early on by reading to their infants. Even though they aren't able to follow the story, they still very much enjoy hearing their parent's voice. If children witness their parents enjoying reading, they learn to view reading as a fun activity. Parents need to make books accessible, proudly display them on a shelf, as prized possessions and create a cozy spot dedicated to reading together. And let's not forget trips to the library!! The UAPL has amazing storytimes and other youth programs, and little ones can get their very own library card!!

Here are some books from our collection, chosen especially for their enjoyment potential:

Get Ready To Read! Letter Knowledge

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At some point in early childhood, children realize that letters are different from each other. They learn to recognize all letters, in both lower and upper cases. They learn the name of each letter and what sound accompanies each letter. This process is known as letter knowledge. This skill can be developed by every day reading and writing activities such as playing with alphabet letters on a refrigerator, reading and pointing out letters in alphabet books, naming letters on signs at the grocery store and even tracing letters on a dry erase board. This short video shows just how easy it is to fit this into any busy parent's schedule:

 

Try this fun idea! You can make your very own magnetic letter board. Just spray a cookie sheet a fun color and add magnetic letters!

The UAPL has a wonderful collection of alphabet books. Check these out:

Get Ready To Read! Vocabulary

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Vocabulary is simply knowing the names of things. Words and their meanings are the building blocks of literacy development. The more words a child knows, the easier it will be for him or her to understand what they read.  A parent can help their child build vocabulary by exploring different types of books, formats, and subjects in both fiction and non-fiction. As unfamiliar words are encountered, the parent and the child can sound them out together and talk about what each new word means. At home, parents can introduce new words into every day conversation. For example, instead of the usual, “Get in the car, we're going to the library!” you could say, “Let's get into our automobile (or vehicle)!” 

Enjoy these books from our collection, chosen especially for their colorful vocabulary:

Get Ready To Read! Print Awareness

Youth Department's picture

Print awareness is noticing print everywhere! Print awareness is knowing that the squiggly lines on a page symbolize something meaningful. Print awareness is the knowledge that writing in English is read from left to right and that the text flows from the top of the page to the bottom. Another aspect of print awareness is being familiar with how a book works; that books have covers, and pages to be turned, left to right. 

Helping your child develop this skill is easier than you think. Watch this video for some at-home tips:

Why not make your own book at home? You and your child can make up and write your own story,  practice writing their name, or may be even paste photos of friends and family. Make a point to design the cover, come up with a title, and don't forget to add the author's name!!

 

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